Trial of document inspection system

3rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — The four largest Dutch cities and embassies will test a new system of inspection for foreign documents, ending a period of limited inspections due to a conflict with the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

3 June 2005

AMSTERDAM — The four largest Dutch cities and embassies will test a new system of inspection for foreign documents, ending a period of limited inspections due to a conflict with the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Due to the conflict over who should pay for the inspections, many municipal authorities suspended registering birth and marriage certificates from several 'problem countries' last April to prevent possible fraud.

In the new trial system, city authorities will pre-select dossiers and hand over suspicious documents to the Dutch embassies in the respective country. The embassies will then examine the documents.

A large arrears in the processing of foreign documents has built up in Amsterdam due to the limited inspections. Immigrants can encounter problems due to the delays because they are unable to be recorded in the municipal's population register.

However, municipalities require a competent verification to prevent immigrants using fraudulent documents to be registered, which in turn gives access to social security, rent subsidy and child allowance.

Forged documents often originate from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the Dominican Republic. There are also problems with Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The embassies verified and legalised these documents up until last year. However, after a Council of State ruling in October 2004, embassies no longer wanted to verify the documents.

Municipal councils were then required to more stringently check the documents, but did not have sufficient funding. Inspections cost EUR 48 million per year.

The Foreign, Interior and Justice ministries were urged on Thursday to draw up a new, permanent system for verification and legalisation.

The association of municipalities VNG, the four largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) and the Association of Civil Affairs pointed to the risks and costs to society if people use fraudulent documents.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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