Continuing to assist people affected by the earthquake in Turkey – joint press release by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community and the Federal Foreign Office

06.05.2023 - Press release

The Federal Government extends the possibility to stay with close relatives in Germany by an additional three months, until the beginning of August

The Federal Government is making it possible for Turkish citizens affected by the earthquake who have been taken in by relatives in Germany to extend their stay in Germany by up to three months. Individuals who entered Germany between 6 February and 7 May 2023 on a valid visa that was issued by a German mission in Turkey in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 and who were still lawfully residing in Germany on 7 May 2023 will no longer be required to obtain a residence permit between 7 May 2023 and 6 August 2023. The respective regulation entered into force on Sunday, 7 May.

The temporary exemption from the need for a residence permit applies to Turkish citizens who were issued a visa through a simplified procedure and who are lawfully residing in Germany. They are not required to go to a foreigners authority. The exemption from the need for a residence permit ends once the individual has left the Federal Republic of Germany.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser:

The earthquake in Turkey and Syria last February caused incredible destruction and unimaginable suffering. We organised extensive assistance in the affected areas. But we were also concerned with providing emergency support to those who had lost everything. So we very quickly arranged for victims to come and stay with close relatives in Germany – to recover in the care of their own families. After all, many of the victims have close family connections here and there is great solidarity among the German–Turkish community.

Many people are now asking what is next. So let us be clear: we are extending the right to temporary residence in Germany for Turkish earthquake victims by three months, until early August, with no bureaucratic steps required. This will bring peace of mind to those who wish to stay and will impose no extra burden on the foreigners authorities.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:

It is in times of great need that you learn who your friends are – and this also applies to Germany and Turkey.

While visiting areas affected by the earthquake, Nancy Faeser and I witnessed first hand the great sorrow and desperation of families that had lost everything from one day to the next. Germany has pledged 238 million euro in assistance for those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. This money can be used to rebuild homes that were destroyed – but there is no way to bring back the more than 52,000 people who lost their lives.

At least we were able to help many of those affected by issuing visas through a simplified procedure, so that they have not had to get through this difficult time all alone. Since mid-February, some 9500 Turkish citizens have not only been taken in, but have also been given strength and consolation, by relatives in Germany. It is a very practical sign of our solidarity that we are now giving them some more time to be with their relatives, as the clean-up and reconstruction effort continues in Turkey.

Immediately after the earthquake, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior reached agreement on a simplified visa procedure for individuals affected by the earthquake. We created a visa that grants a temporary stay in Germany of initially up to 90 days.

Since the introduction of this simplified procedure on 13 February, some 9500 temporary-stay visas for Germany have been issued to Turkish citizens. What is more, some 900 Turkish citizens from the areas affected by the earthquake were issued visas to enter Germany for the purposes of family reunification. Priority was also placed on processing visa applications for Syrians from the affected areas. More than 1200 Syrian citizens who used to reside in these areas were issued visas, most of which for the purposes of family reunification.

To accelerate the visa submission procedure the Federal Foreign Office sent additional visa staff with decision-making powers to Turkey. People affected by the earthquake could also submit their applications at a visa bus that was deployed for the very first time, moving around in the affected areas.


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