When the invasion of Ukraine first began, the Dutch Secretary of State said that Ukrainian refugees will not be considered asylum seekers in the Netherlands — but it turns out that they have to apply for asylum after all.
However, the process will be simplified compared to the usual request for asylum, RTL Nieuws reports.
Asylum seekers after all
Back in February, State Secretary for Asylum, Eric van der Burg, said that Ukrainians “do not enter the asylum procedure, because they do not have to be asylum seekers.”
However, the tune has changed slightly. Now, Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands must in fact apply for asylum through a simplified process.
They sign a form “and that’s it for the next year”, Van der Burg explains. Ukrainians will not have to go to Ter Apel, he says, as it is just an “administrative act.”
Why is it necessary?
It turns out that this procedure was actually conceptualised 19 years ago. Under this treaty, Ukrainian refugees do not have to apply for a visa but they do have to formally apply for asylum.
At least, they may have to — Van der Burg actually hasn’t clarified yet whether it will be mandatory to sign the form. 👀
The form can be thought of as Ukrainian refugees officially asking for help from the Dutch government. It is necessary to apply for asylum in order to receive support, says RTL Nieuws.
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However, at the moment, refugees will not have to worry about the application. This is because Ukrainians have the right to stay in the Netherlands for 180 days before applying for asylum.