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.
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.