Merita Hoxha Maksuti, a mother whose daughter, Maja, is receiving medical treatment in Austria, has had her visa application rejected for the fourth time in a row to visit her five-year-old, whose health is deteriorating day by day.
The mother, who shared her journey to obtain a Schengen visa to Austria in order to join her daughter, in a Facebook post, says that her patience is now over after all the challenges she’s gone through.
“The Austrian Embassy in Skopje has finally made it impossible for me to reunite with my daughter, Maja, who is going through the most difficult moments of life without me,” she wrote.
Merita is a citizen of Kosovo, Western Balkan’s last country the citizens of which need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area countries for short term purposes. Not only that she needs a visa to enter the territory of Austria to see her daughter, but she also needs to travel to neighbouring North Macedonia in order to apply for a Schengen Visa at the Austrian embassy in Skopje, as the Austrian government authorities in Kosovo do not issue visas of this nature.
In spite of the challenges to obtain a visa, Merita claims that she has followed all required procedures in order to get one, but yet, the embassy has refused to grant her a visa, even after the fourth application was submitted.
“The negligence that started in the institutions of Kosovo continued in those of the Austrian embassy, which gave the last kick to the hope that I have kept during these terrible months. It is strange to deny a mother the right to care for her sick child, but justice does not seem to matter when it comes to embassy bureaucracy,” Merita writes.
She further explains that during her first application, she was told to buy a plane ticket and then she would get her visa for sure. Yet, when she provided the ticket, she was still rejected from getting a visa. Instead, the embassy staff told her to bring more documents each time, until, on the fourth time, she was rejected without being given any reason behind this decision.
“Now, after four tickets bought, dozens of accommodations secured, and hundreds of other expenses lost in vain, the Austrian Embassy in Skopje decided that this visa is still inaccessible to me. No reason,” Merita says.
She also notes that amongst the documents that she has submitted to the embassy include an invitation letter by the hospital where her daughter is being treated, as well as a guarantee that the hospital has received a fund of € 10,000 for Maja’s treatment.
SchengenVisaInfo.com has contacted the Austrian Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia, regarding the case but has received no response so far.
In the meantime, Merita, as a desperate mother to see her ill child, has warned that she will in one way or another meet up with her daughter soon, even if that means taking illegal routes.
“This has pushed me to embark on another journey, uncertain and against my will. Since the law will not know about me, I will leave for Austria illegally. Nothing in this world can separate me from my Maya,” Merita wrote at the end of her Facebook post.
Yet, there might still be hope for Merita to get a visa and travel to see her daughter through legal means. Starting from November 1 this year, the Schengen representation of Austria in Kosovo will be resumed by the Swiss embassy in Pristina.
“Desired dates for applications for Visa C from November 1, 2021, can already be arranged online via TLS Contact,” the Austrian Embassy in Skopje announced recently.
Maybe this embassy will make justice to a mother who is willing to do anything to see her child.
This article is also available in German