Refugee stream continues to tail off, fewer arrive in May than a year ago
The number of asylum seekers coming to the Netherlands fell to 1,430 in May, half the figure of May 2015 but 105 up on April, according to national statistics office CBS.
Of that total, 360 were family members joining close relatives who have been given residency permits, the CBS said. Around 25% of the total refugee stream was made up of Syrian nationals, followed by Eritreans and Albanians.
Albanian nationals are always sent back because Albania is considered a safe country. In January, the Netherlands reached a deal with the Albanian authorities to deport illegal immigrants in large groups by specially chartered planes.
Albanians who agree to return voluntarily are given a plane ticket and €200. Since January 2015, 385 people have taken advantage of this scheme.
Meanwhile, research by television programme EenVandaag suggests around 80% of refugees in the Netherlands feel safe and two-thirds say they feel welcome. But nearly all have had a least one negative experience.
The broadcaster questioned some 600 refugees at centres across the country.
Some seven in 10 said the Netherlands has a positive image when it comes to discrimination and this is one of the main reasons for coming here.
Three-quarters of the refugees questioned came from Syria and almost nine in 10 were male, EenVandaag said.