‘Thousands of asylum seekers lied about who they were’: RTLZ

refugees protestThousands of people lied about their identity in order to qualify for the amnesty for long-term asylum seekers which was introduced in 2007, news broadcaster RTLZ said on Monday evening.

In total, 28,000 people were given residency permits under the amnesty because they had been in the Netherlands since April 2001. However, there were age and other requirements and this was a reason for many asylum seekers to lie about who they were, the broadcaster said.

The broadcaster did not give further details of the numbers or name any sources.

It quoted a worker from the immigration service as saying that they saw ‘dozens’ of fraud cases a week and a government lawyer as saying that most people who were given a residency permit at the time had an entirely or partly false identity.

A lawyer representing Chinese asylum seekers said 80% to 90% were not who they said they were.

Problems came to light when they tried to bring friends and family to the Netherlands and the names on passports did not match.


MPs have called on junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff to clarify the situation as soon as possible and get to the bottom of the claims.

The ministry told the programme makers that there has been a registration system for this sort of case since 2012. In total, 32 people who were given residency permits as part of the amnesty have been investigated and all have been allowed to keep their papers.

In 2014, 50 people who were included in the amnesty lost their residency permits and in just four cases, they had lied about their identity, the ministry said

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