High cost of becoming Dutch hits stateless refugees

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Just 1,670 people have applied for a Dutch passport under new rules for the stateless, news website Nu.nl reported on Friday, quoting justice ministry figures.

In total over 8,000 refugees are entitled to a Dutch passport since the rules on naturalisation were relaxed to cover people who did not have a valid passport or birth certificate, but who had qualified to stay in the Netherlands under the 2007 amnesty.

In particular, the cost of naturalisation, which can be as high as €945, is a major obstacle said Yosef Tekeste-Yemane, who acts as a spokesman for the group.

But other issues, such as compulsory integration courses, can also be a problem, he said.

The rules were changed in November after a long campaign by MPs and human rights groups.

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