Iranians struggle for a visa

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2000 to 3000 Iranians live in Eindhoven. These are primarily expats who work for high-tech companies in the region. Unrest has arisen in that community now that bringing family from Iran is becoming increasingly difficult.


Ellaheh has been living in the Netherlands since 2008. She first came to study at the TU/e. After her studies, she got a job at a Brainport company and now lives in Nunen. While it was initially no problem to have family fly in when she was a new arrival in the Netherlands, this has now changed since the corona crisis. “In the first years that I came to live here, visas were never a problem. I earned little money, but it was always possible to have family come over from Iran, and they also received long-term visas”.

Since 2020 it is no longer that simple. Applications are often initially rejected, followed by a lengthy objection procedure that can take up to six months, and for which lawyers are sometimes even called in.


The difficulties of obtaining visas for families also leaves their mark. “Emotionally it helps me and my children a lot to see their aunt and their nieces and nephews.  When you give birth and during the early child years, the support of a family is unquestionable. Documents from midwives on soon-to-occur deliveries are used as evidence for the need of family support. Yet the visa applications are rejected. “The purpose of the visit is unclear”, we are told”.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a response that it cannot say much about the difficulties with the visa. “I understand that it is annoying when people are not given permission to bring their family over,” said a spokesperson.

“There is a European visa code, that people have to comply with. Furthermore, it isn’t easy to speculate about which considerations have been made in specific cases. I can only say that if people used to get a visa easily and now they don’t, something must have changed in their circumstances”.


The Persia Eindhoven Foundation, representing the Iranian community, is also familiar with the problematic visa processes. The chairman, Soheil Kaboli, has firsthand experience himself.  “I experienced it myself. A visa application for my uncle was rejected. Something that had never happened in the thirty years I have lived here”. In the case of Kaboli’s uncle, too, there were fears that the man would stay in the Netherlands illegally. “I think that’s absurd. He’s an older man. He has his own business in Iran. Why would he want to stay here illegally?”

There is a Telegram group to help those with visa applications and objection procedures. Iranians from outside the region are also included because they are also experiencing problems. The group is reported to have over 1000 members.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Seetha

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