IND denies changing IT system again

16th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 February 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has denied claims many residence permit applications filed before 1 November 2005 will be delayed for up to six months due to the introduction of a new computer system.

16 February 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has denied claims many residence permit applications filed before 1 November 2005 will be delayed for up to six months due to the introduction of a new computer system.

IND spokesperson Martin Bruinsma said on Thursday there was no new computer system or a policy of applications being delayed.

A source familiar with the immigration process told Expatica that there was talk within the IND of changes being made to the IT system to bring about improvements. But Bruinsma denied this. "The last new computer system was the one introduced in 2004, and that is already two years ago," he said.

The IND's IT system was the subject of posts this week on a forum operated by buitenlandsepartner, a group representing Dutch citizens who want to bring a partner into the country. 

A member of the group, writing under the name 'henny',  claimed on 13 February she had been informed by the IND telephone information line that as a result of a new computer system the processing of "all applications filed before 1 November 2005 are being deferred for six months or more by order of the management of the IND".

'Melis', another member of the group, replied: "We also got the same information. That there will be [a] delay due to their renovation in their computer system".

Her application was filed prior to 1 November last year. She said her partner rang the IND three months later to check on the progress. "We were told the application was being processed and we would have a decision before the end of January," 'Melis' told Expatica.

"But when we contacted the information line in late January, we were told a new computer system had been installed and our application had not been looked at yet," she said. 

The IND's Bruinsma said he could not comment on statements allegedly made by the IND helpline staff.

He said the organisation is prioritising "new" applications - requests filed in the last week and the week before". Another capacity team, Bruinsma said, is giving priority to "old" applications that were filed in 2005 and are still awaiting a decision.

Appeals against decisions taken in relation to applications from 2005 would take longer, he said. Asked if the delay in dealing with an appeal could take six months or more, Bruinsma replied: "Six months is a bit long; it would be less than that."

Bruinsma said the IND is continually improving its services. Last year the accelerated process for highly-skilled expats was launched and there is also a new desk to deal with student applications.

He said "people coming from abroad have a great advantage". For instance, family re-unification/partner applications are being dealt with inside three months generally, rather than four or five months in the past.

Paul Streumer, chairman of Buitenlandsepartner, agreed this is true. However, he said partner applicants face a number of hurdles. "In some cases, people have had to wait six months to receive an entry visa (MVV) which is valid for 12 months from the date the application," he said.

In most cases, the MVV is granted (or denied in more than 50 percent of the cases) within three months. Then there is up to a six months' wait is for the first VVR, the residence permit for one year from the date of entry into the Netherlands. After that comes a permit for up to five years, depending on the validity of the passport of the applicant.

Dutch people applying to bring in a partner have to earn 120 percent of the minimum wage. "About 60 to 80 percent of the working women in the Netherlands don't get such a wage," Streumer said.

And the foreign partner has to undergo an integration examination in their home country "while everyone agrees the exam is bad and the technology is bad". The biggest problem, Streumer said, is that the Dutch rarely exported their culture abroad and "when they did they did so in English".

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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