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Entry ban, return decision and pronouncement of undesirability

If your legal residence has ended or you do not have lawful residence in the Netherlands, you must leave the country. In addition, an entry ban, return decision or a pronouncement of undesirability can be imposed.

‚ÄčEntry ban

An entry ban prevents you from travelling to the Netherlands, other EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. You are not allowed to be in these countries either. You get an entry ban from the IND, the Aliens Police (AVIM), Seaport Police or Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (customs).

When do you get an entry ban?

You can get an entry ban in the following situations:

  • Your visa or residence permit is no longer valid.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  • Your visa or residence permit has been withdrawn.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 deadline 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 contact us. There are some cases in which you can get an extension of your visa or permit-exempt term.

How is an entry ban imposed?

The entry ban is imposed in a decision. 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 registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS).

The length of the entry ban comes into force once you have actually left the Netherlands and the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. You are punishable if you do not abide by the entry ban.

What are the consequences of an entry ban?

Do you have an entry ban? This means that you are not allowed to enter or stay in the Netherlands,  the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland for a certain period of time. For example:

  • 1 year: in case of an overstay of more than 3 days and up to 90 days.
  • 2 years: the standard length (for example in case of an overstay of more than 90 days).
  • 3 years: in case of a prison sentence of less than 6 months.
  • 5 years:
    • in case of a prison sentence of 6 months and more.
    • when you have made use of false or falsified documents, or documents that do not apply to you.
    • When you have previously been notified to leave the Netherlands and you have not done this (return decision).
    • entering or staying in the Netherlands during the length of an entry ban.
  • 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, as part of the rejection of an application for a residence permit. If you can apply for review against the other decision, the same is also possible against the entry ban. The decision entry ban states whether you can await the application for review or appeal in the Netherlands.

An entry ban can also be issued against you independently. This means the entry ban is not part of another decision. You can then appeal to the Court of The Hague directly. You are not allowed to await this decision in the Netherlands.

Lifting the entry ban

You can request the IND in writing to have the entry ban lifted. You can only do this from a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland. You can also have the request submitted by an authorised/legal representative (in the Netherlands). You can also request to have the entry ban temporarily suspended. Temporary suspension is only possible in highly exceptional and compelling circumstances.
Has another EU/EEA country or Switzerland imposed an entry ban on you? You must then request the other country to lift the entry ban.

At least the following documents have to be included in the request to lift the entry ban:

  • A copy of the page of your valid passport containing your identity details.
  • An overview of the places you have stayed since the entry ban came into effect. This overview has to be supplemented with documentary evidence. This overview also has to show that you are not staying in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland at the time of your request.
  • A written statement. This statement is issued by the competent authorities of the state or states that you have been in since the entry ban came into effect. This statement shows that you have not committed any crimes or have not been prosecuted during your stay there. This statement is not required if an entry ban has been imposed with a length of less than 2 years.
  • A written statement. This statement indicates that you have stayed at least half of the length of the entry ban uninterruptedly outside the Netherlands since your departure from the Netherlands. You may not have committed any crimes or have been prosecuted during this period.

Return decision

A return decision (TKB) is a written declaration or court ruling. It states that you are not (no longer) lawfully staying in the Netherlands. This also means that you will have to leave the Netherlands. This is called an obligation to return. A return decision cannot be imposed on an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen.

The return decision provides the time frame within which you have to leave the Netherlands. The departure deadline is determined on a case-by-case basis. A choice can be made to impose 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 as soon as possible. Failure 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 for an extension or change of your residence permit in time. And you are allowed to await this application in the Netherlands.
  • 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 as a result of a rejection of an application for a residence permit

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 departure deadline. The departure deadline followed after a rejection of an application for a residence permit 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 deadline (a so-called 0-days time limit). If this is the case, you have to leave the Netherlands immediately.

Pronouncement of undesirability

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

How is a pronouncement of undesirability imposed?

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.

What are the consequences of a pronouncement of undesirability?

The pronouncement of undesirability has immediate effect. If you are pronounced undesirable, you yourself 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 are still in the Netherlands or entering the Netherlands while you are pronounced undesirable, you are punishable. You can then be sentenced to imprisonment of a maximum period of 6 months. After having served the prison sentence, you can be expelled from the Netherlands.

Your personal details are entered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the event of a pronouncement of undesirability.  This means that you cannot access any of the Schengen countries 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 await this decision in the Netherlands. Once after having officially been pronounced undesirable and having left the Netherlands, you can then submit a written request after a certain period of time to have the pronouncement of undesirability lifted.

Schengen Information System

As the pronouncement of undesirability serves to ban certain foreign nationals from the Netherlands, an alert is entered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) as an entry ban. This means that for the duration of the pronouncement of undesirability the foreign national cannot access the countries within the Schengen Area.

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This is called overstay.