Complaints lessen as IND cuts backlog

27th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) succeeded last year in clearing a large part of its backlog of unprocessed residence applications, the National Ombudsman said in his 2005 report on Thursday.

27 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) succeeded last year in clearing a large part of its backlog of unprocessed residence applications, the National Ombudsman said in his 2005 report on Thursday.

The number of complaints received about the IND declined last year and it improved its contactability, Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer said.

And highlighting the report on its website, the IND noted it was no longer the "leading supplier" of complaints. This position is held by the benefit payment agency (UWV).

The IND saw a decline in the number of complaints about its services to 13,200 last year, almost 2,000 fewer than the year before. Most of the complaints related to delays in handing applications or appeals. The received almost 1.7 million questions by telephone in 2005 and issued almost 200,000 resident permits.

Brenninkmeijer said one area of concern was that the IND continued to ignore legal rulings or postpone putting the court decisions into action.

The IND has been under fire for years in relation to the chaotic way it dealt with applications, resulting in long delays in issuing permits for students, expats and family migrants.

The Algemene Rekenkamer (General Accounting Office) said in a report last September that there were lots of problems within the IND in relation to processing regular residence applications, and that there was a lack of direction, cooperation and communication within the entire structure. Most of the problems arose in 2003 when the IND took over many tasks from the Vreemdelingenpolitie (Aliens Police).

This resulted in waiting times averaging 10 months for regular residence permits, while the legal maximum is six months. A large part of this backlog has been cleared as the problems caused by the transfer have been addressed, the IND said.

Processing of naturalisation requests has also been accelerated, from an average of 75 weeks to 31 - well within the legal maximum of 12 months.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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