IND stands for Immigration and Naturalisation Service.
You can apply for a residence permit to the IND. To apply for a residence permit means you are asking for permission to come and live in the Netherlands. There are various reasons for coming to the Netherlands. For example, because you want to work here, or because you want to study in the Netherlands. But you may also wish to live in the Netherlands, because it is not safe to live in your own country.
There are different residence permits. For example a work permit. For people who want to come to the Netherlands to work. But there is also a 'love' permit. For people who have fallen in love with someone living in the Netherlands. And also a study permit, for students abroad. Or an au pair permit. Do you know what an au pair is? This is a person who wants to live with a host family for a year after secondary school. The au pair often helps with the children in the family and receives some money for this. All these residence permits, you can apply for to the IND. If the IND approves the residence permit, you get permission to come to the Netherlands. Where you can then pick up your residence permit. And start your new job, or your new education. Or you can finally live with your new loved one!
Some people are in danger in the country they live in. Because there is war, for example. Sometimes, when it has become too dangerous to live in his own country, a person has to flee. A person who has fled from his country, can ask another country to protect him. We call this to apply for asylum. He is asking for a safe place to continue his life.
You apply for different resident permits in different ways. The rules are in the Dutch law, the Aliens Act. Nearly all permits are not applied for by the person himself, but always together with someone living in the Netherlands. The love permit is always applied for together with the Dutch loved one. The work permit is applied for together with the Dutch company this man or woman wants to work for. And the study permit is done together with the university. The person who wants to come and live in the Netherlands is called the applicant, and the person who helps him with the application is the sponsor.
The applicant and the sponsor usually both have to fill in a form. And they have to show papers, like a birth certificate. This is the proof that you were born. Or proof that you are enrolled with the university. Sometimes, you also have to show other proof. For the love permit, for example, you have to show photos that you have met each other. And for a work permit, you have to show that you have a contract with the company.
It is different for asylum seekers. They do not have to fill in an application form. But they have to talk to someone from the IND. Who asks them questions, such as: Where are you from? Why can't you go back to your own country? An interpreter helps the asylum seeker to speak with the person from the IND. This way, he can answer all the questions. After that, he has to wait for the IND's decision.
The law has rules about every residence permit and when it can or cannot be given. There are all these conditions a person has to meet. For example an income requirement. This means you have to at least earn a certain amount (salary). For asylum seekers, this, again, is different. It is important for them that their story is believable. And also other things are important, for example what the situation is in the country the asylum seeker comes from.
Decision officers work at the IND. They read an application, check the law and make a decision about the residence permit.
On some occasions the IND also gives group presentations on topics such as conditions, possibilities and procedures. The groups have to consist of at least 10 persons who would like to receive detailed information on specific subjects.
Send your application well in advance. All applications will be assessed separately. Group presentations are generally free of charge.