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The ‘Pardon Regulation’: Implementation and outcome of a regularisation programme in the Netherlands

Monika Smit, Moira Galloway, Mina Vijkhuijs, Mariska Kromhout


Regularisation programmes that are intended to legalise the stay of undocumented migrants may provoke public resistance and heated political debates. Governments nevertheless go ahead with such programmes. In the Netherlands, a regularisation programme to settle the legacy of an old Aliens Law, known as the ‘Pardon Regulation’, was implemented in 2007. In this contribution we describe the implementation and outcome of the Pardon Regulation, which led to over 28,000 regularisations. We focus on the question to what extent pitfalls that were experienced in a number of regularisation programmes in other European countries were avoided and intended goals were met.


Regularisation; legalisation; migration; Pardon Regulation; the Netherlands

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