Children’s pardon

The Final Regulation for long-term resident children, which is the official name of the Children's Pardon, was a regulation under which children and their family members who until then did not have a residence permit, could apply for a residence permit. The fact that the regulation was enacted was a political decision. Politicians wanted to do something for families who had often stayed in the Netherlands without lawful residence. The final regulation was opened early in 2019 and all applications for it were handled by the end of 2019.

Who qualified for the Children's Pardon?

The regulation was broken down into two groups. The first group were families that had relied on the former regulation, but who were rejected on the basis of the 'cooperation criterion'. This entailed that someone must have cooperated in his departure. That criterion has been replaced in the Final Regulation by the more generous 'availability criterion'. This entails that someone must remain available for departure during his stay. The people in this group did not have to submit an application for the Children's Pardon, as they automatically qualified for a reassessment.

The second group were people who had not previously submitted an application for the Children's Pardon, but who thought they might qualify for it this time because of the eased rules. They had to submit an application themselves for the Children's Pardon.

How many applications have been granted on the basis of the Children's Pardon?

In the first group 263 children were reassessed. Of them 235 children obtained a residence permit. In total, 28 children were denied a residence permit after the reassessment. The second group also received decisions on their applications. These were newly submitted applications by 837 children. Of them, 334 children obtained a permit. The applications submitted by 411 children were rejected.

Why were fewer applications granted in the second group?

The rejections in the second group are partly due to the fact that children had not yet submitted an asylum application. There was also a group of children who had not already stayed the Netherlands for at least five years after the asylum application, or whose application was not submitted five years before they turned 18 years of age. In a number of times there was also identity fraud and danger to public order, or a residence permit had already been granted on a different basis.

Why are not all applications granted or rejected?

Besides rejections and applications granted, the applications of 171 persons were also closed for other reasons. For example due to decisions not to consider them, withdrawal of the application or death.

What can someone do if he/she does not agree with the decision by the IND?

Under the Final Regulation, a notice of objection can be submitted. At present, the IND is assessing the notices of objection submitted. If the objection is rejected, the applicant can appeal to the court.

How can it be that children have sometimes already stayed here for so long despite the fact that they have no residence permit?

The Dutch asylum procedure is very careful. That is why there is still a possibility after the decision by the IND to appeal to the court. If this does not succeed, someone can still appeal to a higher court. All these proceedings take time, which is why it can take as long as two years before there is a final decision. In addition, third-country nationals do not always choose to depart from the Netherlands even if they have received rejections several times. We at the IND are working hard to keep our procedures as short as possible, whereby we do of course respect the statutory right to appeal to a court and then appeal to a higher court.