Syrian expats try and get visas for their refugee relatives in Jordan

Published July 18th, 2012 - 07:59 GMT
Syrian border
Syrian border

Desperation is forcing a large percentage of Syrian expats to apply for work or visitation visas for relatives currently living as refugees in Jordan.

It is estimated close to 150,000 Syrian refugees who fled the violence in their home country are taking refuge in the city of Mafraq in northern Jordan.

There are no refugee camps along the border of Syria and Jordan, forcing refugees to rent homes. Those in need of financial assistance are forced to live in dire conditions, often without shelter. Their plight is made worse by the lack of official or voluntary aid organizations to help them.

“More than 35 percent of refugees have close relatives working in Saudi Arabia,” Muhammad Al-Tarkawi, member of the Syrian National Council, told Arab News recently. “Efforts are currently underway to identify these refugees and to-date, 250 families have been found in Mafraq and have had their applications registered,” he added. Visitation visas have already been issued to 10 percent of Syrian refugees living in Jordan.

“Syrian expats face difficulty getting visas for their relatives. Visas are generally issued to people with professions such as doctors and engineers, while those without professional qualifications are denied,” Al-Tarkawi said. He commended the Kingdom’s efforts to support the Syrian people in their struggle and has requested that all refugees with close relatives working in the Kingdom, be allowed to visit.

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