Former refugees denied Dutch nationality without birth certificate

Just 6,000 of the 27,000 people who made use of a 2007 amnesty for asylum seekers have taken Dutch nationality, according to refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk.

The ruling, which applied to people whose cases had taken more than six years to process, also states they have the right to a Dutch passport after a five year residency permit.

However, since 2012 people who want to take Dutch nationality have to hand over a birth certificate and ID from their country of origin to do so, and many refugees don’t have such documents.

‘The government is creating two-tier citizenship,’ Vluchtelingenwerk spokeswoman Dorine Manson told television programme Nieuwsuur. She says the government knew at the time many asylum seekers would not have appropriate documents.

Identity fraud

The organisation says people are now worried they could be sent back after all should the law change again.

Immigration minister Fred Teeven says he sees no reason to treat refugees differently to other immigrants.

‘Foreigners who want to become Dutch have to show they are who they say they are. This is important in stopping identity fraud,’ a spokesman for the minister told the programme.

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