Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

Legal and administrative framework

Netherlands

The Aliens Act (2000) contains no specific provisions on resettlement. The Decision dated 07/02/2012 defines the current Policy Framework for Resettlement (2012-2015), while the Decree of the Minister of Justice (WBV 2010/10) outlines Dutch resettlement policy (including quota, selection procedure, arrival and status given to resettled refugees). The Decree dated 19/05/2000 transfers responsibility for the quota policy for invited (resettled) refugees to the Minister of Justice.

Laws

* Aliens Act (2000)

The Aliens Act (Vreemdelingenwet) contains no specific provisions on resettlement. The invited refugees are given an asylum residence permit for a specified period of time as soon as possible on grounds of article 29, first section, subsection a.

Article 29

1. A residence permit for a fixed period as referred to in article 28 may be issued to an alien:

(a) who is a refugee under the terms of the Convention;

(b) who makes a plausible case that he has good grounds for believing that if he is expelled he will run a real risk of

  1. The death penalty or execution
  2. being subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or
  3. a serious and individual threat to the life or the person of a citizen as a consequence of indiscriminate violence in the framework of an international or internal armed conflict,

(c) who cannot, for pressing reasons of a humanitarian nature connected with the reasons for his departure from the country of origin, reasonably be expected, in the opinion of Our Minister, to return to his country of origin;

(d) for whom return to the country of origin would, in the opinion of Our Minister, constitute an exceptional hardship in connection with the overall situation there;

(e) who belongs, as husband, wife or minor child, to the family of an alien as referred to in (a) to (d), has the same nationality as that alien and has either entered the Netherlands at the same time as this alien or has entered it within three months of the date on which the alien referred to in (a) to (d) was granted a residence permit for a fixed period as referred to in article 28.

(f) who as partner or adult child is so dependent on that alien, as referred to in (a) to (d), that for this reason he belongs to the family of the alien, has the same nationality as this alien and has either entered the Netherlands at the same time as this alien or has entered it within three months of the date on which the alien referred to in (a) to (d) was granted a residence permit for a fixed period as referred to in article 28.

Files attached to this content:

The Aliens Act 2000 in Dutch

Decisions

* Decision about the Policy Framework for Resettlement 2012-2015 (07/02/2012)

Abstract

The Decision states that the quota of 2,000 resettled refugees will be maintained for the period 2012-2015. The following key resettlement criteria will be applied:

  • All individuals will be assessed according to the UNHCR assessment and country-specific asylum policy of the Netherlands. This covers the Refugee Convention, including article 1 F, the Aliens Act art 29(1)(a) and individual protection grounds art 29(1)(c)(b), the general official communications of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and asylum policy concerning the country of origin of the refugee;
  • More emphasis will be placed on integration aspects of the resettlement process than previously. This means that after assessment according to art 29, the integration perspective will be investigated as a basis for denial of the dossier;
  • Preference will be given to refugees such as journalists, human rights activists, persons with academic background, who have played an active social role;
  • Mission destinations will be selected according to priorities (i) set by UNHCR to solve long-term refugee situations, (ii) relating to urban refugee situations and (iii) as indicated in the Annual Tripartite Consultations.

Files attached to this content:

Decision: Policy Framework for Resettlement 2012-2015 in Dutch

* Decree of the Minister of Justice amending the Vreemdelingencirculaire 2000 (WBV 2010/10)

The Decree of the Minister of Justice (WBV 2010/10) of 24 June 2010 amends the Vreemdelingencirculaire 2000 (under CY: 2.1.4. “Invited Refugees”). It sets out Dutch resettlement policy, including quota, selection procedure, arrival and status given to resettled refugees.

Files attached to this content:

Vreemdelingencirculaire 2000 (C) Artikel 2.1.4 in Dutch and English (unofficial translation)

Decree amending the Vreemdelingencirculaire 2000 (WBV 2010/10) in Dutch

* Decree of 19 May 2000 concerning the transfer of responsibility for the quota policy for invited refugees

The Decree transfers the responsibility concerning quota policy for invited refugees to the Minister of Justice.

Files attached to this content:

Decree of 19 May 2000 concerning the transfer of responsibility for the quota policy for invited refugees in Dutch

* Letter of the Minister for Immigration and Asylum (19637, nr. 1390)

Abstract

This letter sets out changes in the reception policy for resettled refugees. Resettled refugees will henceforth be placed directly in the municipalities and will no longer initially be placed in the central reception centre in Amersfoort.

Files attached to this content:

Letter of the Minister for Immigration and Asylum (19637, nr. 1390) in Dutch

Netherlands snapshot

Size: 41,526 km2

Population: 16.4 million

Year of EU Entry: 1952

In the Schengen Area: Yes

Protection Status Granted: 6,828 (2011)

Resettlement Scheme: Programme (1984)

Resettlement Quota: 2000 refugees/4 years

Resettled Refugees: 556 (2011)

Source: The information about the size, population, in the Schengen area, and year of EU entry is taken from europa.eu.