Friday 01 July 2022

Dozens of refugees have lost their permits after holidaying back home

Refugee children on the Syrian border.Several dozen refugees have lost their residency permits in the past two years for traveling back to their country of origin, caretaker junior justice minister Klaas Dijkstra has said in answer to MPs questions.

The minister’s statement follows claims in the Telegraaf that refugees from Eritrea are going back to their home country on holiday or to visit family.

Dijkhoff said that since mid 2015 around 100 refugees have been investigated  because they had visited their homeland. Several dozen had since lost their residency permits but no Eritrean nationals were among them.

Officials have now introduced extra checks on flights which could be used by Eritrean refugees returning home and those checks will continue for the time being, Dijkhoff said.

He said the immigration service nearly always takes action to withdraw permits if refugees are found to have visited the country they are fleeing. However, refugees with permanent residency rights can visit their home country without consequences, the minister said.

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