Minister ups payoff for rejected asylum seekers

21st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 June 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Asylum seekers who have been refused asylum in the Netherlands will in future be paid EUR 2,320 if they voluntarily leave the country. That is almost double the present departure sum.

21 June 2004

AMSTERDAM — Asylum seekers who have been refused asylum in the Netherlands will in future be paid EUR 2,320 if they voluntarily leave the country. That is almost double the present departure sum.

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk also said they will receive a free ticket and might also be compensated for the cost of transporting their household goods back to their country of origin.

A family with two children has a right to a departure payment of about EUR 6,050, news agency ANP reported on Monday. The parents will be paid an extra EUR 965 for every additional child.

But the Dutch Refugee Council (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland) is not confident the higher sums — about six times higher for a family — will stimulate many more asylum seekers to return to their home country, places where they left due to fears for their safety.

The new regulation only applies to rejected asylum seekers who entered the Netherlands before 1 April 2001 when the former immigration law was still in place. In total, about 26,000 of these people will be ejected from the Netherlands in next few years.

The 26,000 rejected long-term asylum seekers failed to win a residence permit under a recent government amnesty, which allowed 2,300 others to remain in the country. Of those 26,000, about 3,000 have already received a definite refusal on their asylum   requests and the rest are expected to be rejected in the near future also.

Asylum seekers who are part of the group that arrived before April 2001, but have already returned voluntarily to their land of origin, cannot apply for a back payment of the new figure.

Only rejected asylum seekers who voluntarily co-operate in the first phase of their deportation from the Netherlands will come into consideration for the departure sum.

If they refuse to co-operate in the first eight weeks, their departure will then be organised by government authorities and they will not receive the departure sum.

Meanwhile, Minister Verdonk also told Radio 1 on Sunday that she will accept the advice from a government commission which issued recommendations on Friday about her plans to force immigrants to integrate into Dutch society.

The commission said that immigrants who settle in the Netherlands must be able to speak Dutch on the same level that the average Dutch national can speak English.

But it also said that immigrants older than 50 who have been in the Netherlands for many years and are on social security benefits but are not obliged to seek work should be exempted from having to sit an integration exam.

Under leadership of Liberal VVD member Jan Franssen, the commission also said every immigrant aged 16 or more and foreigners who wish to settle permanently in the Netherlands  should be required to pass an integration exam from 2006.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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