The much-discussed travel restrictions for family members of recognized refugees in the Netherlands have been temporarily suspended. The Dutch Minister of State for Asylum, Eric van der Burgh, announced this in a letter to the House of Representatives. There are several outstanding cases against the decision not to issue a visa to family members of recognized refugees with residence (status holders) until a later date.
The Dutch government introduced so-called “family reunification restrictions” in August, making it difficult for recognized refugees to reunite with their families. The aim of this measure was to limit the flow of asylum seekers. According to the Dutch government, this was necessary to relieve pressure on the overburdened asylum reception.
But four different courts on December 22 and 23 ruled in favor of the recognized refugees who challenged the measure. The justices have all stated that travel restrictions in connection with family reunification are unlawful.
Such a case will be heard by the State Council on Thursday, and a decision is expected later. Meanwhile, in order to “prevent unnecessary actions”, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) will not apply the restriction at this time. This only applies to new decisions, Van der Burgh emphasizes.
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