Enab Baladi – Hossam Al Mahmoud
“We were forced because Dad was late to reunite, so he sold the house before he left Syria and bought the visa and more.”
This is how Ali, a young Syrian living in Germany, explains how his father arrived from Lebanon to Turkey, before continuing to Germany, to complete the family reunion, as this was delayed by family reunification procedures in Germany. .
And if the first years of the Syrian revolution were faced with open doors that allowed refugees to reach Turkey, where about 3.7 million of them remained, while others took it as a stop to Europe, but what followed was the final leap qualitative in dealing with the movements of Syrians and their movements, changing the mechanism of dealing with groups A large woman leaves her country to seek her life and needs elsewhere.
And after the entry of Syrians in Turkey through personal identity cards, before the 2011 revolution, the Turkish government imposed since the beginning of 2016 a visa (visa) for Syrians to enter the country, by land, sea and air, in order to reduce the influx of migrants to it, without political indications or At that time, a military command suggested that a solution would be reached that would put an end to the causes of this influx.
Ali, his mother and his three brothers have been waiting for a long time to meet the head of the family, they have gone to the door of agents, some of whom work independently and in disguise, without an office that organizes transactions that receive social and legal coverage and the result was “Visa” 3700 euros for the father.
Under the “visa” granted to enter Turkish Cyprus after the plane first landed in Istanbul, Ali’s father left Lebanon and when the plane landed in Istanbul, one of the broker’s contractors gave him a passport to enter Istanbul and then took it from him. again upon entry, without having to follow his path.to Cyprus, whose entry visa came through the presence of a formal guarantor in front of the embassy.
During the conversation with Enab Baladi, Ali reserved his full name, emphasizing that topics of this kind are sensitive, but at the same time made it clear that the choice of family has not been out of complete desire, given the cycle of communication with intermediaries and fear of being deceived, especially since the amount paid to go to Turkey, the family would not have been able to secure if the father had not sold the family home in Syria before leaving.
File processing or “high content”?
The means of obtaining an entry visa are divided into two parts, the first of which is through intermediaries, brokers or offices that prepare a file for the person, to hand over to the embassy in the hope that she will give him an entry visa.
This method requires a set of letters, a part of which is prepared by the person who wants to travel, and are letters that he brings from Syria, in front of the other part are letters related to the person who has invited him through the embassy. since the visa is linked to an invitation from a person, company or institution in another country and here comes the role of intermediary, who prepares these documents and completes the file, for an amount ranging from 75 to 100 US dollars. .
Enab Baladi contacted one of the mediators according to this method, and he called himself “Abu Abdo”, refusing to reveal his name for reasons he considered social.
The mediator explained that obtaining a “visa” is subject to an invitation submitted by a first-degree relative or a person playing the role of sponsor, called a “blessing contractor”. In this case, a set of letters is prepared after meeting a number of conditions, such as being the “inviting” person, as to who directed it. The invitation, has a bank account and a document of “temporary protection” (as king), or a driving license, in preparation for the preparation of health insurance, a lease and without trial and a letter of “Blessing” that can be obtained through the governor’s office and is a hostage to cover the expenses of the “invited” person after his arrival in. Turkey.
Some of these letters can be replaced with others, as a valid passport replaces the “whip”, while it is allowed to use the work permit as a substitute for the passport and the “whip”, if the “guest” is under 18 years old. .
“Abu Abdo” has shown that many of these letters can be received through the “e-Dulat” application through the mobile phone, but the ignorance or ignorance of people about these details pushes them towards the intermediaries, at the same time showing the fear of people for made any mistake other than that intended in the preparation of their dossiers, and ultimately, the approval of the entry visa is not guaranteed, but is likely to a high degree, especially if the “inviting” person is a Turkish citizen. , or has a good and active bank balance sheet.
Concerns about handling the processing of identification documents relate to concerns stemming from previous frictions with employees of government institutions in general, a fear that accompanies Syrians inside and outside Syria as well, as correcting legal errors related to letters could take time and effort, unless the person is questioned, or sits in the long waiting chair in the court corridors for a simple modification of a paper or government transaction.
Regarding the guaranteed ways to obtain a visa to enter Turkish territory, Enab Baladi contacted one of her journalists, claiming the need for a “guaranteed visa”, with an office that identifies itself as providing services for the issuance of all documents certified by Syria, work permits, and preparation of the invitation file to arrive at the Turkish embassy.In Beirut, booking appointments for the Syrian consulate, translating identification documents, issuing residence permits and booking flights.
The office confirmed the possibility of obtaining a guaranteed visa if the person does not want to prepare and submit a dossier and await possible approval, but the cost of this guarantee is three thousand US dollars, which is submitted after the person in question receives a “visa”.
In this case, what is required of the person who sent the invitation, ie. residing in Turkey, is an email, a cell phone number and a copy of the passport, only, then “three thousand” of course.
What does the law say?
In the presence of mediators on the other side of Turkey, they are following in the footsteps of their predecessors working between Lebanon and Turkey, in the same way securing entry visas from Turkey to a European country, for large sums. of the “Free Syrian Bar Association” lawyer Ghazwan Kronfol confirmed in an interview with Enab Baladi that many of these offices, regardless of their visa destination, are a means of deceiving people and stealing their money.
Speaking about the offices that work for securing visas between Lebanon, Turkey and other countries in the region, the lawyer confirms that the high amounts they receive are related to the diversity of beneficiaries, emphasizing that these offices do not have a legal license for this. kind of work, but can get a tourist office license, used for these purposes.
There are offices in charge of obtaining the required paperwork with passport and visa fees, and these offices are intermediaries between the client and the consulate and in addition, the lawyer waives their licensing, stating that they may be held liable because they work. without a legal license.
Attorney Ghazwan Kronfol believes the case can only be controlled and restricted by people who ignore it, do not deal with it, and only seek entry visas through legal means, directly from consulates, or through country-approved offices, such as “I DATA” officially. approved by Turkey.
Regarding the legal responsibility that may fall on the office that made the “intervention” of the entry visa and the person who received it, the lawyer confirms that the person who received the visa is not legally responsible, but the office that brought the “visa” may be held liable for fraud or illicit enrichment if the amount he has received in exchange for visa security has been excessive and above the real cost of the fees set, with the addition of a small amount as a fee for office services, which he has to invoice according to the official invoices he submits to the applicant, which certainly will not happen with transactions of This type.