Asylum: latest developments

Last update: 4 May 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.

Average waiting times for asylum interviews

When you will have an interview with the IND, differs per procedure. The IND makes an estimate of how long it takes on average before you have an interview. For the estimate, we looked at the waiting times from the past. And we made a prediction by looking at the number of applications that are still waiting for a decision. You can read below how long it will take before you have an interview with the IND. Because the waiting times are an average, you may have to wait shorter or longer. This depends on your situation and how quickly the IND can schedule appointments.

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)

For the estimates we looked at the 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. 

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 or Yemen? Then it is possible that you will not have a second interview with the IND after the registration interview. Instead of this second interview, you can tell your story in writing by completing a questionnaire. If this applies to you, you will receive an invitation for this Paper and Ink Procedure. You will then be invited to come to a location to write down your refugee story and answer questions from the IND in writing. An IND employee is present. The IND assesses whether the written information is sufficient to make a decision. Is that not the case because there is still too much uncertainty and additional information is needed to make a decision? Then 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 waiting times are increasing. That is why in september 2022, the Dutch government has decided to extend the decision period with 9 months (only in Dutch). The government has decided that the IND will also be given more time to decide on asylum applications in 2023 (only in Dutch). That is why the extension of 9 months also applies if you apply for asylum between 1 January 2023 and 1 January 2024. 

The IND has sent a letter 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.

    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.

    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. Because of this, employees have more time to process other asylum applications. 
    • 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.