Asylum seeker can stay as student

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Angolan asylum seeker Mauro Manuel has been granted a temporary student visa enabling him to stay in the Netherlands until next September.

Mr Manuel came to the Netherlands 10 years ago as an unaccompanied underage asylum seeker. When he turned 18 earlier this year, he was told by the authorities he had to leave the country. His case caused controversy, with many people saying he had become ‘too Dutch’ to be sent back to Angola.

The affair was widely seen as a test of the present minority government’s tough approach to asylum issues and immigration policy in general. Observers put this tough stance down to the fact that the minority coalition relies on support from Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration Freedom Party for a majority in parliament.

In a compromise forecast by many, Immigration Minister Gerd Leers has now ruled Mr Manuel can stay in the country to complete his further education course for 2012. He will be able to apply for an extension of the visa if he continues his studies.

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© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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