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Emigrating: Leaving the Netherlands

Last check: 25-04-2022

Are you planning to leave the Netherlands, voluntarily or because you are required to?  Here you will find information about the arrangements you need to make, how you can get support if you have to leave the Netherlands, and what will happen if you are required to leave the Netherlands but do not do so.


Who is the leaving the Netherlands page for?

You have a valid residence permit, but you want to leave the Netherlands, for example because you are emigrating to another country or because you are returning to your country of origin. Alternatively, you do not have a valid residence permit and you have to leave the Netherlands because you are in the country illegally.

You have a residence permit, but you are planning to leave the Netherlands

Or you live in the Netherlands as a citizen of a country of the EU, EEA, or of Switzerland. Before you leave the Netherlands, you must complete the following formalities:

Deregister from the municipality

You are registered with the municipality as a resident in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP). Before you leave the Netherlands, you should deregister from the BRP. You do this at the Civil Affairs Department of the municipality where you live. The municipality passes on your deregistration to the IND.

Report your departure to the IND

Will you be deregistering from the BRP before leaving the Netherlands? If so, you do not have to report your departure to the IND. The municipality will pass your deregistration on to us. If you have not deregistered from the BRP within 4 weeks of leaving the Netherlands, you should notify the IND of your departure yourself. A sponsor may also make this notification for you. A sponsor could be your partner, employer or school/university. If you do not report your departure, you or your sponsor may receive a fine from the IND.

Please note! If you have the nationality of a country of the EU, EEA or of Switzerland, you do not have to report your departure with a notification form.

Forms to report a departure from the Netherlands

You or your sponsor should report your departure by means of a form. There are various forms:

Your sponsor should use the form that corresponds with the purpose of stay noted on your residence permit:

Recognised sponsors can also use the online notification form. The online notification forms for recognised sponsors can be found in the Business Portal

Hand in your residence document to the IND

Before you leave the Netherlands, you should hand in your residence document to the IND. This is because your residence document is and remains the property of the Dutch Government. Invalidate the residence document before handing it in. You can do this by cutting off a corner of the permit or by perforating it.

There are three ways to hand in your residence document:

  1. You can send the residence document to the IND by post. The address is:
    IND Bureau Documenten
    Postbus 7025
    8007 HA Zwolle
  2. You enclose the residence permit together with the Notification form for foreign nationals in the envelope and send it by post. The address can be found on the notification form. 
  3. You can hand in your residence document at an IND desk. You must make an appointment by telephone to do this. You must also bring the completed Notification form for foreign nationals with you. The desk clerk will give you proof that you have handed the permit in and a colour copy of the residence document.

Leave the Netherlands in good time

You must leave the Netherlands in good time. 'In good time' means that you leave the Netherlands before the expiry date of your current residence permit. Do you not leave the Netherlands in good time? The police or the military police can impose a return decision. An entry ban can also be imposed on you. 

You are in the Netherlands illegally and have to leave the country

Do you not have a valid residence permit? Or have you no right to be in the Netherlands for another reason? In that case you are in the Netherlands illegally and must leave the country. You are required to leave the Netherlands independently. 

Immigrant detention and deportation centre

If you do not leave the Netherlands independently, the government has the power to force you to leave. Are you refusing to cooperate? Then you may be placed in immigration detention. You will then end up in a reception centre where you must stay until you leave the Netherlands. This is done if the government suspects that you will not report to the AVIM (Immigrant Identification and Trafficking Department). The AVIM is part of the Dutch police. Immigration detention is not intended as a punishment. Read more about immigration detention.

The government has the power to deport you if you do not leave the Netherlands independently. Is your deportation imminent? If so, you will be taken to a deportation centre. You will not be allowed to leave the deportation centre and you must stay there until you leave the country.

Appealing against immigration detention

Do you object to being held in immigration detention? If so, you can appeal to the District Court in The Hague. You must have a lawyer in order to do this. Can you not afford a lawyer? Then the government will arrange a lawyer for you. Read more about lodging an appeal against immigration detention on the website Rechtspraak.nl (Dutch only).

Support with leaving the Netherlands

You can get support with your departure from the Netherlands. Whether you leave independently or are required to leave is immaterial. Support comes in various forms.

Support with obtaining a passport or other travel document

To travel, you need a valid passport or other travel document. Do you not have one? Then you can apply for a new passport. You can do this in the Netherlands at the embassy or consulate of the country whose national you are.

Are you having problems obtaining a travel document? The Repatriation and Departure Service (Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek – DT&V) may be able to help you. In such cases, DT&V will apply for a replacement travel document for you from your country's embassy or consulate. That replacement travel document is called a laissez-passer. You can use it to travel to your country of origin. Read more about mediation by the DT&V.

Do you have no passport at all? Nor any other document that shows who you are and where you come from? Then the embassy or consulate will first investigate your nationality and identity. This is usually done through a 'presentation in person'. This means that you go to the embassy or consulate for an interview. The embassy or consulate can determine through this whether you are a citizen of that country. Sometimes, the embassy or consulate will carry out an additional investigation in your country of origin. Once the embassy or consulate establishes that you are a citizen of their country, they will issue you with a travel document. You can use this to leave the Netherlands and go to your country of origin or to another country which you are entitled to enter.

Organisations offering support with departure from the Netherlands

There are various organisations that can support you with leaving the Netherlands. Click on the links below for more information about these organisations and how they can help you. 

Rules and regulations

Go straight to


Immigration and Naturalisation Service