The Netherlands is more likely to give asylum seekers residency papers than the rest of the European Union, according to the head of the Dutch immigration service.
Rob van Lint said at the presentation of the IND’s annual report on Friday the organisation does not refuse as many people asylum as is often suggested. ‘The Netherlands honours 40% of requests compared with 27% in the rest of the EU,’ he said.
The difference is partly due to legislation in individual member states, even though the EU is striving towards a common policy, Van Lint said. ‘But nor do we nod everyone through. The demands we make are tough enough.’
In 2012, 13,650 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands, a drop of almost 7% on 2011. The reduction was particularly apparent in the first half. At the same time, the number of people making a second application rose 26%.
Most applicants came from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
The number of requests for naturalisation rose almost 10% compared with 2011 to almost 29,000.