European Dutch citizens may stay longer
16 Nov, 2009, 07:04 (GMT -04:00)
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ORANJESTAD — Tourists, amongst which, European Dutch citizens, are allowed to stay longer on Aruba. The new cabinet had decided to reverse the Foreigners’ Admission Decision, which had become effective per August 1st, and had caused substantial unrest, especially amongst the Dutch citizens. This implies that the maximum stay of 180 days will be calculated per calendar year again, and not over the last twelve months.
The latter had led to European Dutch citizens being sent back by the Immigration Department during the past months. It regarded, amongst others, pensioners that have had a second house on Aruba for decades. There had also been unrest amongst the American community as the new regulation had also applied to them. Minister of Justice and Education, Arthur Dowers, had announced this morning that the stricter regulation would be reversed. This also implies that Kingdom citizens and residents of other EU-countries as well as Americans can stay longer than six months during one year (thus the last twelve months)
This newspaper had reported on the stricter admission of amongst others European Dutch citizens for the first time in September. The government, in particular admission organization Dimas, had implemented the stricter regulations without informing citizens or the tourists. Moreover, there was a lack of clarity on the implementation and officials of Dimas, Arubahuis and the Immigration Department had given contradictive information. The Dutch politicians had also intervened with the stricter regulations. The Dutch State Secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (Kingdom Relations, CDA) had answered Chamber-questions of the PVV that Aruba had not changed the regulation, but only implemented such better since the Immigration Department had acquired a new system, Radex, which could chart the duration of the residence.
In first instance, the Dutch representative on Aruba (VNO) had also been surprised by the commotion of the Dutch citizens who had been sent back because of the new regulation. For that matter, Bijleveld had criticized Aruba as the island had suddenly started to stop them at the border.
The Minister of Alien Affairs, Booshi Wever (MEP) had informed this newspaper at the beginning of October that the admission of tourists had certainly become stricter.
“In order to express our good faith towards those Dutch citizens”, he had therefore decided on a transitional arrangement and to provide the duped visitors with a temporary permit until January 2010.