Switzerland will fast track visa procedure for earthquake victims

The Swiss government will give priority to processing visa applications from victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria who can be temporarily hosted by close relatives in Switzerland.

A valid visa is still required for entry, with some exceptions. Victims whose homes have been destroyed will also have to invoke urgent medical reasons to benefit from an accelerated procedure, according to the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration.

A “fast-track” form was available to interested persons at the Swiss representation in Istanbul. The procedures for granting visas will continue to be in accordance with Schengen law.

Additional staff will be sent to Turkey to help the Swiss Consulate General in Istanbul process visa applications. The goal is to ensure that visa applications from earthquake victims with close relatives in Switzerland can be processed quickly.

The Swiss authorities are in close contact with their Turkish counterparts to facilitate the procedures, in particular the rapid issue of a rescue passport. Coordination is also in place with the European Union (EU).

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