Immigration crisis: Why Syrians are not migrating to rich Gulf countries

As the crisis of Syrian refugees trying to enter European countries continues to escalate, many questions are being raised as to why the migrants are not trying to make their way into the rich countries of the Persian Gulf which are closer to their homeland.

Although for many years, a large number of migrants from Syria have made their way into countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, it is still not that easy for them to enter Arab countries.

Officially, for Syrians to enter Gulf countries they  have to apply for a tourist or work visa. However this is a process which costs a lot of money, and there is the perception that many of the Gulf countries impose great restrictions, making it extremely difficult for Syrians to obtain a visa.

It is believed that the Syrians who are granted a visa are those who already live in a Gulf country or those who have relatives in the country. For those with limited means there is also a physical distance between Syria and the Gulf.

Not welcome?

With a visa, Syrians cannot enter into certain Arab countries except for Algeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen.

Questions are being raised on social as well as traditional media as to whether Gulf states, some of which have enormous resources, have a duty bigger than that of Europeans towards the Syrians who for the last four years have been suffering from civil wars and oppression by Jihadist groups in their country.

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