The Red Cross is going to provide support with the reception of asylum seekers in Ter Apel. At the request of the Dutch Council…
Until 1 November over 30,000 new first asylum applications have been made. The total number of asylum applications and persons journeying in connection with family reunification is almost 40,000 for this year. Notwithstanding that the Immigration and Naturalisation Service is handling more applications than those for which the organisation is equipped, the waiting time for applications has already been increasing for a longer time. In the general asylum process applicants now wait a year on average for the IND to take a decision.
In the letter to the Dutch House of Representatives (in Dutch: Kamerbrief, only available in Dutch) published today on the current situation in the cooperating organisations within the asylum system, the adjusted forecast is explained.
The pressure remains high and is not letting up
At present, about 42,000 applications are waiting in the general asylum process, and almost 26,000 persons journeying in connection with family reunification are waiting for a decision from the IND (as at 31-10). The number of people waiting has already been rising for a longer time, notwithstanding the adjusted forecast to 45,000 to 60,000 asylum and family reunification applications in 2023.
The forecast total number of asylum applications and persons journeying in connection with family reunification for next year is between 49,000 and 76,000. The IND expects to be able to handle about 47,000 asylum and family reunification applications in 2024. So the pressure on the IND will remain high without letting up, and the waiting time for applicants will continue to increase.
Delay due to abolition of written interviews
As a result of the Brekelmans/Van den Brink motion, the IND has stopped written interviews. This was one of the ways to accelerate the asylum process for applications with a good chance of success. The aim was to handle 13,000 applications likely to succeed in an accelerated procedure before 1 May 2024. This is expected to take longer without written interviews.
Written interviews were used for some the Syrian and Yemenite applicants. They were able to share the stories of their flight and lives at an IND office on the basis of a questionnaire. When necessary on the basis of the information provided, a hearing with an IND staff member was still scheduled. This manner of working required less time from IND staff, and therefore more applications could be handled in a shorter time. Other ways the IND uses to handle applications likely to succeed efficiently are shorter interviews, interviews at COA locations and reducing the administrative burden on interview staff.
The number of applications by unaccompanied minors continues to increase
In October the number of first asylum applications was considerably higher than in the months before (4,987) and higher than in October last year. Based on the trend in the preceding years the number of applications in November is also expected to be high. It is striking that the number of unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (UMFN) was once again higher than in the month before. In October there were 952 applications by UMFN, which is almost 16% of the total.
In the letter to the House of Representative (Kamerbrief) the complete information can be found on the current situation in the cooperating organisations within the asylum system.