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Entry ban, return decision and pronouncement of undesirability

On this page you can find out what the meaning is of an entry ban, return decision or a pronouncement of undesirability. You may have to deal with these if your right to live (lawful residence) in the Netherlands has been ended. Or if  you are not allowed to live here. 

ā€‹Entry ban

An entry ban prevents you from travelling to the Netherlands, other EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. Read which countries belong to the EU/EEA. You are not allowed to stay in these countries either. The IND, the Aliens Police (AVIM), Seaport Police or Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (border police) can impose an entry ban on you.

When an entry ban can be imposed

In the following situations an entry ban can be imposed:

  • Your visa or residence permit is no longer valid. You did not leave the Netherlands in time.
  • You are not subject to a visa requirement and you are staying in your permit-exempt term. However, you have  stayed in the Schengen area (including the Netherlands) for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.
  • Your visa or residence permit has been withdrawn.
  • Your application for a residence permit has been rejected. There is no longer a procedure pending (application for review/appeal or new application).
  • Your departure period has expired and you have not left the Netherlands.
  • You never had a valid visa or valid residence permit.

Are you staying in the Netherlands with a short stay visa or during your permit-exempt term? Are you unable to leave the Netherlands due to circumstances beyond your own control? Please, call or write us. There are some cases in which you can get an extension of your visa or permit-exempt term.

An entry ban is imposed is a decision

The entry ban is imposed in a decision. Being imposed means receiving. The decision states the length of the entry ban. It also states for which countries the entry ban applies. In the event of an entry ban your personal details are usually registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) with the note 'refuse entry'. This applies to all Schengen countries. Read which countries belong to the Schengen area.

The entry ban comes into force once you have actually left the Netherlands and the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. You are breaking the law if you do not comply with the entry ban.

How long an entry ban lasts

It depends on your situation how long an entry ban lasts:

  • 1 year: in the case of an overstay of more than 3 days and up to 90 days.
  • 2 years: the standard length (for example in the case of an overstay of more than 90 days).
  • 10 years: issues of public order.
  • 20 years: issues of public order and national security.

Application for review and appeal

An entry ban may be part of another decision. For example, part of the rejection of an application for a residence permit. If you can apply for review of the other decision, you can also apply for review of the entry ban. The entry ban decision states whether you can wait for the application for review or appeal in the Netherlands.

An entry ban can also be issued against you separately. This means the entry ban is not part of another decision. You can then appeal directly to the Aliens Division (Vreemdelingenkamer) of the court of The Hague. You are not allowed to wait for this decision in the Netherlands.

Registering of entry ban in information system

The Dutch government enters an alert of your entry ban. This means that your entry ban and personal data are registered in an information system. In most cases this is the Schengen Information System (SIS). Governments of all the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland are affiliated to the SIS. Because of an entry ban you do not have access to the countries in the Schengen area. Read which countries belong to the Schengen area.

Lifting the entry ban

You can submit a written application to the IND to have the entry ban lifted. Someone else (in the Netherlands) can do this for you too. Then you must
give that person official permission to take action on your behalf. Put this in writing with your signature. This is called an authorisation. Temporary suspension is only possible in highly exceptional and compelling circumstances.

N.B. Has another EU/EEA country or Switzerland imposed an entry ban on you? Then you must request the other country to lift the entry ban.

As a minimum the following documents have to be included in the request to lift the entry ban:

  • A letter in which you:
    • Ask for and give an explanation for lifting your entry ban;
    • State that since leaving the Netherlands, you have stayed outside the Netherlands. This stay was uninterruptedly for at least half the duration of the entry ban. During this time, you must not have committed any crimes or been prosecuted;
    • State that you are not being prosecuted now.
  • An authorisation if you have given permission to a person to take action on your behalf. 
  • A copy of the page in your valid passport containing your identity details. 
  • A copy of your border crossing documents (passport) since your entry ban came into effect. 
  • An overview of the places where you have stayed since the entry ban came into effect. This overview also has to show that you are not staying in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland at the time of your request.
  • Documentary evidence of the places where you have stayed since the entry ban came into effect.
  • A letter from the authorities of the countries where you have stayed since the entry ban came into effect. It states that you have not committed any crimes during your stay there. And that you are not being prosecuted now. This statement is not required if you have an entry ban for less than 2 years.

Please send your request to:

Immigration and Naturalisation Service
Title and Identity
P.O. Box 10
ā€‹9560 AA  TER APEL

Return decision

A return decision (terugkeerbesluit or TKB) is a written declaration or court ruling. It states that you are not (no longer) lawfully resident in the Netherlands. This also means that you will have to leave the Netherlands, the territory of EU (except Ireland), EEA and Switzerland. This is called an obligation to return. Read which countries belong to the EU/EEA. A return decision cannot be imposed on an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen. 

The return decision states the time frame within which you have to leave the Netherlands, the territory of EU (except Ireland), EEA and Switzerland. The departure period is determined on a case-by-case basis. The standard period is 4 weeks (28 days). A period of 0 days is also possible. This is an immediate obligation to leave the country combined with an entry ban.

Return decision as a result of unlawful residence

Do you have a temporary residence permit in the Netherlands that has expired? Or has your application been rejected? You then no longer have lawful residence in the Netherlands. You have to leave the Netherlands, the territory of EU (except Ireland), EEA and Switzerland as soon as possible. If you fail to do so yourself, the AVIM (Aliens Police) or the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee can then impose a return decision.

The following situations form an exception to this rule:

  • You have submitted an application to extend or change your residence permit on time. And you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands while this application is processed.
  • You have submitted an application for review or an appeal against a rejection of a previous application for a residence permit. And you are allowed to await this application in the Netherlands.

Return decision resulting from the rejection of a residence application

Your application for a residence permit has been rejected. This decision is given in the form of a letter: the formal decision. This decision is also a return decision.

You are given a certain time frame within which you have to leave the Netherlands, the territory of EU (except Ireland), EEA and Switzerland: the departure period. The departure period is established on a case-by-case basis. The standard period is 28 days (4 weeks). It may also be that you are not given a departure period (a so-called 0-day period). If this is the case, you have to leave the Netherlands, the territory of EU (except Ireland), EEA and Switzerland immediately.

Pronouncement of undesirability

A pronouncement of undesirability is an administrative measure. The purpose of this is to ban someone from the Netherlands who is no longer allowed to stay in the Netherlands. In most cases a pronouncement of undesirability is imposed on someone who has committed a crime.

When assessing whether you will be pronounced undesirable the IND balances all interests concerned. The national interest (public order and national security) and your own personal and (possibly) family interests are considered.

A pronouncement of undesirability is imposed in a decision

The pronouncement of undesirability is imposed by the IND. This is done as a decision. This decision is issued to you by the police. This will be accompanied by a leaflet with information about the pronouncement of undesirability. If it is not possible to issue the decision in person, your pronouncement of undesirability will then in any event be published in the Government Gazette.

Consequences of a pronouncement of undesirability

The pronouncement of undesirability has immediate effect. If you are pronounced undesirable, you have to leave the Netherlands immediately (personal obligation to leave the country). Afterwards you are no longer allowed to enter or stay in the Netherlands.

If, however, you still remain in the Netherlands or enter the Netherlands when you have been pronounced undesirable, you are breaking the law. You can then be sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum period of 6 months. After having served the prison sentence, you can be expelled from the Netherlands. You do not have access to the Netherlands as long as your pronouncement of undesirability is in effect. 

Application for review of the pronouncement of undesirability

You can appeal against a pronouncement of undesirability. You are not allowed to wait for this decision in the Netherlands. If you have officially been pronounced undesirable and have left the Netherlands, then you can submit a written request after a certain period of time to have the pronouncement of undesirability lifted after a certain period of time.

Registering of pronouncement of undesirability in information system

The Dutch government enters an alert of your pronouncement of undesirability. This means that your pronouncement of undesirability and your personal data are registered in an information system. In most cases this is Executie &Signalering (E&S). E&S is an information system used by the Dutch police. 

Lifting the pronouncement of undesirability
You can submit a written application to the IND to have the pronouncement of undesirability lifted. Someone else (in the Netherlands) can do this for you too. Then you must give that person official permission to take action on your behalf. Put this in writing with your signature. This is called an authorisation. Temporary suspension is only possible in highly exceptional and compelling circumstances.

As a minimum the following documents have to be included in the request to lift the pronouncement of undesirability:

  • A letter in which you:
    • Ask for and give an explanation for lifting your pronouncement of undesirability;
    • State that since leaving the Netherlands, you have stayed uninterruptedly outside the Netherlands.  During this time, you must not have committed any crimes or been prosecuted;
    • State that you are not being prosecuted now.
  • An authorisation if you have given permission to a person to take action on your behalf. 
  • A copy of the page in your valid passport containing your identity details. 
  • A copy of your border crossing documents (passport) since your pronouncement of undesirability came into effect. 
  • An overview of the places where you have stayed since the pronouncement of undesirability came into effect. This overview also has to show that you are not staying in the Netherlands at the time of your request.
  • Documentary evidence of the places where you have stayed since the pronouncement of undesirability came into effect.
  • A letter from the authorities of the countries where you have stayed since the pronouncement of undesirability came into effect. It states that you have not committed any crimes during your stay there. And that you are not being prosecuted now. 

Please send your request to:

Immigration and Naturalisation Service
Title and Identity
P.O. Box 10
ā€‹9560 AA  TER APEL



This is called overstay.

Public order

Public order is peace and order on the street and in public spaces. The government organises and controls this peace and order in society. Someone who is a danger to the public order is someone who disrupts this order, for example, someone who commits an offence. The IND therefore checks whether an individual has any registered convictions. We also check whether that person is currently a serious threat to society.