IND rethinks: Jacob, 13, can stay in the Netherlands after all

Jacob (left) with school friends in the petition photo. Photo: Manon Veldhuis
Jacob (left) with school friends in the petition photo. Photo: Manon Veldhuis

A 13-year-old boy who faced deportation to Armenia along with his mother, even though they were Syrians who had never lived there, has been given the right to stay in the Netherlands after all.

Almost 170,000 people had signed a petition calling on the justice ministry to rethink.

The IND immigration service decided Jacob and Tina would be able to settle in Armenia with the help of distant relatives. Tina’s mother, grandmother and brother were all granted asylum in the Netherlands.

The problem arose because Tina got Armenian passports for herself and her son, so they could get a visa to travel to Europe, rather than escape war-torn Damascus with the help of people smugglers.

However, stories about a visa for Armenians proved to be false and Tina, who was 26 at the time, and Jacob, who was eight, made the journey to Europe in a small boat over the Mediterranean Sea

A spokesman for the family said they had been ‘overwhelmed by this fantastic news’ and thanked everyone for their support.

It is not clear why the IND changed its mind.

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