Switzerland aids the Syrians for family reunification

February 06, 2014
Visareporter News - Switzerland immigration

Last September Switzerland has started to aid the Syrians for their family reunifications. So far 1,100 refugees have got the help from this program. However, thousands of the refugees are still waiting at the Swiss embassies hoping to meet their families. Switzerland has ended this programme astonished by the number.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), made its request to admit the Syrian refugees. In response to this many European countries have come forward. Switzerland declared that it will be accepting about 500 helpless refugees over three years.

Swiss embassies at Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey had given three-month entry visa for 1,600 Syrians by the end of November. Out of which 1,100 Syrians have already entered Switzerland and the remaining 500 Syrians have placed their applications at the embassies for their visa requests.

Surprised by the huge number, their compassion for the refugees seems to be short lived. By the early November they have introduced some practical difficulties saying that Swiss based Syrians who have invited their relatives are expected to meet some requirements financially. But only few of the Swiss-based Syrians have sufficient money to clear those obstacles.

Secretary-general of the Swiss Refugee Council (SFH), Beat Meiner, had a prior prediction of this fact but his advice was not taken into regard.

Simonetta Sommaruga, Swiss Justice Minister, has cancelled the family reunification programme entirely. She expressed that many of the Syrians who can apply for entry visas have made use of their eased visa requirements.

A Kurdish Syrian, Ashti Amir, who fled to Switzerland about ten years back, has a different opinion. He says that he managed to bring the families of his cousins. He said that he even has his parents and brothers in Aleppo whom he wants to bring them to Switzerland.

Moving to the embassy abroad is very costly and difficult. He knows many of his companions whose relatives are in danger in Syria and wants to rescue them.

One of his sisters and sister-in-law are trapped in Istanbul with their families waiting to have an entry visa to Switzerland. Amir is very positive that they will make it to Switzerland as they have applied for an appointment even before the reunification program was cancelled.

Secretary-general of SFH, Beat Meiner, expressed that many of the Syrians have taken up a dangerous trip to the Swiss embassies in the Middle East hoping to get an entry visa successfully. Some of them are stuck there who are neither able to come to Switzerland, nor go back to Syria.

He is certain that if the family reunification program would have continued then that would surely have saved more lives.

Switzerland is fearful that answering the asylum requests in a positive way would draw the attention of even more Syrian refugees.
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