Cabinet’s asylum plan would mean 5,800 fewer family reunification requests in a year
If State Secretary Eric van der Burg (Asylum) gets his plan to temporarily limit family reunification implemented, an estimated 5,800 fewer people will come to the Netherlands in the coming 12 months, Nieuwsuur reports based on figures from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) in its possession. They are relatives of asylum seekers who will likely still come to the Netherlands at a later date.
Currently, refugees can apply for their relatives to join them once their asylum application is approved. That often takes longer than a year. In Van der Burg’s plan, having refugee status is not enough. The refugee must first have a home before their family can join them. If that doesn’t happen within fifteen months, family reunification can occur. That means asylum seekers may have to wait for 2.5 years before reuniting with their families in the Netherlands.
Left-wing opposition parties severely criticized this plan during a parliamentary debate on the reception crisis on Thursday. Coalition parties D66 and ChristenUnie also questioned the legal substantiation of the plan. But Van der Burg believes it will hold up in court because the alternative is an overloaded asylum system.
The IND figures also showed that another 5,900 family members will still come to the Netherlands soon, even if Van der Burg’s plans go through. Their applications have already been approved.