Compensation for refugees facing long procedures to hit €55m


The government expects to pay out at least €55 million in compensation to asylum seekers whose cases take too long to process by the end of 2024.

Immigration minister Eric van der Burg has told MPs in a briefing that the immigration service IND has assessed the current situation and estimates that at best, €55 million will be paid out.

The figure is based on a 15-month average procedure but if this is successfully challenged in court, the compensation package could be higher, the minister said.

Previously, compensation was payable after a six-month wait. However, the IND is grappling with major staff shortages and unable to keep pace with the number of new arrivals.

Asylum seekers whose cases are delayed can get up to €1,442 in compensation.

MPs have been pressing the government to scrap the compensation payments for years. However, the Council of State, the highest Dutch administrative court, has ruled that ending compensation would conflict with European law.

The cabinet collapsed earlier this month after the four coalition parties failed to reach a deal on slowing family reunification procedures for refugees.

The government expects over 70,000 refugees to come to the Netherlands this year, including family members but so far figures are well below this. Last year the figure was 46,000.

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