Asylum seeker numbers down sharply

6th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 January 2004AMSTERDAM — The number of people seeking asylum in the Netherlands fell sharply in 2004, the Justice Ministry in The Hague has said.

6 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — The number of people seeking asylum in the Netherlands fell sharply in 2004, the Justice Ministry in The Hague has said.

The Netherlands has toughened its immigration and asylum policies in the last four years. It is currently working to expel 26,000 unsuccessful applicants for asylum, many of whom have been waiting for years for a decision.

Just over 9,800 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands last year. This was 30 percent down on the number of applications in 2003.

NOS news reported the larest number came from Iraq (1,041), with Somalia in second place with 793 applicants. Afghanistan was in third with 688 applications.

Some 32,000 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 2001, the year a tough new immigration law came into force. The number of applications the following year fell to 18,667, and 13,402 by 2003.

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) turned down 40 percent of applications in the initial assessment last year.  The assessment takes four to six weeks.

In previous years, the IND took years — in many cases — to assess the eligibility of asylum applicants.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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