Worldwide, around 100 million people are displaced. A small proportion of these people come to the Netherlands and apply to us for asylum. We assess whether these asylum seekers can receive protection.

Protection for people who are entitled to it

Asylum is meant for people who flee from persecution or violence in their own country. This could be because of their nationality, ethnicity, religion or political beliefs. Or because they belong to a certain group. The Netherlands also provides protection if asylum seekers are afraid of inhuman treatment in their own country, or if they are affected by war. Every asylum seeker who reports in the Netherlands goes through the asylum procedure. Every application is decided on a case by case basis.

Experiences applicants

This is how we work


Screening starts by identifying and registering an applicant. This is done by the police or the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. Applicants are also screened to make sure they are not a danger to the public order or national security. We do this to make sure that the applicant are not criminals and do not pose any other threat to society. After this, each applicant has a reporting interview with an IND staff member. Our staff establish the applicant’s nationality, and asks about their travel route and why they are fleeing their home. 


What if someone comes from a safe country? Or has already been given protection in another country? Then the asylum application will be rejected. The application will also be rejected if someone has a pending asylum application in another EU country. If the asylum application can continue, the applicant will be given time to rest and  prepare. The COA provides accommodation. The asylum seeker will receive information from the Dutch Council for Refugees (in Dutch: Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland) and can prepare for the asylum interview (together with a lawyer)


After this, a detailed interview takes place with an IND staff member. We investigate whether the asylum seeker’s story is true: is it credible? We then make a report of this interview. The lawyer can supplement the report. Finally, the IND decides whether the applicant will receive a residence permit or not. Or whether more time is needed for a decision

Employee talking

What is it like to work as an asylum officer at the IND? These employees explain.

Portret Ryan Alnakoula
24 March 2022
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Taking great care

The IND´s interview and decision staff assess the asylum applications. We do this with the possible greatest care. The decisions we take have a huge impact on people’s lives. That is why every applicant gets the attention they deserve.

Well-trained staff

We give our new staff a year’s training. In this period, they are given intensive guidance. They often get a lot of practical experience following and learning how to assess applications. They also gain a lot of knowledge about countries of origin and processes and practice bringing up difficult situations for discussion. Experienced staff members also regularly take extra courses and training.

Attention paid to complex cases

Working carefully is not the only important thing for us. We also want to decide as quickly as possible. We understand that it is not good to leave people in uncertainty about their application for an unnecessarily long time.
Partly for this reason we have so called decisive action teams. They help our interview and decision staff to take decisions in complex situations. In addition, we have specially trained coordinators for cases involving, for example, conversion or an LGBTI background.

Important topics

Rights of residence and code 98

No right of residence in the Netherlands: if this is the case, the IND registers it under a code called code 98. This subject regularly appears in the media. That is why we would like to explain how code 98 and other residence codes work.

Au pairs

Au pairs often come to the Netherlands for cultural exchange. To do so, they need a residence permit from the IND. In 2022, the government will tighten the au pair scheme to limit any disguised employment and labour exploitation.

More about our fields of work


Coming to the Netherlands for a great job or interesting studies. Find out more about the application process.


Becoming a family with someone who is already living here. Find out more about the special ‘love’ permit.


Becoming Dutch officially and then applying for a passport. Find out more about naturalisation or option.