The German authorities have said that the country continues to issue visas for Turkish earthquake victims under the simplified procedure, and the same revealed that more than 4,300 visas had been issued so far.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, as of March 17, 2023, the country granted visas to 4,538 Turkish earthquake victims, permitting them to enter Germany and stay with their relatives temporarily, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The German authorities shared the number of visas granted to nationals of Türkiye following a question submitted by a Member of the German Bundestag, Serap Güler, who is of Turkish origin.
Güler required the authorities to share available data on the number of visas that have been issued to Turkish nationals since the earthquake took place and inform those waiting for a response.
While the German authorities revealed the total number of visas issued so far and shared that 677 of them were family reunification visas, they did not disclose data on the number of applications that are currently being processed.
The new procedure that Germany is currently using is aimed at assisting earthquake victims of both Türkiye and Syria. However, despite the country facilitating some of the rules, bureaucratic hurdles continue to remain high as earthquake victims are required to submit several documents to be granted a visa.
All Turkish as well as Syrian earthquake victims applying for a German visa under facilitated rules need to present their valid passports and biometric photograph. Such requirements, especially the one to present a passport, have caused problems for many as they have lost their documents in the earthquake.
Apart from facilitating the rules, Germany has also sent additional staff to its foreign missions so it can process visas as soon as possible for those facing homelessness and needing medical treatment.
Earthquake victims from both affected countries wishing to get a visa need to prove that they have close family ties with someone who holds German citizenship or a permanent German residence permit.
In addition, earthquake victims must also submit proof that their place of residence has been affected by the earthquake, and their relatives living in Germany must sign a commitment declaration.
Germany is not the only EU/Schengen Area country that has facilitated visa rules for Turkish and Syrian earthquake victims. Switzerland is also giving priority to visa applications filed by earthquake victims.
Last month, the Secretariat for Migration of Switzerland said that all victims who have close relatives in the country would be able to get a visa without having to undergo strict rules.