Middle East

Frustrated Turks blame rising Schengen visa denials in Europe.news

Firat Elmas did not expect any problems when applying. Schengen visa I will visit Germany in June.

The 37-year-old Turk from the western city of Izmir was working for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) when he applied for his visa. his home lifestyle.

Still, Elmas was shocked when his tourist visa application was rejected. For reasons unknown, it was thought that he might not return to Turkey.

“I have traveled to more than 20 countries, mostly Schengen countries, and completed my master’s degree in both the US and UK.

His experience is nothing special. In fact, frustration among Turks has grown in recent years as reports of Schengen visa denials to citizens trying to travel to Europe surge.

The Schengen Agreement is a blanket visa for 26 European countries, most of which are EU member states, that have agreed to issue a common visa to foreign travelers.

In a study submitted in July to the Council of Europe Assembly (PACE), a body made up of member states’ parliamentarians, Ankara found that refusals of Schengen visas for Turkish citizens rose from 4% of applications in 2014. increased to 12.7%. Percentage of 2020.

According to data from schengenvisainfo.com, the rate of rejected Schengen visa applications from Turkey will be almost 17% in 2021, further highlighting an increase compared to recent years.

The report filed with PACE also found that EU member states are asking too many unnecessary documents from applicants, that visa application fees are too high, and that visas are being issued for shorter and shorter periods. It is claimed in complaints such as

According to applicants who have spoken to Al Jazeera and many others who have shared their experiences on social media in recent months, denials have become increasingly common among career- and financially secure Turkish citizens. I’m here.

Elmas said he worked for the Ukraine branch of the OSCE until July, received a monthly salary of 3,750 euros and was based in Turkey. war in ukraineHe owns a house and a luxury car in Izmir.

“It was clear to me that I would return to Turkey.

The cost of a Schengen visa is approximately $100 or Euros, including a third-party visa processing company fee that is used to pre-assess your application in most Schengen countries.

Fees are approximately one-third of Turkey’s minimum wage and are non-refundable.

In addition to the rising rate of Schengen visa refusals, the application process for Turks takes much longer to complete compared to the recent past.

Applicants say that in some cases it takes months for visas to be issued, leaving them passportless for long periods of time.

“The June application took more than nine weeks to get results,” says Elmas.

“planned and planned”

Ahmet, another Turkish citizen with a company and residence permit in the UK, told Al Jazeera that his visa application to attend a business fair in Germany was despite having an invitation from the event. He said he was rejected.

“I have been a UK permanent resident for the past four years. My company has recorded turnover of £250,000 ($280,000) in 2021 and £500,000 in the first half of 2022,” Mr Ahmet said. increase.

Ahmet, who, like Elmas, did not want to give his last name, said his application was rejected on the grounds that “he may not come back” despite submitting all the required paperwork.

“So they think I’m leaving my four-year residency in England and immigrating to Germany illegally?” he asked.

Last month, Ankara pledged to take action if Turkish citizens continue to face difficulties obtaining EU and US visas.

“It is deliberate and intentional,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevrut Cavusoglu, adding that the Turkish government believed the increase in denials was intended to put the government in a difficult position. Congressional and presidential elections Scheduled for June 2023.

Cavusolgu said Schengen countries would be warned in September, adding: “If we don’t see improvement, we will take action.”

However, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, head of the EU delegation to Turkey, said the Schengen visa process is not a political issue, adding that each visa application is objectively and carefully evaluated individually. rice field.

“Consulates are doing everything they can to minimize delays and increase capacity,” Meyer Landrut told Al Jazeera.

“But they must implement EU regulations as well as their own,” the diplomat added, advising applicants to make “good and timely” applications to avoid refusals.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/2/frustrated-turks-slam-increasing-schengen-visa-rejections Frustrated Turks blame rising Schengen visa denials in Europe.news

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