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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 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 can an entry ban be imposed on you?

An entry ban can be imposed on you 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  • Your visa or residence permit is no longer valid.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  • Your visa or residence permit has been withdrawn.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 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 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) with the note 'refuse entry'.

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.

What are the consequences of an entry ban?

Has an entry ban been imposed on you? 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 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).
  • 3 years: in the case of a prison sentence of less than 6 months.
  • 5 years:
    • in the case of a prison sentence of 6 months or more.
    • if you have made use of false or falsified documents, or documents that do not apply to you.
    • if you have previously been required to leave the Netherlands and you have not done this (return decision).
    • if during your entry ban, you enter or stay in the Netherlands while the entry ban applies.
  • 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.

Lifting the entry ban

You can submit a written application to the IND 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? 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 copy of the page in your valid passport containing your identity details.
  • An overview of the places where 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 where you have been 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 you have an entry ban for less than 2 years.
  • A written statement. This must state that since leaving the Netherlands, you have stayedoutside the Netherlands uninterruptedly for at least half the duration of the entry ban. During this time, you must not have committed any crimes or been prosecuted.

Please send your request to:

Immigration and Naturalisation Service
Title and Identity
P.O. Box 10
‚Äč9560 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. This is called an obligation to return. 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 departure period 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. 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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

Schengen Information System

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

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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.