Temporary cooperation between IND and UNHCR in family reunification cases

Last update: 20 May 2021

The IND will temporarily cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in family reunifications. Due to the corona crisis, many diplomatic posts had to limit their services or even close their doors. Video consultations with family members also came to a standstill.  Consequently, there was a delay in the processing of applications for family reunification.  By establishing video links with family members, the UNHCR helps to catch up.

However, due to the limited services of embassies and consulates, their ability to establish video links is currently also limited. Because of this, interviews about their application to the IND with those travelling to the Netherlands to reunify with their family members can not or only hardly take place. Thanks to the UNHCR, this is now possible again. This assistance goes beyond the video connections, for that matter. On the day of the interview, the UNHCR, for instance, also schedules the appointments and accompanies the family member seeking reunification.    

Annelore Roelofs, Acting Managing Director IND, and Andrea Vonkeman, the Head of Office UNHCR, signed the cooperation agreement on Wednesday, 19 May. Meanwhile, the preparatory activities are already in full swing to eliminate the backlog as soon as possible.

 Annelore Roelofs                     Andrea Vonkeman

Speeding up family reunification
For years now, the UNHCR has been committed to family reunification and speeding it up. As the UNHCR is already often present in places where many family members stay, this cooperation with the IND is an obvious step. The cooperation will start with family members' applications from countries in the Middle East and Africa, as the backlog is unparalleled there. It is, however, intended to broaden the cooperation as quickly as possible.

The cooperation is temporary. As soon as the diplomatic missions establish video links themselves, they will take over this task again.