Teeven wants light travel bans lifted

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State Secretary of Justice Fred Teeven wants to lift the ban for visitors who overstay their visas in Europe.

Foreigners with tourist and business visas who illegally stay a few days longer than planned in the Netherlands, but are willing to leave, may get a two-year ban from entering the country again. Teeven told the Second Chamber that this ban should be dropped; he said he will also raise the matter at EU level.

Teeven wrote the Second Chamber today that the ban should stay in place for people who stay illegally in the Netherlands for extended period of time and for those who might evade supervision. He said their ban should be dependent on the time they stay here illegally and their willingness to leave.

The "strict" ban for foreigners who pose a threat to public order and national security should also remain. This ban can be for as long as 20 years.

In 2012 and 2013 the Netherlands issued 8,000 entry bans, 7,000 of these for lighter violations of the visa restrictions. People who violate a "light" ban run the risk of a stiff fine, but this rarely happens. Violating a "heavy" ban is considered a crime and can lead to jail time.