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Situation in Afghanistan: consequences for Afghans' residency and applications for residency

The situation in Afghanistan is changing rapidly and is also affecting Afghans' residency and applications to the IND for residency. We understand that you may have many questions about this. On this page you can read the latest information about the residence and applications of Afghans. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Last updated: 27 December 2021

Evacuation from Afghanistan

Please visit the website Rijksoverheid.nl for more information regarding the evacuation from Afghanistan and the reception in the Netherlands after evacuation from Afghanistan*.

Are you Dutch or Afghan, do you have the right to stay in the Netherlands and are you in Afghanistan? Please visit Nederlandwereldwijd.nl* to read what you can do. 

*Only available in Dutch

Reception centres in the Netherlands

​The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee or KMar) is helping to evacuate people with Afghan nationality and bring them to an emergency reception centre. It does not matter whether or not they have a passport with them. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Centraal Orgaan opvang asielzoekers or COA) will receive them at the emergency reception centre. Afterwards, the IND will process their asylum applications. You can find out more about reception and the reception centres on COA's website

Asylum for evacuated Afghans

The Netherlands has evacuated a total of around 1,900 Afghans. In the coming period, they will follow a shorter asylum application process. It is not clear yet how long it will take to process applications for the whole group. This depends on the procedure, screening (investigation) and the interview. The IND is working hard to provide more clarity as soon as possible. Are you an Afghan who has not been evacuated and you want to apply for asylum? In most cases, you will follow the standard asylum application process. This depends on your personal situation. You will receive information about this when you apply for asylum. 

Questions about the asylum process for evacuated Afghans

In the coming period, the IND will set up an IND desk at the locations in Heumensoord, Zoutkamp en Zeist. If you have been evacuated, you can ask questions about the application process at these desks. Explain your situation to IND staff at the desk at your location. Everyone's situation is different. Perhaps you already have family living here in the Netherlands or you were granted a visa before. Our staff will check if you can apply for asylum or if you have to follow a different application process.  

The asylum process for evacuated Afghans in steps  

  • Pre-registration by the IND

    This means that the IND registers the names and place of residence of every Afghan. Pre-registration of this group has already been completed.

  • Screening

    IND staff will screen (check) evacuees to make sure that they are no danger to the public order or national security.

  • Identification and registration

    The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) will register and identify the evacuees. This means that KMar:

    • takes photos and fingerprints;

    • ensures that evacuees sign an official asylum application;

    • checks documents that evacuees brought with them.

  • Information

    Employees of the Dutch Council for Refugees (VWN) will provide information about the asylum process.

  • Legal aid

    Lawyers are available to help evacuees prepare for the interview with the IND. This happens before the application process starts.

  • Interviews 

    The IND will interview the evacuees with the help of an independent interpreter. The evacuees can tell their story and the IND will ask questions about it.  

  • Decision 

    If no further investigation is necessary, then the IND will decide on the application. However, if the story suggests a war crime has been comitted or that there is a danger to national security, then the IND will need more time to investigate.

  • Residence permit

    If the evacuated Afghan receives a positive decision, then the evacuee will get a temporary asylum residence permit (valid for 5 years).

Asylum for not-evacuated Afghans

​Starting on 26 August 2021, the IND does not have to take a decision on Afghan asylum applications for 6 months. This is called a decision moratorium. Also, the Repatriation and Departure Service will not deport Afghans if their application was previously rejected by the IND. This is called a departure moratorium. It is due to the uncertain situation in Afghanistan. If the IND can take a decision, this will be done as soon as possible. 

Consequences of the decision and departure moratoria

As a result of the decision moratorium, the IND is extending the decision period for pending and new asylum applications by 1 year.

Impact on pending Afghan asylum applications

Are you Afghan, is your asylum application pending and does the decision moratorium apply to you? Then you will receive a letter from the IND stating this. It also states until when we have extended the decision period. It is possible that in some cases, the IND will still take a positive decision on an application.  For example, if you have already had a detailed interview from which it is clear that you have a right to protection. The IND will send you a letter if this applies to you.

Consequences for new Afghan asylum applications

Are you Afghan and are you applying for asylum between 26 August 2021 and 26 February 2022? Then you will only have a reporting interview (initial interview) with the IND. Does this show that the decision moratorium applies to you? Then you will receive a letter from us about this, which also states that we will extend the decision period by 1 year.

Afghan asylum seekers whose application has been processed

Are you Afghan, have you been through the entire asylum process and received a negative decision (exhausted all legal means)? Then you are not obliged to return to Afghanistan during the moratorium.    

When the decision and departure moratoria do not apply

Not all Afghan asylum seekers (who have exhausted all legal means) are covered by the moratoria. The moratoria do not apply in the following situations:

  • Someone claims to have Afghan nationality, but research shows that they have a different nationality.

  • Another EU member state is responsible for their asylum application (Dublin). For example, because they have already applied for asylum in that Member State. Alternatively, because they have a visa issued by that Member State.

  • The person concerned already has protection in another EU member state, has been recognised as a refugee in another country or already has a residence permit somewhere else.  

  • The IND stops considering the application. This means that the IND does not look at the content of the case. In this case, the asylum seeker does come under the departure moratorium and does not have to leave the Netherlands yet. 

  • The IND has rejected the application on the grounds that the person concerned committed war crimes. Or because they are a danger to the public order or national security.

Other applications for residency for Afghans (not asylum)

Are you Afghan and are you applying for a residence permit other than asylum? Then you must meet all the requirements coming with that application. Are you unable to meet a certain requirement due to the situation in Afghanistan? Or are you unable to send requested documents or evidence? Please let the IND know. You can write this on the application or add a letter with an explanation to your application. Explain which conditions you cannot meet and the reason for this. Be as clear and precise as possible. Include any evidence that supports your story. The IND takes the situation in Afghanistan into account when assessing your application.

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