Minister for Migration further expands list of safe countries

Minister for Migration Dijkhoff has added Algeria, Georgia, the Ukraine and Tunisia to the list of safe countries. He wrote this today in a letter to the House of Representatives.

Asylum seekers from safe countries hardly have any chance of obtaining an asylum residence permit. Their asylum applications are handled with priority in an accelerated procedure. The accelerated procedure consists of one interview. Asylum applications filed by asylum seekers coming from a safe country may be rejected as manifestly unfounded. This means that rejected asylum seekers will have to leave the Netherlands immediately. They are also imposed an entry ban for the entire Schengen Area for a period of two years.

A country is considered to be a safe country of origin if people are not prosecuted based on, for example, race or religion, torture or inhumane treatment. Asylum seekers from safe countries of origin will, however, be given the opportunity to demonstrate why the country may not be safe in their specific situation. However, asylum seekers from a safe country will have to do more to demonstrate that they need protection. The list of safe countries already included over 50 countries.

Minister for Migration Dijkhoff will expand the list even further. He will assess if Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa can be put on the list.

It is noted for Algeria and Tunisia that these are safe countries of origin for residents with the exception of LGBTs. As regards Georgia and the Ukraine, an exception is made for certain areas that are not controlled by the authorities.