Family is not tourism: Campaign participants ask the Dutch government to allow non-EU family visits

Lorraine Blauw and her mother Clara Theunissen, 2018 Photo: L. Blauw

Residents of the Netherlands, whose relatives live outside the EU, are urgently urging the government to allow their families to enter, at least in special circumstances.

The group that families are not tourists campaigns at the European level for direct families who are treated the same as romantic partners who are currently admitted to a “lover” visa, despite coronavirus restrictions. I am. According to campaign participants, the Netherlands is considered to be one of the toughest countries in Europe to deny entry for mothers, fathers, children and grandparents of Dutch residents.

Lorraine Blow, a Dutch resident from South Africa, is not banning travel from some countries altogether, but rather accepting a European list of “family obligatory reasons” for visits. Is working on.She tells people their story #alsjeblieftnederland A hashtag that allows you to take into account exceptional situations.

34-year-old Blauw and a Leiden-based English teacher need to undergo emergency surgery for a tumor next week, and a mother may visit from South Africa to help her and her two young children during surgery and recovery. I am desperate to be able to do it. She says it is impossible to find enough help from outside the family, partly due to the coronavirus limiting the number of visitors to one home per day.

‘Laughed about’

“I was diagnosed with a foot tumor last May, which can cause early heart failure,” she says. The December surgery allowed me to have my mother-in-law with a European passport here, but I can’t come this time. When my mother came and asked for permission to help, she refused. I was actually laughed at by government officials.Government officials told me to adopt my family [implied] I was a foreigner who didn’t belong here. “

Blauw, who emigrated to the Netherlands three years ago, married a Dutch man and speaks fluent Dutch. She said she spent hours writing phone calls and letters to and from government agencies, but her mother was a border guard. One official told her that the rules are based on EU restrictions, but the Dutch government “chosen to interpret the recommendations in a very strict way.”

“People have lost their sense of humanity,” says Blauw. “How can they exempt people from long-distance relationships for three months, but don’t you even consider our case? The daughter told me,” I died when I had surgery. Lazy, grandpa and grandma may come. “That’s the end. It’s ruthless. “


Andrea Morales, a lawyer living in Denbosch, believes that many families have been denied the right to family life, for example, in the presence of non-EU-based parents during childbirth.

Last November, she submitted a set of pictures of more than 300 children to the Ministry of Justice and petitioned for respect for her right to family life. “There are many children without fathers and mothers, and grandparents are very important in their lives,” she says. “I know an American girl who has never seen her father [for months] Because he is not allowed to enter. My petition was rejected for a general exemption for first- and second-class members, but the government said exceptional cases were covered.

“But in reality, IND uses two examples of funeral or terminally ill people as fixed rules: a visit to a father’s child, a visit for childbirth or wedding, or a state of health. In case of emergency assistance, they refuse. Why are there so many women struggling to have children without the help of their families or without the help of their families for surgery? “

Morales is actually allowed to enter other categories such as students, “top” athletes, cultural experts, journalists and diplomats outside the EU, but complains that the rights of the people are not respected. I have filed a complaint with the National Ombudsman. “They deny our right to family life. What really bothers me is discrimination,” she adds. “If we allow EU families to enter without restrictions other than quarantine and PCR testing, we can expect the same for my non-EU children’s families.”


Dutch-based activist Christina Maturskaya Henry has collected about 13,000 signatures on a petition to lift the travel ban on non-EU relatives. another.

“The Netherlands is one of the toughest countries, and in some cases it is accepted because of childbirth or marriage,” she said. “A year ago, people were allowed to travel abroad on sightseeing trips, but grandparents and parents were not allowed to come to the Netherlands, even because of illness or important events. Travel ban. I want you to extend the exemption to your close relatives.

“It’s very useful to be able to come with romantic relationships who live apart, but love isn’t limited to romance. Parent-child relationships are at least as strong. Treatment is with romantic couples. Must be equal among relatives.

The D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoersdma is understood to be preparing to ask Congress an urgent question on this issue. The Dutch Ministry of Justice and IND have introduced the information page on their website to

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Family is not tourism: Campaign participants ask the Dutch government to allow non-EU family visits

Source link Family is not tourism: Campaign participants ask the Dutch government to allow non-EU family visits

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