Merita Khoja Maksooti, the mother of her daughter Maja receiving medical treatment in Austria, her application for a visa was refused for the fourth time in a row to visit her five-year-old daughter, 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, says in a Facebook post that her patience is now over after all the challenges she has been through.
She wrote: “The Austrian embassy in Skopje has made it impossible for me to meet my daughter Maja, who is going through the most difficult moments of life without me.”
Merita is a national of Kosovo, the last country in the Western Balkans whose citizens need a visa to travel to Schengen area countries for short-term purposes. Not only does she need a visa to enter the territory of Austria to see her daughter, but she also needs to travel to neighboring 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 type.
Despite the difficulties in obtaining a visa, Merita claims that she followed all the procedures required to obtain the visa, but the embassy refused to grant her the visa, even after submitting the fourth application.
“The neglect that began in the institutions of Kosovo has continued in the institutions of the Austrian embassy, which gave the last boost to the hope that I 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 the embassy bureaucracy” .
She further explained that during her first application, she was asked to buy a plane ticket and then she would definitely get the visa. However, when I submitted the ticket, she was still refused a visa. Instead, the embassy staff asked her to bring more documents each time, until she was refused a fourth time without giving any reason behind the decision.
“Now, after buying four tickets, securing dozens of accommodations, and missing hundreds of other expenses in vain, the Austrian Embassy in Skopje has decided that this visa is still not available to me. There is no reason,” says Merita.
She also notes that among the documents she submitted to the embassy were a letter of invitation from the hospital where her daughter was being treated, as well as a guarantee that the hospital had received 10,000 euros for Maja’s treatment.
TheSchengen.com has contacted the Austrian Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia, regarding the case but has yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, Merita, as a mother desperate to see her sick child, warned that she would somehow meet her daughter soon, even if it meant taking illegal ways.
“This has prompted 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 my Maya,” Merita wrote at the end of her Facebook post. .
However, there may still be hope for Merita to obtain a visa and travel to see her daughter through legal means. From 1 November this year, the Swiss Embassy in Pristina will resume the Schengen representation of Austria in Kosovo.
The Austrian Embassy in Skopje recently announced that “the dates required for the submission of C visa applications from 1 November 2021 can already be arranged online via TLS Contact.”
Perhaps this embassy does justice to a mother who would do anything to see her child.