Some 8,000 refugees have been waiting for too long for a BSN number which enables them to work and find a regular home, the Volkskrant reported on Monday.
The long waiting times are due to a backlog at city councils who are charged with administering the BSN system. Most have been waiting for more than nine months.
Without a BSN it is impossible to open a bank account which as a knock-on impact on finding a place to live. Without a bank account it is also impossible to get a legal job, refugee agency Vluchtelingenwerk has warned.
This generation of refugees ‘is making a false start in the Netherlands due to the long waiting times,’ the agency told the paper.
Life in ordinary refugee centres and emergency shelters is already austere and monotonous and work or job prospects could change this, the agency said. ‘A BSN is much more than a piece of administration.’
The government considers one of the most important ways newcomers can integrate into the Netherlands is through work. The aim of official integration policy is to ‘enable newcomers to become part of society quickly… ideally through paid work.’
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