Asylum procedures to be tightened up

The justice ministry is to tighten the current procedures for asylum requests to make the process quicker and to try to stop people whose applications fail from going underground.

‘Asylum seekers should know where they stand as soon as possible,’ justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and his deputy Nebahat Albayrak told MPs on Tuesday. ‘Experience shows that deportation becomes more difficult the longer asylum seekers can delay their departure.’
The aim of the new procedures is to stop refugees being able to continually make new applications when old ones fail. The current initial application process is to be extended from five to eight working days to allow officials to carry out more thorough background checks. New arrivals will also go through a stringent health check in case they use their health as part of their claim.
Last year 9,731 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands, of which some 7,100 were first-time claims.
Asylum seekers whose claim is rejected will be given one month to leave the country. If they refuse to leave voluntarily, they will be placed in secure accommodation. As an extra encouragement, they will be given 1750 to restart their lives or help with setting up a business in their home country.
The ministers said they hoped this would stop failed asylum seekers disappearing out of the system.

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