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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions

‚ÄčThe Dutch government has taken measures against the coronavirus. On this page you can find the latest information about the consequences for your stay in the Netherlands.

The IND understands that the situation resulting from the coronavirus raises many questions for you. We are working hard to provide you with more information as soon as possible. Not all questions can be answered yet. The information on this page will therefore be updated every working day. Last updated: 7 April 2020 17:22

Latest news on the coronavirus

An overview of the latest news articles on the coronavirus and the services of the IND:

IND desks and contact

The IND desks are only open for urgent matters up to and including 28 April 2020. What are urgent matters?

You can only make an appointment at an IND desk to collect your first regular residence document. The condition for this is that you have travelled to the Netherlands with a Provisional Residence Permit (mvv). And that you need a residence document for example to apply for health insurance, or to register in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at your town hall (gemeente).

Does this apply to you? Make an appointment to visit an IND desk by calling the IND's information line. Click here to find the phone number. You cannot make this appointment online.

I have scheduled an appointment at an IND desk before 28 April 2020. What now?

All appointments that were scheduled up to and including 28 April are cancelled. You don't have to cancel the appointment yourself.

Can I make an appointment after April 28 2020?

No, you cannot make an appointment after April 28 yet. This is because it is uncertain which measures will still be in place after 28 April. As soon as you can make an appointment again, this page will be updated.

Are there any other matters for which you can go to an IND desk?

The IND only makes an exception if you can help control the virus. Or if you are medical staff. Does this apply to you? Please call the IND's information line. Click here to find the phone number.

I would like to make an appointment to have my biometrics taken at an IND desk. But the IND desk is closed. What should I do?

The IND is not currently taking any biometric data at the IND desks. This is because IND desks are only open for urgent matters. All appointments that were scheduled up to and including 28 April are cancelled. This could mean that you will not be able to provide your biometrics within the standard time. There is nothing that you can do about this at the moment. At this moment it is not possible to make a new appointment to provide your biometrics. Please keep checking this page to see when you will be able to make an appointment again.

How can I contact the IND if I have questions or want to provide information?

The IND desks are only open for urgent matters. But you can still contact the IND in various other ways.

Access to the Netherlands

I live or stay outside Europe. Can I still travel to the Netherlands?

Since Thursday 19 March 2020, European borders have been closed to people from countries outside Europe. Europe means: EU countries, Schengen countries and the United Kingdom. The travel restriction does not apply to everyone. For example, you can travel if you have a valid mvv or residence permit. For more information, visit Government.nl and netherlandsandyou.nl (opens in a new window).

I am abroad with a valid residence permit and wish to return to the Netherlands. What should I do?

Did you try to return to the Netherlands, but are you unable to because of the measures? Then you can register on bijzonderebijstandbuitenland.nl (the link opens in new window, click on 'English' at the bottom of the page for information in English). Through this website the national government, insurers, the travel industry and airlines try to help stranded travelers. You must be registered with a Dutch municipality or have a valid Dutch residence permit.

Short stay (visa or permit-exempt term)

I have applied for a short-stay visa to come to the Netherlands. Or I have already been granted a visa. I cannot use this visa on time. Where can I go with questions?

Read more about visas in the Q&A on netherlandsandyou.nl (opens in new window). In case you cannot find the information there, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Click here to find their contact details (opens in new window).

I am staying in the Netherlands with a short-stay visa which has expired or will expire soon. I cannot leave. Can I apply for an extension?

You can apply for an extension of your short-stay visa if you cannot return to your country of origin. The following situation must apply to you:

  • Your visa has expired or expires within 1 month; and
  • The airline has cancelled your flight. Or you had not booked a flight yet. You cannot book (a new) flight; and
  • You still meet the conditions for a short-stay visa .

Would you like to apply for a visa extension? Please call the IND's information line. Click here to find the phone number. Keep your visa number to hand.

Is the IND going to renew your visa? Then you will not immediately have a visa sticker placed in your passport. You will receive a letter of confirmation. This visa extension is only valid within the Netherlands. You cannot travel to other Schengen countries. An application for exending your visa is free.

I am staying in the Netherlands without a visa (I do not need a visa), but my permit-exempt term is over or will expire soon. Do I have to leave the Netherlands?

You cannot apply for an extension of a permit-exempt term. This is the period of 90 days out of 180 days that you may stay in the Netherlands (and the Schengen area). Is your permit-exempt term about to expire and you cannot leave? You do not need to report this to the IND. The Dutch government understands that it may be more difficult to return during this period. The government will therefore be less strict in controlling people who stay longer than is allowed. But the government does expect you to try to return when your right of residence expires. Do you need help to return home? Please contact your country's embassy or consulate in the Netherlands.

I have a short-stay visa (or do not need a visa) and would like to travel to the Netherlands. Is this possible?

Since Thursday 19 March 2020, European borders have been closed to people from countries outside Europe. Europe means: EU countries, Schengen countries and the United Kingdom. Do you have a short-stay visa, or you do not need a visa, and are you not yet in Europe? Then you cannot travel to the Netherlands. An exception is only made for people performing a vital function who need to be in the Netherlands. For example, health care personnel, or humanitarian workers. For more information, visit Government.nl and netherlandsandyou.nl (opens in a new window).

I am visiting the Netherlands on a short stay visa from another Schengen country. Can I apply for an extension of my visa here?

You can apply for a visa extension from the IND. Please call the IND's information line. Click here to find the phone number.

Mvv (provisional residence permit)

I have a valid mvv, for the Netherlands or another Schengen country. Can I travel to the Netherlands?

With a valid mvv you will have access to the Netherlands, or another Schengen country. Keep in mind that in many places traveling is not possible or is not recommended. For more information about access to the Netherlands, visit Government.nl and netherlandsandyou.nl (opens in a new window).

I would like to apply for an mvv for myself or someone else. It this possible?

You can request an mvv. The IND is continuing to handle applications.

Is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issuing mvvs?

No, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not issue mvvs until at least 28 April 2020. The IND will still approve your application if you meet all the conditions. From that date, you then have 3 months to collect your mvv. You can only collect your mvv after 28 April 2020. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will only issue an mvv before that date in urgent cases.

When is a case urgent?

Your case may only be urgent if you would like to come to the Netherlands as an employee, highly skilled worker or researcher. A case is only urgent if it meets the following three criteria:

  • You can prove that you can travel to the Netherlands at this time. This means that there are no physical restrictions and that the borders are open. Flights are departing from your country to the Netherlands. 
  • Your work or research is or comes under the essential professions or vital processes during the COVID-19 outbreak (opens in new window).
  • You need to explain why your case is urgent. And you have to prove that this urgency relates to an essential profession and vital process. 

If you meet all three criteria, ask your employer to contact the IND. The IND will then determine whether the case is indeed urgent.

I have to collect my mvv, but the embassy or consulate is not issuing mvvs. What should I do?

You have 3 months to collect your mvv. What if it is not possible to collect your mvv within this period due to the coronavirus measures? Then you will have 3 more months to collect it. When can you make another appointment at the embassy or consulate? Please keep checking netherlandsandyou.nl (website opens in new window). At your appointment you must explain that you could not pick up your mvv sooner because of the measures.

I have already collected my mvv. I cannot travel to the Netherlands (for example, because there are no flights).  And my mvv is almost no longer valid. What should I do?

You can make a new appointment as soon as the embassy or consulate reopens. At the appointment you will have to explain that you could not travel with your mvv because of the measures. The embassy or consulate will then reissue your mvv. You have to do this within 3 months after your current mvv expires.

Are the civic integration exams still taking place abroad?

No, the civic integration exams at Dutch embassies abroad will not take place until after 28 April 2020. Did your spouse or partner have an appointment at an embassy? Then your spouse or partner will be notified that their appointment has been cancelled. More information about the effects of the coronavirus on the civic integration exams is available from netherlandsandyou.nl (opens in a new window).

Residence permit (not asylum)

I have received a positive decision on my application for a residence permit without an mvv. Can I travel to the Netherlands and get a residence document?

Are you outside Europe? You need an mvv to gain access to the Netherlands. Or a valid residence permit from the Netherlands or another EU or Schengen country. A positive decision on your application (notification) alone is not enough currently. You will have to wait until the European borders open (further). An exception is only made if you have a vital function.

Since Thursday 19 March 2020, European borders have been closed to people from countries outside Europe. Europe means: EU countries, Schengen countries and the United Kingdom. The travel restriction does not apply to everyone. For more information, visit Government.nl and netherlandsandyou.nl (opens in a new window).

I would like to collect my residence document from an IND desk. Is this possible?

You can only make an appointment at IND desk if you are collecting a residence document for the first time. The condition is that you have travelled to the Netherlands with a Provisional Residence Permit (mvv). And that you need the residence document to apply for health insurance, for example. Or to register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) at your town hall (gemeente).

To make an appointment, please call the IND's information line. Click here to find the phone number. You cannot make the appointment online.

I should collect a residence document or residence sticker from an IND desk, but my case is not urgent so at the moment I cannot collect it. Do I still have the rights associated with my residence document?

Yes, without your residence document or residence sticker you still have the rights associated with your valid residence document. For example, you can work if your residence permit allows this.

I no longer have the right to stay in the Netherlands. But I cannot travel back to my country. Is this a problem?

Request an extension of your residence document if this is possible. What if an extension is not possible? Then you have to leave the Netherlands, if possible. The Dutch government understands that it may be more difficult to return during this period. The government will therefore be less strict in controlling people who stay longer than is allowed. But the government does expect you to try to return when your right of residence expires. Do you need help to return home? Please contact your country's embassy or consulate in the Netherlands.

I am abroad and have a valid residence permit, but I cannot return to the Netherlands. Does this have consequences for my residence permit?

With a residence permit, you may only be abroad for a certain period of time. How long you may stay outside the Netherlands depends on which residence permit you have. Are you unable to travel back to the Netherlands in time due to the measures against corona? If you can explain this, there will be no consequences for your residence permit.

Employer or educational institution

I am an employer or educational institution. Because of the measures against the coronavirus, my employee or student cannot come to the Netherlands. Do I need to report this to the IND?

Yes, under your obligation to provide information, you must report changes to the IND within 4 weeks. For example:

  • The employee or student with a residence permit cannot return to the Netherlands. As a result, they can no longer meet the conditions associated with the residence permit. For example, a highly skilled worker will earn less than the required salary in the coming period, because they cannot work.
  • The employee or student for whom I have applied for residence will no longer come to the Netherlands.

Report this in the Business Portal, DVS or use one of the notification forms on our website. And make sure that you record these situations in your administration because of your duty to keep records.

I am an employer or educational institution. As a result of the measures against the coronavirus I am not able to report changes on time. What should I do?

Under the obligation to provide information, you must report changes to the IND within 4 weeks. For example, registrations and de-registrations. If you cannot manage to do this within 4 weeks, please indicate in each case why it is being reported too late. Report this in the Business Portal, DVS or use one of the notification forms on our website. The IND will take into account the facts and circumstances mentioned when handling the notification.

I am an employer. My employee receives benefits from the UWV through the unemployment benefit during short-time working scheme (wtv) or the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW). As a result, they no longer meet the applicable required salary. What next?

Under the obligation to provide information, you must report this to the IND within 4 weeks. Report this in the Business Portal or use one of the notification forms on our website. And make sure that you record these situations in your administration because of your duty to keep records.

It is not yet clear whether this situation will affect the employee's residence permit. Consultations are still taking place between different departments. When more information is available, this page will be updated.

I am an employer. As a result of the limited services at the IND desks, my employee(s) cannot receive a residence endorsement sticker allowing them to work. Can I still legally allow my employee(s) to work now?

Yes, even without a residence endorsement sticker, your employee(s) may work as long as the issued residence permit allows. Residence documents are temporarily only being issued to clients who have travelled to the Netherlands with a regular provisional residence permit (mvv). 

Journey to join an asylum seeker (family reunification)

I  am sponsor with an asylum residence permit. Can I still apply for family reunification for my family?

Yes, you can apply for family reunification. The IND is continuing to process applications for family reunification as usual. The IND is also still deciding on applications.

I received a letter from the IND asking me to provide additional information (rectify an omission). Because of the measures against the coronavirus, I cannot send the information in time. What should I do?

The IND understands that the measures may make it more difficult to send documents on time. Please get in touch with your contact at the IND if you cannot respond to the letter in time.

An investigation (DNA examination or identity interview) was planned in the Netherlands (for the sponsor). Will this still happen?

No. All investigations have been cancelled until 28 April 2020. The IND will not schedule new investigations until the measures are definitely over. This also applies to hearings in applications for review.

An investigation (DNA examination or identity interview) was planned for my relative abroad. Will this still happen?

No, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has cancelled all investigations until 28 April 2020. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not schedule new investigations until the measures are definitely over. It is therefore possible that your case will be delayed.

Is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs still issuing mvvs at embassies or consulates?

No, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not issue any mvvs until at least 28 April 2020. The IND can still approve your application. At the same time the IND also gives the Ministry of Foreign Affairs permission to issue the mvv. You have 6 months to pick up your mvv. However you cannot make an appointment to pick up your mvv at an embassy until 28 April.  You will able to find out when you can make an appointment again on the Dutch government's website (opens in new window).

Brexit

Will the coronavirus measures affect my application for a residence document for after Brexit? 

No, the IND is still reviewing and deciding on applications received. Please, therefore submit your application within 4 weeks of receiving the invitation letter. You will be notified as soon as we take a decision by letter.

After submitting your application you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt from the IND. Although this letter asks you to make an appointment to have your biometrics taken, this is not currently possible. IND desks are currently only handling urgent matters. Without your biometric details the IND cannot prepare your residence document. This means that you may receive your residence document later than originally hoped. We will keep you updated on this page about the latest developments and when you can have your biometrics taken.

Asylum

What happens to asylum procedures that have started or should start before 28 April 2020?

The IND has temporarily suspended asylum procedures. The IND is postponing all interviews until 28 April 2020. This is because interviews are usually in small rooms and often take a long time. This makes it difficult to follow the RIVM's measures, such as keeping a distance. We also wish to avoid asylum seekers, lawyers, Vluchtelingenwerk and other staff from having to travel to an IND location for an interview. Asylum seekers who had an interview scheduled have already received a letter from the IND. The letter advises that they will receive a new invitation for an interview.

Where can asylum seekers apply for asylum?

Asylum seekers can register at the application centre in Ter Apel. But they cannot yet officially apply for asylum. The IND is postponing all steps in the asylum procedure. There will only be a medical check-up and short registration by the Aliens Police Department, Identification and Human Trafficking (AVIM). For example, asylum seekers will have their fingerprints taken and will receive an aliens number. After registration, asylum seekers can be housed in emergency accommodation at Zoutkamp. When the temporary measures are over, they can still officially apply for asylum.

Can asylum seekers still travel to Ter Apel with public transport?

Westerwolde municipality has decided that the shuttle bus will not run. The regular bus (73) is going.

Where are new asylum seekers being accommodated now that COA (Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers) reception centres are closed?

Until 28 April, asylum seekers are being accommodated at the Willem Lodewijk van Nassaukazerne in Zoutkamp. This is emergency accommodation where asylum seekers receive the necessary care and help. After registering in Ter Apel, they are taken there by bus. It is about an hour and a half away.

Are the residents at the reception centres being informed about the coronavirus?

Yes, the residents have received information about the coronavirus and the measures being taken.

What happens to asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected?

Asylum seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected remain in the COA reception centres.

Can asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal means still leave for their country of origin?

This is different in every case and for every country. The Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) reviews this case by case, every day.

Are transfers in Dublin cases still taking place?

No, transfers in Dublin cases are temporarily postponed until 28 April 2020. These are cases where another European Member State is responsible for the asylum application. Asylum seekers cannot travel to another European Member State at the moment. They continue to stay in the reception centres. The fact that there are no transfers does not mean that asylum seekers will be included in the national procedures. The IND is still assessing which country is responsible for an asylum application.

Europe's borders are closed to travellers from outside Europe. Can asylum seekers still apply for asylum at the border?

The border procedure remains the same. This means that people can still apply for asylum at the external border (such as Schiphol). The IND is handling these applications from asylum seekers as part of the border procedure. This means that the asylum seeker stays in border detention during the border procedure. Applications from families and unaccompanied minor asylum seekers are not processed under the border procedure. At the moment, there is a longer rest and preparation period for the border procedure. This gives a better picture of an asylum seeker's health when the investigation into the asylum application begins. The IND decides on border procedure applications within 4 weeks.

Dutch citizenship

Will the exams for integration still take place?

No, there will be no civic integration exams until after 28 April 2020. The state examination diploma for Dutch as a second language (NT2) are also not taking place. This applies to exams in the Netherlands and abroad. Find out when and where the exams will take place on duo.nl. Find out more about the effects of the coronavirus on your integration on inburgeren.nl.

Can I apply for naturalisation or become Dutch through the option procedure?

You can apply for naturalisation or to become Dutch through the option procedure at your town hall (gemeente). Please visit your municipality's website to find out if you can make an appointment. Or contact your municipality.

Will the naturalisation ceremonies go ahead?

That varies from one municipality to another. The ceremonies can only continue if the government measures can be followed. In some municipalities there is no ceremony, but you can make the declaration of solidarity in writing. It will be posted to your home address. Later you will also receive the decision stating that you have become Dutch by post. Would you like to know more? Please visit your municipality's website. Or contact your municipality.

What if you cannot attend a naturalisation ceremony in time because of the measures against the coronavirus? Or you cannot make the declaration of solidarity in writing in time? At the moment the IND is looking at how we will handle this. As soon as we know more, you can find out on this page.

Is the IND still processing my application for naturalisation?

Yes, the IND is continuing to process applications for naturalisation. This applies to new applications and applications that the IND has already received.