The number of new refugees coming to the Netherlands hit 7,900 in the second quarter of this year, an increase of almost 600 on the same period in 2022 and 15% up on the first three months.
But so far this year, arrivals are well down on the government forecasts, which suggested more than 76,000 people could apply for asylum in the Netherlands in 2023.
That forecast led to crisis talks and calls for measures to reduce the flow of new arrivals, following last summer’s chaotic scenes when hundreds of people were forced to sleep outdoors.
The cabinet eventually fell at the start of last month after ministers failed to agree on measures to reduce the number of family members applying to join partners and parents.
According to the new CBS figures, 2,625 close family members travelled to the Netherlands to join relatives here in the second three months of the year, up by almost a quarter on the first quarter, but down 17% when compared with 2022.
In particular, fewer Syrians, Iranians and Eritreans came to the Netherlands to join parents and partners who had been given formal refugee status, the CBS said.
In total, the immigration service IND received 20,122 new, repeat and family requests for asylum in the first six months of 2023, just slightly up on last year.
Nevertheless, according to broadcaster NOS, the IND is still facing a backlog of almost 37,000 initial and repeat applications and 22,000 from family members. On average, waiting times for people applying for asylum in the Netherlands have now gone up to over a year.
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