Refugees who have gained the right to stay in the Netherlands should face fewer bureaucratic hurdles if they want a Dutch passport, the national ombudsman and children’s ombudsman have said.
Under current rules former refugees can apply for Dutch nationality after they have been resident in the country for five years. However, their efforts often fail because they cannot produce their original passport or birth certificate.
Rules are in place to accommodate people whose documents have been lost or destroyed, but municipalities and the immigration service IND are not good at co-operating on the issue, officials said.
Around 27,000 people have been given leave to stay in the country since an amnesty was introduced for long-term asylum seekers, many of whom arrived in the country as children, but only around 30 per cent of them have obtained Dutch nationality.
‘Thousands of people, including many young adults, who have built up a life in the Netherlands, studied here and speak and write Dutch, have become Dutch but do not have Dutch passports,’ ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen wrote in a report. ‘Ten years after the amnesty, it should be easier for them to obtain Dutch nationality.’
In a separate report, also published on Tuesday, the children’s ombudsman called for underage asylum seekers to be assessed separately from their parents. At present if the parents are denied refugee status their children’s applications are automatically rejected too.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation