Strict control to prevent overstaying on islands

The Dutch government plans to adapt the law to ensure strict con­trol that Dutch European persons don’t overstay in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, the three Dutch public entities.

Mark Harbers

Dutch State Secretary of Justice and Security Mark Harbers stated this in re­sponse to written questions submitted by Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP). Van Raak had sought clarity on the strict control of Dutch European residents on their arrival in Bonaire.

Van Raak wanted to know whether it was true that the Marechaussee at the airport checked arriving Dutch Eu­ropeans on the numbers of days spent on the island to make sure that they had not overstayed the maximum period of six months on the island. Harbers confirmed that this was the case.

The current Caribbean Netherlands Law on Admit­tance and Expulsion states that Dutch Europeans are only subject to “minimal control.” The law also states that Dutch Europeans may only stay in the Caribbean Netherlands for a maximum of six months per year. The law will now be adapted to ensure that immigration authorities can check the length of stay of Dutch Eu­ropeans.

Harbers also announced a change of law to facilitate expansion of the existing means of border control in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Immigration authori­ties will have the possibil­ity to consult relevant data­bases such as the Schengen Information System and the Interpol databank for stolen and lost travel documents, to establish the identity and nationality of arriving persons.

The process to adapt the law has started. However, the Royal Marechaussee will continue the current prac­tice of checking the length of stay, as there is a regula­tion that Dutch Europeans may only stay in the three public entities for a maxi­mum of six months, Harbers made clear.

The Daily Harold.

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