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Frustrated Turks slam increased European Schengen visa rejections | News

Firat Elmas didn’t anticipate any issues when he utilized for a Schengen visa to go to Germany in June.

The 37-year-old Turk, who lives within the western metropolis of Izmir and was working for the Group of Safety and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) when he utilized for the visa, recurrently travels throughout Europe and has a steady and comfy way of life at house.

And but, Elmas was shocked to search out his vacationer visa software had been rejected, as a result of, for causes unknown to him, he had been deemed liable to not returning to Turkey.

“I’ve travelled to greater than 20 nations, predominantly within the Schengen space and studied at grasp’s degree each in america and the UK. I by no means had such an expertise,” Elmas instructed Al Jazeera.

His expertise is just not distinctive – in actual fact, frustration is rising amongst Turks amid a fast improve in reported Schengen visa rejections over the previous few years for residents attempting to journey to Europe.

Schengen is a blanket visa for 26 European nations, the vast majority of them members of the European Union, which have agreed to problem a typical visa for overseas travellers.

In a examine introduced in July to the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe (PACE), a physique that consists of MPs from member nations, Ankara stated that the denial of Schengen visas for Turks has elevated from 4 p.c of functions in 2014 to 12.7 p.c in 2020.

The share of rejections of Schengen visa functions from Turkey was virtually 17 p.c in 2021, in accordance with information from, additional highlighting the rise in contrast with latest years.

The report introduced to PACE additionally claimed that EU member states ask for too many pointless paperwork from candidates, that the visa software charge is simply too costly and that visas issued are for an more and more brief interval, amongst different complaints.

Rejections have gotten more and more frequent amongst financially safe Turkish residents with careers, in accordance with candidates who talked to Al Jazeera, in addition to scores of others who shared their experiences on social media in latest months.

Elmas stated that he had been working for the Ukraine department of the OSCE till July, acquired a month-to-month wage of three,750 euros, and was primarily based in Turkey as a result of conflict in Ukraine. He owns a home in Izmir, in addition to a luxurious automotive.

“It was apparent that I used to be going to return to Turkey. My monetary standing and former observe file clearly exhibits that,” stated Elmas, who had additionally labored for the UN Refugee Company prior to now.

A Schengen visa prices roughly 100 {dollars} or euros, together with third-party visa processing firm charges utilized by most Schengen nations to pre-assess functions.

The charges correspond to about one-third of the minimal wage in Turkey and are non-refundable.

Along with the rising share of Schengen visa rejections, the appliance course of for Turks now takes for much longer to finish in contrast with the latest previous.

Candidates say it has taken a number of months for visas to be issued in some circumstances, leaving them with out their passports for prolonged durations.

“My software in June took greater than 9 weeks to be processed earlier than I received the consequence,” Elmas stated.

‘Deliberate and deliberate’

Ahmet, one other Turkish citizen who has an organization and residence allow in the UK, instructed Al Jazeera that his visa software to take part in a enterprise truthful in Germany was rejected regardless of having an invite letter from the occasion.

“I’m a everlasting resident of Britain for the final 4 years. My firm had a turnover of 250,000 British kilos ($280,000) in 2021 and 500,000 kilos within the first half of 2022,” Ahmet stated.

Just like Elmas, Ahmet, who didn’t need to share his final title, stated his software was rejected as a result of “he may not return”, regardless of submitting all the mandatory paperwork.

“So that they suppose I’ll go away my four-year residence within the UK to maneuver to Germany illegally?” he requested.

Final month, Ankara promised to take motion if Turkish residents continued to face difficulties in buying visas for the EU and the US.

“It’s deliberate and deliberate,” Turkish overseas minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated, including that Ankara believed the rise in rejections was geared toward placing the federal government in a tough place forward of parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for June 2023.

Cavusolgu stated that Schengen-area nations could be warned in September, including: “If there isn’t any enchancment, then we are going to take countermeasures.”

Nevertheless, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, the pinnacle of the EU delegation to Turkey, stated that the Schengen visa course of was not a political problem, and added that every visa software is evaluated objectively, fastidiously and on a person foundation.

“Consulates are doing no matter they’ll to minimise delays and improve their capability,” Meyer-Landrut instructed Al Jazeera.

“Nevertheless, they must implement the laws of the EU in addition to their very own nations,” the diplomat added, advising candidates to make “good high quality and well timed” functions to keep away from rejections.



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