Netherlands to deport a fourth of recent asylum seekers

About a quarter of the people who submitted asylum application in the Netherlands during the first months of 2016 will likely be refused a residency permit and sent back to their home countries. This is because these people came from countries that are considered "safe" and therefore only qualify for refugee status in exceptional circumstances. 

During the first nine weeks of this year about 900 people from Albania, Serbia and Kosovo asked for asylum in the Netherlands, countries that are considered safe. There were also a number of asylum applications from other safe countries, bringing the number of such asylum applications up to 25 percent of the total, according to figures released by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on Monday.

A total of about 6,300 asylum applications were submitted in the Netherlands in the first 9 weeks of this year - 4,400 first application, 300 re-submissions and 1,600 people applying to join a family member with a residency permit in the Netherlands. About 1,000 of the first applications came from Syrian asylum seekers.

Syrian asylum seekers also formed the bulk of applications received in 2015. A massive 27,700 asylum seekers came from Syria. Eritrea is in second place with 8,400. A total of 58,880 people asked for asylum in the Netherlands last year.

Asylum applications submitted by people from safe countries are given priority since the beginning of this month. The idea is that they can be rejected and deported quickly, making room for asylum seekers from unsafe countries. Applications from safe countries are rejected as unfounded. But the applicant is given the opportunity to show that his or her particular situation is unsafe and that he needs asylum.