The Government of the Netherlands has announced that starting September 4, 2023, third-country nationals with a temporary residence permit in Ukraine will be excluded from the Temporary Protection Directive.
The same said that such a change would affect about 2,900 people. As a result, once their temporary protection period ends, these individuals can start the asylum procedure or they will be required to leave the Netherlands within 28 days.
“The majority of third-country nationals who have fled Ukraine can, in principle, return to their country of origin. Unless they fear violence or persecution there, they can apply for asylum here. For this reason, last summer, we decided as a cabinet to end the temporary protection for this group on September 4,” State Secretary Eric van der Burg pointed out.
Over the past few months, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has initiated the examination of asylum applications submitted by third-country nationals who express their intention to stay in the Netherlands.
The IND has prioritised two specific groups: people from safe countries and those with promising asylum claims from Yemen and Syria.
Among the third-country nationals who will soon no longer be covered by the RTB, around 700 have already expressed their desire to undergo the asylum procedure.
In addition, those third-country nationals whose asylum applications are currently in process or awaiting examination will be systematically transferred to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (AQA). This transfer will be organised in phases, starting six weeks before September 4 and continuing for another six weeks after that date.
According to the government, third-country nationals who neither apply for asylum nor receive approval for their asylum application must leave the Netherlands within 28 days from September 4. The Repatriation and Removal Service (DT&V) offers financial assistance to facilitate their return. Throughout this period, the municipalities can provide temporary accommodation to these people.
Meanwhile, in cases where third-country nationals do not leave the Netherlands voluntarily, they will be considered to be residing illegally in the country.
As the government explains, some third-country nationals have filed complaints against the decision taken by the IND to end their protection under the RTB. In an initial decision, the Rotterdam court has determined that the termination of temporary protection for this particular group is legally enforceable and permissible.
For those who have initiated appeals, their temporary protection will also end on September 4, and they will be obliged to leave the Netherlands unless the court decides otherwise.
Previously, the Dutch government decided to extend the validity of the temporary protection directive for refugees from Ukraine until March 4 next year.
In this regard, the authority stated that Ukrainian refugees currently residing in the Netherlands under the directive can maintain their employment status using the existing sticker or permit, along with an additional letter provided by IND.