Some countries have or are planning to ease visa rules for Turkish and Syrian nationals affected by the earthquake two weeks ago.

  • Belgium. Immigration authorities in Belgium will process visa applications from those in regions affected by the earthquake more quickly. Earthquake victims already in Belgium can now apply to extend their stay in the country. More information is available here.
  • Germany. German authorities are shortening visa application processing times for specific individuals. Individuals must attest that, at the time of the earthquake, they lived in one of the affected provinces and meet all other eligibility requirements. More information regarding the specific requirements is available here.
  • Netherlands. Dutch authorities are being initially more lenient with requests for return visas or extensions of short-stay visa applications and may waive visa fees for qualifying earthquake victims until March 9, 2023. More information is available here.
  • Switzerland. Swiss authorities are providing entry visas for those who have lost their homes because of the earthquake and have family in the country. To qualify, victims must have a valid passport or emergency passport; family members in Switzerland must submits an invitation letter; and the invitee must be from the earthquake area and have lost their home. More information is available here.

BAL Analysis: Additional countries may ease visa rules for those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria in the coming weeks. BAL will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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