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Closed petition Create a Turkish Family Scheme visa for people homeless due to the earthquake

I would like the Government to help and support people in Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, who are homeless and have family in the UK to come to the UK, like the Ukraine Family Scheme visa.

More details

There many Turkish people in the UK whose family are stuck homeless because of the earthquake and are worried about them. The Government should allow Turkish people living in the UK to bring their family members to the UK.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 1 March 2023

The Government has no plans to adopt this proposal but has responded with life-saving support to people affected in the region. Existing visa routes for those wishing to come to the UK are available.

Read the response in full

Following the earthquake on 6 February the UK Government responded immediately with life-saving support to people in Turkey and Syria. On 7 February, a UK International Search and Rescue team arrived in Gaziantep and commenced search and rescue operations within the critical 72-hour rescue window, in coordination with Turkish authorities. On 8 February the UK Government announced that the UK would provide a package of life-saving support to earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria. The UK has also sent a team of medical personnel with surgical capabilities and equipment to eastern Turkey for the build of a field hospital to provide urgently needed, life-saving care. We are delivering our humanitarian assistance quickly, given the magnitude of these earthquakes and freezing winter conditions. More information on the UK Government’s response to the Turkey/Syria earthquake, including the commitment to match fund £5 million of public donations to the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/turkey-and-syria-earthquakes-uk-government-response.

The situation in Turkey is different to that in Ukraine and every crisis situation requires a tailored response. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to ongoing conflict and instability which continues to endanger the lives of Ukrainians and our Schemes have been created to provide temporary sanctuary until their country is safe to return to.

The situation in parts of Turkey which have been affected by devastating earthquakes calls for a different type of support. The UK is coordinating closely with the Turkish government to ensure our support meets the needs on the ground and that we can stay responsive to emerging needs.

The UK Government has no plans to create a new visa scheme for family members of British citizens affected by the earthquake. We recognise that some people displaced by the natural disaster may wish to join family in the UK, and where those family members do not have a current UK visa, they can apply for one via one of our standard visa routes, which remain available, and applications can be submitted at the nearest Visa Application Centre.

The UK Government continues to support British nationals with relatives impacted by the devastating natural disaster in Turkey and Syria, including through the British Embassy in Ankara (https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-ankara). Where family members wish to come to the UK, they can apply for a UK visa. The UK has six Visa Application Centres in Turkey, including a centre in Adana closest to the epicentre, which has increased its support for people looking to apply for a UK visa and enable those who have already applied online to submit their biometrics. Details can be found here: https://pos.tlscontact.com/ada_en/address.

Those wishing to come to the UK for a short time to stay with family can apply for a visit visa which allows them to stay in the UK for up to six months. Further details about visiting the UK are available here: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor. Immediate family members of British citizens, and those settled in the UK, who wish to come and live in the UK can apply under one of the existing family visa routes. Further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa.

Home Office

MPs debate support for Türkiye and Syria after the recent earthquake

On Thursday 23 February, MPs debated support for Türkiye and Syria after the recent earthquake. Some MPs who took part in the debate asked about arrangements for handling visa applicants for people affected by the earthquake, and if temporary visa systems should be put in place.

This was a Westminster Hall debate, led by Wendy Morton MP. David Rutley MP, a Minister from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, responded to the debate

What are Westminster Hall debates?

Westminster Hall is the second Chamber of the House of Commons.

Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister. Any MP can take part in a Westminster Hall debate.

Debates in Westminster Hall take place on ‘general debate' motions expressed in neutral terms. These motions are worded ‘That this House has considered [a specific matter]'.

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MPs discuss the situation in Türkiye and Syria following the recent earthquakes

On Wednesday 1 March the Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Andrew Mitchell MP, gave a statement to the House of Commons on the situation in Türkiye and Syria, following the recent earthquakes.

The Minister updated MPs on the measures the Government has taken to support rescue efforts in Türkiye and Syria.

Following the statement the Minister was questioned by MPs, with some asking whether the Government would provide temporary visas for those who have been affected by the earthquakes and have family in the UK.

What are Ministerial statements?

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House.

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