From Going Dutch to Going Away: Refugees Are Leaving the Netherlands

© AFP 2022 / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHTRefugees collect clothes, brought by residents of the neighborhood, outside the Schuttersveld Sports Centre designed as emergency shelter in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on October 9, 2015
Refugees collect clothes, brought by residents of the neighborhood, outside the Schuttersveld Sports Centre designed as emergency shelter in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on October 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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More and more asylum seekers have started to leave the Netherlands of their own free will, in a sign that they are disappointed with the country's system for granting asylum-seekers refugee status, according to the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.

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In the past few months, more asylum seekers have voluntarily left the Netherlands, in what can be seen as a show of disappointment with the country's system on granting a refugee status, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

According to the newspaper, about 3,000 asylum seekers decided to leave the Netherlands in 2015.  The newspaper said that the main reason for disappointment was spending plenty of time for obtaining a refugee status and the possibility of a family reunification.

The De Volkskrant recalled that a year ago, it took the Dutch immigration authorities between four and six weeks to start dealing with an asylum application, while currently, a waiting period amounts to six months.

The Dutch government warned in turn that the procedure for family reunification will be more complex and that the process may take about a year after the registration of a refugee status is completed. The government attributed the delays to the Immigration and Naturalization Service's inability to cope with the influx of asylum seekers.

On January 18, it was reported that the Dutch riot police dispersed more than 1,000 demonstrators protesting the construction of a refugee facility in the city of Heesch.

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In October 2015, Dutch Immigration Minister Klaas Dijkhoff warned refugees of the possible "austere reception" they are likely to get when arriving in his country. The official explained that it was impossible to tell on short notice where an asylum seeker would be granted a residence permit, and that family members could not be brought over unless the person succeeded in obtaining such a permit.

For his part, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said at the time that the Netherlands could spend 1.1 billion dollars in 2015 accepting asylum seekers, over three times as much as the government had predicted.

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