The government expects that more than 70,000 people will apply for asylum in the Netherlands in 2023. That is three times as high as the number of asylum applications for which the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is equipped. It is not possible for the IND to keep up with those numbers, wrote Minister of Migration Van der Burg (Asylum) today to the House of Representatives.
At the IND the number of applications is already higher than those for which the organisation is equipped (link to monthly figures). This means that applicants have to wait. That waiting time will become longer in the time to come. The number of cases that cannot be decided on within the extended statutory decision period of 15 months is expected to increase.
The IND tries to settle as many cases as possible quickly and carefully. ‘It can do so because our people work very hard. But quickening the pace is not endlessly possible. We adjust our procedures for part of our work so that the applicant will soon have an answer. But although this is unpleasant for the people it concerns, we also have to accept that for the time being applicants will have to wait for a long time’, says Director-General Rhodia Maas.
Clarity more quickly for Yemenites and Syrians
One of the ways to provide a large group of asylum seekers with clarity nevertheless in the short term is by settling the total of 18,000 applications by Syrians and Yemenites more efficiently. This can be done because many of the applications qualify for granting. Because of this, careful settlement will not be at risk.
Quicker decisions are also possible for several nationalities who actually have less of a chance of having their applications granted. These are for example Algerian and Moldavian applicants. Their applications are also given priority, just as those by applicants from safe countries of origin (Track 2) or Dublin cases (Track 1).
By settling the applications of these specific groups in adjusted procedures, more capacity of experienced interview and decision-making staff members is released for quicker and careful settlement of more complex cases.
Many applicants have to wait
Quicker settlement will not affect the fact that the waiting time for applicants will remain long, because the IND is not equipped for these numbers. Nor is it feasible to strive to keep up with the increasing number of application by expanding the organisation. The IND has been investing as much as possible for a longer time in attracting and training new staff members.
Demonstration of the right to protection
Analysis has shown that the Netherlands grants the applications of several nationalities more often than other European countries. This is due among other things to court rulings. As a result of this several measure will be taken, including the revision of group policy.
It is increasingly more often the case that certain groups of asylum seekers are categorically eligible for asylum protection. The group policy will be revised, by which individual asylum accounts and reasons will be more of a guiding factor. In order to bring personal asylum accounts and reasons to light better, some parts of the implementation instructions will no longer be made public.
In addition, in order to have a right to protection, an asylum seeker must make plausible that he or she is in danger in the country of origin. It is increasingly more the case now that the IND must bear the burden of proof. The IND is examining the extent to which division of the burden of proof is still in line with international/ European law.
To implement these changes, the policy and work instructions must be adjusted. This will be done in the coming period.