Hussein has travelled alone from Aleppo, Syria, to Germany. He has already achieved a level of B1 in German and is currently refining his language skills. His life in Europe is pretty good. The only thing that is difficult for him, is the separation from his family (Hussein’s brother and parents live in Turkey). He’s in touch with them, but can’t get a visa for a visit.
“To be be separated from each other isn’t easy, but there’s nothing we can do. I made the choice to come here (Germany, ed.). And I have never regretted it. It’s good here. I must bear the consequences of my choices.
“Some family members are declared more import than others. A bit arbitrary, isn’t it?”
If I got married, I could get my wife to Germany through the right to family reunification, but not my parents. I have mixed feelings about that. My family means everything to me. The state creates a hierarchy that doesn’t exist for me: some family members are declared more import than others. A bit arbitrary, isn’t it? On the other hand, I understand that ‘the doors can’t just be opened to everyone’. Germany has received me very warmly. I have to accept the rules here.
The only thing that is hard to accept for me, is that I can’t travel to Turkey. As a refugee, you need a visa, which isn’t easy to obtain. If I could make one policy recommendation, it would be to simplify the visa procedure. I’ve been separated from my family for a long time and would love to see them again.”
In March 2016, it has been 2 years since Germany suspended the right to family reunification for refugees who have received the weaker subsidiary protection, in place of full refugee status, according to the Convention of Geneva.