Refugee numbers top 10,600 in Q3, led by Syrians and Afghans

Photo: Ministry of justice
Photo: Ministry of justice

Over 10,600 people made a first request for asylum status in the Netherlands in the third quarter of this year, according to figures from the immigration service IND.

Asylum requests have increased following the lifting of coronavirus-related travel restrictions but are also up by 3,600 on the previous quarter.

The largest group – 4,600 – came from Syria, followed by nearly 1,000 people from Afghanistan and 935 from Turkey, national statistics agency CBS said, citing figures sourced from the IND.

More family members – 3,605 – also came to join close relatives who had been granted refugee status, most of whom also came from Syria, the figures show.

The Netherlands is currently grappling with a refugee housing crisis, because the shortage of regular housing means people with residency permits are unable to leave refugee centres.

According to the refugee settlement agency COA, almost 50,000 people are currently living in its facilities and emergency accommodation such as tents, but almost 18,000 of them have residency permits and should be integrating into Dutch society.

The government is now planning to stop family members moving to the Netherlands unless their relatives have proper accommodation, because of the housing crisis.

Just one sixth of the Netherlands 345 towns, cities and villages currently provide some form of refugee accommodation.

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