Fast-track visas for Syria and Turkey quake survivors to be dropped

Locals pass by the rubble of a collapsed building in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake in Adiyaman, Turkey, Keystone / Erdem Sahin

The Swiss government wants to end the visa programme for earthquake victims from Turkey and Syria, according to the weekly NZZ am Sonntag.

This content was published on April 23, 2023

To date, about 300 people from the disaster region have benefitted from fast-tracked visa processing. That figure includes 239 Turkish and 59 Syrians nationals, according to the latest data from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

The government, according to “well-informed’ sources cited by the newspaper, wants to end the fast-track visa programme in mid-May. The diaspora has mainly brought the generation of grandparents from the disaster region to Switzerland.

On February 6, 2023, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southern and central Turkey along with northern and western Syria. Powerful aftershocks followed in both countries. The earthquakes killed more than 50,000 people and displaced 5.9 million.

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