Syrians make beeline for India to get German visa

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 24, 2015.


    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Syrians make beeline for India to get German visa

    Asylum-seekers from war-ravaged Syria, mostly women and children, are flying into Indian cities to seek asylum at German consulates. In the last couple of months, nearly 20 families have flown into Chennai to seek an appointment with officials in the German consulate to obtain “family reunion” visas.

    A Syrian woman from Damascus has been in Chennai for the past three weeks trying to get a visa to join her husband in Germany. “My husband managed to reach Germany on a boat. It is a very risky route for women and children. So, we sold everything we had in Syria to come to India with the hope that we can get a German visa. This is the story of most Syrian families who have come to India now,” she says.

    The Syrian woman says that there is a long waiting list at the German consulate here. With the consulate shut over the festive season, many have to wait for a few more days. They could have chosen to travel to Chennai considering the adequacy of flight operations to Germany from here.

    “It takes too long for us to get an appointment in German consulates in countries such as Turkey and Jordan. We are also treated very badly in these countries. Therefore, we take an appointment with the German consulates in India, Iran and Malaysia and fly to these countries to obtain the visa,” she says.

    Ahmed Hossain, a Syrian studying computer science in Hyderabad, has been serving as the interpreter for the Syrian families desperate to rejoin their loved ones in Germany. “Those who fly into India are mostly woman and children. It is also expensive to stay here. The women and children haven’t met their husbands and fathers for years now. It would be of tremendous help if the consulate looks into the matter urgently,” he says.

    Despite holding a valid Indian and German visa, Ahmed says the Syrian families, who were flying out of Chennai, are being detained for several hours at the Chennai airport and asked questions. “Most of them don’t speak any language other than Arabic. They struggle to understand and answer questions posed to them at the immigration,” he says, adding that the Arabic interpreters in Chennai are demanding money for their services.

    “We spend close to a $100 a day. We are mostly middle-class and lower-middle-class Syrian families. We can’t afford it for much longer,” she says.

    Close to 11 Syrian families are waiting to hear back from the German consulate. “We are running out of money quickly. Please give us a visa,” says a Syrian woman, eagerly waiting to rejoin with her husband in Germany.

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