The Netherlands – The Hague District Court decides on a case concerning the issuing of laissez-passer to an Iranian national

Thursday, September 20, 2018

On 20 September, the District Court of The Hague ruled on a case concerning the attempts of an Iranian national to obtain a laissez-passer document from the Dutch authorities, while residing in Northern Iraq.

The applicant was granted permission to obtain a long-stay visa, in order to travel to the Netherlands and reunite with her husband there. The applicant and her spouse made several attempts to obtain the document, by contacting the Dutch consular services and international organisations, requesting laissez-passer representations. Finally, the Dutch authorities informed the applicant that the Dutch Embassy in Baghdad and the Dutch Consulate in Erbil were unable to issue a long-stay visa as their functions were affected by security concerns. Moreover, the laissez-passer document was only valid for a trip to the Netherlands.

The applicant requested interim measures, asking the Court to instruct the Dutch authorities to ensure a way for her to obtain the visa document. The Court considered the provisions of Article 13 of Directive 2003/86, as well the respective Guidelines, to conduct an assessment of the standard of cooperation expected by the applicant and the Dutch state. The Court noted that the applicant and her spouse had made considerable efforts to cooperate with authorities, in order to obtain the document. However, the Dutch authorities could not depend their cooperation on further efforts that the applicant could possibly make.

As such, the Court indicated to the Dutch authorities that they should instruct the Dutch Embassy in Jordan to contact the Jordanian authorities for the purposes of issuing a laissez-passer document and facilitating the applicant’s travel. Notably, in examining whether a provisional measure was reasonable, the judge took into account the time that had elapsed between the granting of the application, as well as the interest shown by the applicant in reuniting with the spouse.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




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