50 Albanians deported on state flight

50 Albanian foreign nationals were deported yesterday on a state flight to Tirana. The flight deported 46 foreign nationals who had been residing in the Netherlands unlawfully and had failed to comply with their statutory obligation to leave. Most of them had been kept in immigration detention while awaiting their departure. The other four foreign nationals came from Belgium.

The foreign nationals were already transferred to the Albanian authorities in Rotterdam, which is not normally the case. The foreign nationals were then accompanied to their home country by Albanian escorts. Normally, foreign nationals are only transferred by the Dutch authorities once they reach the border of their country of origin.

This is the third time since the increased influx of Albanian foreign nationals that the Netherlands has chosen to use a state flight. We chose this option as there is a lack of direct scheduled flights to Tirana, although a large group of Albanian foreign nationals in the Netherlands need to return.

In 2017, 1,490 Albanian foreign nationals departed chain-wide. Of this figure, around 670 Albanians left independently. Around 820 Albanians were compelled to leave the Netherlands. In January 2018, 100 Albanian foreign nationals departed chain-wide, of whom 30 left independently and 70 were compelled to leave.

Many Albanians move to Western Europe in the hope of finding a better economic future here. However, their asylum request has no chance of succeeding as Albania is on the list of safe countries of origin. This means that asylum requests are processed in an accelerated manner and with priority. If their request is rejected, foreign nationals from these countries are banned from entering the Netherlands and the rest of the European Union for a period of two years. These regulations also apply to the other countries in the Western Balkans.

The state flight was organised by the Repatriation & Departure Service (DT&V) of the Ministry of Justice and Security in collaboration with the Return Support Unit of Frontex, the Albanian authorities and the Dutch immigration services partners. The Netherlands greatly appreciates its good cooperation with Albania in the area of repatriation. In 2016, both countries agreed that group deportations could also take place. State flights to Albania also took place in May 2016 and February

Ministry responsible