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June 9, 2023

Netherlands Struggling to Handle Growing Number of Applications from Asylum

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has revealed that the system does not have full capacity to process the large number of asylum requests within the legal period as the number of applications from highly skilled and labour migrants and international students is also increasing.

Additionally, the service claims that it recently had to support increasingly detailed decisions, which need additional time and careful attention to be processsed, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In the second Performance Update, the IND details various obstacles it encounters in fulfilling its societal role, insisting that overcoming these challenges demands a fundamentally new approach to migration policy.

According to the General Director of IND, Rhodia Maas, for a long time IND has received many more applications than it has been equipped to process.

“Until now, we have been able to decide on more applications than we promised in advance. Despite this, it takes longer until applicants get clarity about their future in the Netherlands. This long period of uncertainty is horrible,” Mass also noted.

She also revealed that the IND agrees every year with the Ministry of Justice and Security on how many applications to process, further asserting that one year is too short to equip a stable organisation. However, Mass said that for a solid foundation, IND should be able to see at least five years into the future.

Beyond the rising and unpredictable number of residency and naturalisation applications, the IND also highlights other obstacles, issues, and dilemmas in its operations in the second Performance Update.

In this Performance Update, the IND reveals that:

  • There is an increasing and unpredictable volume of applications
  • Policy is growing more complex
  • Legislation unintentionally impacts operations
  • Penalty cases are on the rise
  • Excessive, unnecessary contact with applicants is frequent
  • Information dissemination methods are outdated
  • IND lawyers are increasingly accessible to courts of law

The IND has recently been investigating how it has assessed asylum claims in the last 12 years in order to gain an overview of why the assessment of claims has become more difficult and what has caused this.

As the same authority explains, members of the main family such as the father, mother and children of someone with an asylum residence permit can come to the Netherlands. In addition, this includes adult children, who can then apply for asylum independently and have their own family.

Moreover, IND said that the growing and changing number of applications greatly affects its services, especially the telephone line and desk. Within the Ministry of Justice and Security, IND is also seeking solutions together with other organizations.