Dutch Immigration Services Vow to Facilitate Application Procedures As Workload Gets Heavier

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has revealed that it is doing its utmost to reduce the waiting time, which, as the authority points out, can be very annoying for applicants.

According to a press release issued by IND, the business hours are often being extended to Saturdays so more applicants can carry on with the application procedures, like collecting a residence permit or having their biometrics taken. In addition, the authority revealed that it is considering the possibility of delivering residence documents to home addresses, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“Spring always is a busy period at the IND desks, which is due, among other things, to ex-pats wanting to live and work in the Netherlands from the summer and international students applying for the new academic year. Nevertheless, the waiting time this year is even longer than before,” the press release reads while citing a substantial increase in the number of student migrants as the main reason for the surge.

IND anticipates a less busy time for applications as the Coronavirus imposed restrictions have been lifted. However, the authority points out that those waiting for an e-mail reply might not get an answer as IND is more accessible by phone.

In addition, the Statistics Netherlands (CBS) data has revealed that a total of 6,485 first-time asylum applications were submitted to Dutch immigration offices so far this year, marking a drop of 35 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

“Compared to the end of 2021, the number of asylum applications was down in January and February 2022. It went up again in March. That month saw almost as many first-time applications (2,920) as January and February combined (1,960 and 1,600 requests respectively),” the report explains.

CBS also notes that the nationality group with the most first-time asylum applications filed are Syrians. However, the number of applications from this group dropped from 3,920 to 1,640, representing a 58 per cent decrease.

Afghans and Yemenis, with 720 and 525 first-time applications submitted, respectively, follow on the list.

Moreover, the number of applications filed by Ukrainian and Russian nationals increased, reaching 75 and 120, respectively, while before the war broke, an average of 20 people submitted their applications for international protection in the Netherlands, indicating the minimal rates of asylum seekers from Ukraine.

More specifically, the number of Ukrainians filing first-time applications during the last three years was fewer than 20, while in the first quarter of 2022, it peaked at 72 – 50 of those being filed in March alone.

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