Justice Min. wants asylum seekers to pay for long stays in shelters: report

The Ministry of Justice and Security wants asylum seekers to pay for long-term stay in an asylum center. Currently, if an asylum application is handled too slowly, the asylum seeker can claim compensation for the extended stay in the asylum center. The Ministry is now working on a plan to recover part of that amount, NRC reports.

If the asylum seeker in question has more than a certain amount in assets, they will be obliged to make a contribution to paying for their accommodation in the asylum center, according to the Ministry's plan. For a single asylum seeker, that limit is 6,255 euros, for a family it is 12,450 euros. How much they will have to pay to the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Currently, asylum seekers are entitled to compensation if their asylum application is not processed within six months. Last year these penalty payments cost the immigration and naturalization service IND 5.5 million euros. 

Vluchtelingenwerk, an organization that supports refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands, is critical of the Ministry's plan. "We understand that asylum seekers are asked to contribute something if they can," the organization said. "But it is very cynical if the government has to pay a fine with one hand and seize it back with the other."