Some 42,000 refugees and 26,000 family members are still waiting to hear if their asylum applications will be granted, according to new figures from the IND immigration service.
“The waiting lists have been growing for some time and because the pressure on the IND remains high, the waiting times will continue to go up,” the department said in an update. Next year the service expects to receive between 49,000 and 76,000 new applications, even though it can only cope with 47,000 a year.
One reason for the extra delay is the decision by parliament to bring back interviews for refugees from Syria and Yemen.
Written questioning had replaced some face to face meetings for refugees considered likely to be given permits. However, in September, MPs voted narrowly in favour of a return to interviews because of fears the Netherlands was becoming “more attractive than other EU countries”.
So far this year, nearly 10,000 refugees with residency permits have been found homes outside the state-run refugee centres but to meet targets, a further 22,000 need to be housed. A further 18,000 need to be found a home in the first half of next year.
Nearly 16,000 of the people currently in official refugee centres should be living in regular housing because they have been given a permit to stay.
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