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Immigration service pays over €1m in refugee compensation claims

THE NETHERLANDS. The Dutch immigration service has paid refugees more than €1m in compensation over the past year because officials took too long to make decisions, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday.

The final total could be up to four times that because thousands of claims still have to be assessed, the paper said.

It now takes almost a year for an asylum seeker so hear if he or she can stay in the Netherlands, but the legal limit is just six months. In addition, requests to bring in family members, which should also take no more than six months, are also taking up to a year.

If a claim takes longer than six months, lawyers can apply for compensation for their clients, a claim which can mount up to €1,260 if the IND fails to reply in time. So far this year, 1,080 claims have been processed and 3,610 are still waiting assessment.

The total bill to the IND has been €1,036,438. The main reason for the lengthy procedures is the shortage of staff. The IND workforce was reduced after the refugee boom in 2015 but officials failed to take into account the number of family reunifications or the surge in claims from countries considered to be safe.

Some lawyers do not make a claim because their clients are worried it could affect their cases, the Volkskrant said.

This article appeared first on

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