In a recent development, the Council of State has issued a ruling stating that third-country nationals from Ukraine currently residing in the Netherlands must leave the country by March 4. This decision, as outlined in a comprehensive press release by the national government, affects around 2,760 individuals without Ukrainian nationality who had been staying in the country under a valid residence permit. After March 4, they will no longer be eligible for the Temporary Protection Directive (RTB).
State Secretary of Asylum and Migration, Eric van der Burg, highlighted that the majority of these third-country nationals can safely return to their respective home countries. However, those who fear violence or persecution are encouraged to apply for asylum within the Netherlands. Van der Burg expressed relief at the clarity provided after a prolonged period of uncertainty for this group.
Certain exemptions to the departure requirement have been outlined. Individuals with pending asylum claims or those who have already received regular residence permits are not subject to the March 4 deadline. Currently, approximately 740 people have notified the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) of their intention to seek asylum. This group is also eligible for admission to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) after March 4, with municipalities directed to continue offering shelter until their transfer to the COA is completed.
For third-country nationals who have not yet expressed their intent to apply for asylum with the IND, they retain the right to submit a new asylum application if they believe it is unsafe to return to their home country. However, during the initial six months of their reception at the COA, they are prohibited from working in the Netherlands.
Those who do not plan to apply for asylum or have received rejected applications must depart the country by April 1, 2024, at the latest. Municipalities have committed to providing accommodation for third-country nationals during this transitional period.
Additionally, the government has communicated to host households accommodating third-country nationals from Ukraine with work or study permits obtained before the conflict. These individuals will no longer receive temporary protection in the Netherlands as of March 5, 2024. The implication is that continuing to offer accommodation to these nationals may have repercussions for host households, potentially impacting childcare benefits, healthcare benefits, and child benefit budgets. This multifaceted directive reflects the complexities surrounding the status of third-country nationals amidst the ongoing geopolitical situation.
By fLEXI tEAM