Refugees to be concentrated in three large centres, as IND shakes up process

Photo: UNHCR/ Ruiter

The government is planning to close dozens of refugee centres and assessment offices because of the sharp drop in the number of Syrian asylum seekers coming to the Netherlands, the AD said on Friday.

The aim is to have three large centres where asylum claims can be processed under one roof, and therefore more quickly, the paper says. The AD bases its claim on immigration service plans for refugee housing and the new government’s coalition agreement.

The refugee settlement agency, COA, is already being reduced in size.

Acting IND head Nanette van Schelven said the service would continue to take into account a potential rise in refugee numbers. ‘But we are going to shrink and make sure we work more efficiently,’ she said.

The aim, Van Schelven said, is to have a fast check on whether an asylum seeker has any chance of being given refugee status

In 2015, 58,000 refugees came to the Netherlands. Last month just 2,305 arrived – compared with 4,000 a year ago.

The IND hopes the changes will have been implemented by 2022.

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