All Afghan evacuees brought to the Netherlands in August have gone through the accelerated asylum procedure by now. It concerns 2,000 people who have all received a residence permit from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
For some of the evacuees brought to the Netherlands from September, i.e. after the active evacuation phase, the IND has yet to decide (approx. 150). Their applications are being processed. The IND trusts to provide them with an asylum decision at short notice. In this way, these applications will have been handled too.
As of August, the Netherlands evacuated approximately 2,200 Afghans who had applied for asylum here. The IND used teams at various reception locations for a project-based, quick, and careful handling of the applications. Asylum procedures were accelerated for these people. In that way, they were registered and identified by the IND and the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary (KMar). There was also screening in the context of public order and national security. The evacuees were informed about the asylum procedure and allowed to make use of legal assistance. An interview and a decision followed this. A group of IND employees had been made available for the interviews during the past months.
With the completion of the procedure for this large group of Afghan evacuees, the efforts on the part of the IND will also be adjusted. From this week on, the employees of the IND location Schiphol take over these activities. They will deal with the last outstanding applications and be ready if more Afghan evacuees are brought to the Netherlands. The accelerated procedure will also apply to these evacuees.
Joel Schoneveld, Deputy Director Asylum, looks back on the past period with satisfaction: "Owing to the project-based approach and the good cooperation with, among others, the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary, the COA, the Dutch Council for Refugees, the legal profession, and the Legal Aid Board, the IND has been able to ensure that this group of Afghans quickly received clarity about their residence. With a residence permit in their hands, they can register in the Key Register of Persons (BRP) and obtain a Citizen Service Number (BSN). With this number, they can, for example, register for education or apply for a job."
Usually, applicants must collect this card at one of the IND desks. Due to COVID-19 measures, the IND chooses to issue many cards at reception centres, thus limiting travel movements and the number of people queuing at the counters. In addition, this way, the Afghan evacuees will have their residence cards more quickly.