Asylum: latest developments

Last update: 13 January 2023

Waiting times in the asylum procedure are increasing. The IND takes measures to decide on asylum applications as quickly as possible. Read what this means for your application.

Application and registration

When you apply for asylum, you first report at the application centre in Ter Apel. It is very busy there now, because many people are applying for asylum. Because of this, the application and registration process is slightly different than normal. You go through the following steps:

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  • 1. Pre-registration at the IND

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  • 2. To the temporary reception location in Zoutkamp

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  • 3. Appointment with the police

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  • 4. Identification and registration in Ter Apel

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  • 5. Reception in another reception location

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  • 6. Invitation for interview with the IND

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More information about application and asylum procedure

Do you want to know more about the application and registration? Please visit our page with information about the application process for aid organisations (only in Dutch). Do you want to know more about the steps after the application interview? Read more about applying for asylum in the Netherlands

Average waiting times for asylum interviews

You can read below how long it took, on average, before an applicant had an interview with the IND. You can then estimate for yourself how long you will have to wait for an interview with the IND. Because the figures are an average, you may have to wait shorter or longer. This depends on the situation you are in and how quickly the IND can schedule appointments.

We use the Dublin procedure as an example to see how you can read the numbers. You can read from the numbers how long it took before the interview with the IND started in the Dublin procedure. During the past 10 months, this took 5 weeks on average (February 2022 to November 2022).

Dublin Procedure 5 weeks of waiting before the first interview with the IND (Dublin procedure)
Safe Country Procedure 4 weeks of waiting before the first interview with the IND (shortened safe country hearing)
General Asylum Procedure 12 weeks of waiting for the first interview with the IND (application interview)
General Asylum Procedure 24 weeks of waiting on the second interview with the IND (detailed interview) after the first interview (application interview)

These are waiting times in the period between February 2022 and November 2022. For the calculation, the IND looked at all the decisions we made in that period. From 2023, we will update the figures after every 3 months.

Processing your asylum application

After the application and registration you wait until your asylum procedure starts. There are different asylum procedures in the Netherlands. Which procedure you follow depends on your journey and what country you are from. Did you apply for asylum in another European country or do you have a European visa? Or did you come from a safe country of origin or do you get protection in another European country? Then your procedure is shorter and you will have only 1 interview with the IND. You will have 2 interviews when you follow the General Asylum Procedure ((in Dutch: Algemene Asielprocedure or AA): the application interview and the detailed interview. In the detailed interview you explain extensively about the reasons of your asylum application. 

Putting your refugee story on paper

Are you from Syria, Yemen or Turkey? Then it is possible that you will not be interviewed by the IND, but that you will be allowed to fill in a form. This is one of the measures through which the IND hopes to make a decision more quickly. Does this apply to you? Then you will receive an invitation for the Paper and Ink Procedure. You will then put your refugee story on paper and answers the questions from the IND. The IND can use this form to make a positive decision. If too much is unclear, you will still follow the AA procedure and you will get an interview with the IND. 

Letter extension asylum application decision period in 10 languages

The law states that the IND usually has 6 months to decide upon an asylum application. This is the legal decision period. The Dutch government has decided to extend the decision period with 9 months (only in Dutch) because of the increase in waiting times.

Are you waiting for a decision on your asylum application? Then you have received a letter from the IND in November or December 2022 stating what the extension means for your application. The contents of the letter depends on your situation. Have you been waiting less than 6 months for your decision? Then the letter will state the legal decision period for your application. Has your decision period already been extended? In that case, the letter will explain how you can calculate the legal decision period for your situation yourself. We have listed the letter in 10 languages for you below. 

Extension letter Arabic/ خطاب التجديد عربي

Extension letter English

Extension letter French/ Lettre de renouvellement en français

Extension letter Dutch/ verlengingsbrief Nederlands

 Extension letter Persian/ پسوند نامه فارسی

Extension letter Russian/  Письмо о продлении Русский

Extension letter Somali/ Warqad Dheeri ah Soomaali

Extension letter Spanish/ Carta extendida en español

Extension letter Tigrinya/ ናይ ምሕዳስ ደብዳበ ትግሪኛ

Extension letter Turkish/ Uzatma mektubu Türkçe


Causes of longer waiting times and measures taken

The IND understands that it is difficult that you have to wait a long time for your decision. You may wonder why you have to wait so long. There are various reasons for this. We briefly explain these reasons. We also explain what measures we are taking to give you clarity about your future as soon as possible.

Measures to shorten waiting times

The IND is taking the following measures to shorten the waiting times:

  • Applicants from Syria and Yemen have a good chance of obtaining an asylum permit. That is why they get a shorter interview about the reasons for their asylum application. Sometimes they are also allowed to fill in a form instead of an interview.
  • We try to process asylum applications with little chance of obtaining an asylum permit more quickly. This concerns, for example, applicants who already have applied for asylum in another European country. Or applicants who come from a safe country.
  • We are hiring new employees. Making decisions on an asylum application requires a lot of attention and is precise work. That is why it takes time to properly train a decision employee. 

Causes of the high number of asylum applications

  • The number of refugees from Syria, Turkey and Yemen who apply for asylum in the Netherlands remains high.
  • The number of applications for family reunification of refugees has increased. That is why it is also busy in the reception centres. The government has taken measures to reduce the pressure on the asylum reception. 
  • More unaccompanied minor refugees are coming to the Netherlands. These are children under the age of 18 who flee without parents.
  • The IND must explain the decisions on asylum applications in more detail. This is due to court judgments and the rules from the European Union. As a result, an IND employee needs more time to make a decision.
  • Many refugees from Ukraine have come to the Netherlands.
  • Every year, the IND estimates how many decisions our employees who make decisions are able to make. In 2022, this number was much lower than the number of asylum applications. 
  • It is difficult to find new employees throughout the Netherlands.