ID card for foreigners

28th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

28 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – Every foreigner staying in the Netherlands legally is entitled to an identity card. National ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer wrote this in a report that appears today. He said that foreigners without an ID card are unable to meet the identification requirement in effect in the Netherlands.

28 March 2007


AMSTERDAM – Every foreigner staying in the Netherlands legally is entitled to an identity card. National ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer wrote this in a report that appears today. He said that foreigners without an ID card are unable to meet the identification requirement in effect in the Netherlands.

There has long been confusion at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) about which foreigners are eligible for an ID card. Former minister Rita Verdonk (immigration and integration) had refused to grant ID cards to former asylum seekers who were living legally  in the Netherlands.

A spokesperson for the justice minister pointed out in a reaction that holding a valid passport is an important requirement for migrants to be admitted to the country. They should be encouraged to carry that with them.

Brenninkmeijer's report follows on complaints from foreigners and the Dutch Refugee Council. Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin said he will study the recommendations from the ombudsman.

Brenninkmeijer says the legal identification requirement has caused problems for many foreigners, especially for former asylum seekers who are waiting for a regular residence permit and victims of human trafficking.

They face difficulties when they try to apply for bank services or healthcare. Young foreigners can also encounter problems if they are unable to show ID at school or an internship. Any legal alien may be fined if they are unable to show identification when requested by police.

The ombudsman thinks that the government should provide ID cards since it has set the identification requirement in law. The application for a Dutch passport takes a long time and Brenninkmeijer says the government should ensure that there is a solution in the meantime that allows foreigners to take part in society.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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