Immigration service to relax visa rules for some Syrians and Turks

The IND offices in The Hague. Photo:
The IND offices in The Hague. Photo:

The Dutch immigration service IND is to soften the return trip rules for some Syrian and Turkish nationals in the Netherlands to make it possible for them to visit family in the area affected by Monday’s massive earthquakes.

In particular, people in the Netherlands to work or to study will not have to pay for the special visa which they need to re-enter the Netherlands, the IND said on Thursday evening. The IND will also look more sympathetically at requests for such a visa, the agency said.

In addition, people in the Netherlands on short term visas will be able to extend them more easily for up to 180 days if they cannot return on time.

However, people who fled Syria and Turkey as refugees will not be able to get a return trip visa to visit their home country, even if they have a residency permit, because of the potential danger they face there, the IND said.

Refugees waiting to bring in family members may also now ask for that process to be speeded up because of the situation in their countries of origin. However, the IND said, it would not be able to take faster decisions on all cases because of the long waiting lists.

The special measures will last until March 9.

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