NGOs call for visa facilitation for earthquake victims

NGOs call for visa facilitation for earthquake victims

Several NGOs are asking the government to allow temporary visa waiver for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, based on the German model. For earthquake victims who have first- and second-degree relatives in Austria, humanitarian visas for a stay of up to three months must be issued without bureaucracy, according to a statement from Volkshilfe, Diakonie, Caritas, ÖRK, Amnesty and the alliance “Menschen . Digne. Austria” signed appeal.

The organizations thus adhered to the demand by the Vice-President of the EU Parliament, Othmar Karas (ÖVP), and the Vienna Integration Council on Tuesday. The SPÖ and the Greens also spoke out in favor of temporary visa easing on Monday. The Interior Ministry had already rejected that request on Monday. Visa applications from earthquake victims must be checked by Austrian representations as soon as possible, but the criteria for granting them will not change, he said.

Donation accounts have been set up for those affected, which can be found on the website This includes 20 trusted aid organizations such as the Austrian Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and Unicef.

People are left with nothing

“Many people in Austria have family members in Turkey and Syria who are traumatized, without shelter or financial means. They would like to take them in temporarily and take care of them. However, due to current visa regulations, a quick and bureaucratic entry is not possible. it is possible. We are convinced that there are many good reasons to reconsider the first negative reaction of the Minister of the Interior, Gerhard Karner,” the organizations said in their broadcast on Tuesday. They called on the two ruling parties “to urgently come to a joint approach in the spirit of Austria’s humanitarian tradition”. (apa)