The number of processed applications for residency and citizenship in 2023 was again higher than the year before, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has said.
IND notes that due to increased requests last year, applicants often were subject to long wait times.
Last year, almost twice as many legal proceedings for residents were conducted compared to 2022, with the number of appointments at the desks also surging. In the general and extended asylum process, the percentage of applications granted declined from 78 per cent in 2022 to 62 per cent in 2023.
An increase was also noted in the number of processed asylum applications. In 2023, the IND processed nearly 35,000 asylum applications or 8,500 more decisions than initially planned.
As a result of the number of applications that remain high for a longer period than for what is IND equipped, nearly 50,000 asylum requests were waiting for a decision from the IND at the end of last year.
In order to better manage the increasing number of applications, the Director-General of the IND, Rhodia Maas, said that the IND is making improvements where possible.
For example, by working more efficiently when there are more schedulable applications, such as for family reunification and naturalisation. We process applications that have a good chance of success on the basis of the country’s policy, such as those by Syrians, just as those of applicants who do not actually have much of a chance of success. Moreover, last year, the IND grew to more than 6 thousand staff members.
A total of €11.3 million in incremental penalties for notices of default and appeals not decided in time were paid last year by the IND. In 2023, the IND received more than 28,000 notices of default compared to more than 19,000 in the year before. In December, the State Secretary of Justice and Security said that the statutory decision period for asylum requests would be further extended by nine months this year, from 6 months to 15 months.
The number of appointments at desks and the number of residence permits issued was more significant in 2023 than in the year before. According to IND, fewer applications for knowledge migration (25,880) and family migration (regular, 41,820) were submitted than in 2022 (33,030 and 45,300, respectively).
By the end of last year, 22,000 thousand regular objection cases were still awaiting a decision.
Director-General of the IND, Rhodia Maas, said the IND aims to decide carefully and in time on who may reside in the Netherlands and who may not.
We have succeeded very well in making careful decisions, and the courts have upheld considerably more than 80 per cent of our decisions. That percentage even rose last year.
According to Mass, the challenge is to process an increasingly large number of applications carefully and more quickly.