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Asylum: latest developments

Last update: 10 November 2023

Many people are applying for asylum in the Netherlands. Because of this, the waiting times in the asylum procedure are increasing. The IND is taking measures to decide as fast as possible on the asylum applications. Read what this means for your application. 

Processing your asylum application

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? Then you follow the Dublin Procedure. Did you come from a safe country of origin or do you get protection in another European country? Then you follow the safe country procedure. These procedures are shorter and you will have 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. 

Decision period of your asylum application

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 the Dutch government has decided to extend the decision period with 9 months (only in Dutch). The extension is valid if you apply for asylum between 27 September 2022 and 1 January 2024. 

Average waiting times for interviews IND

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 in the period between May 2022 and August 2023. And at the amount of applications still waiting for a decision. In the table below, you can read how long it takes until the interviews with the IND begin. 

Dublin Procedure 7 weeks of waiting before the interview with the IND (Dublin procedure)
Safe Country Procedure 8 weeks of waiting before the interview with the IND (shortened safe country hearing)
General Asylum Procedure 15 weeks waiting for the first interview with the IND (application interview)
General Asylum Procedure 37 weeks of waiting for the second interview  with the IND (detailed interview) after the first interview (application interview)

It may take more or less time before you get an interview

The waiting times are an average and are intended to provide a general overview. Sometimes you will get an interview before the average waiting time has passed or later. Exactly when you will be interviewed depends on your situation and the capacity of the IND. For example, the right employee and interpreter have to be available for your interview. And you must be able to be transported to your appointment. If your application is more complicated to decide on, an employee with additional knowledge is required. In addition, it also depends on your situation. For example, you may come from a country that has rules that allow us to make a faster decision.

Causes longer waiting times and taken measures

Applicants for an asylum permit currently wait an average of more than a year for a decision. The IND understands that it is difficult that you have to wait such a long time for your decision. There are several reasons for the long waiting time. We explain these reasons briefly. We also explain what measures we are taking to give you clarity about your future as quickly as possible.

    Causes of longer waiting times at IND

    Many asylum applications

    The number of refugees from Syria, Turkey and Yemen remains high. More and more unaccompanied minor refugees are also coming to the Netherlands. These are children under the age of 18 who have fled without their parents. Furthermore, the number of applications for family reunification (reunification) has increased. All of this causes the asylum reception centres to stay busy.

    Residency for refugees from Ukraine

    Due to the war in Ukraine, many Ukrainian refugees have come to the Netherlands. The IND plays an important role in arranging residence for this group of refugees.

    The combination of many applications and capacity

    Many people apply for asylum in the Netherlands. The IND is working hard to decide on all these applications. The IND receives an assignment from the Dutch government every year. This includes, among other things, the minimum number of decisions the IND must make that year. In the first half of this year we have already made many more decisions in the general asylum procedure than was mandated. Yet it remains busy and the waiting times are long. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to beat the high amount of applications by hiring more people. Deciding on an asylum application is complicated and must be done with care. Training new employees takes time.

    Measures to shorten waiting times

    The IND is taking measures to shorten waiting times for applicants for an asylum permit. Many applicants for an asylum permit come from the unsafe countries of Syria and Yemen. That is why a large number of measures are aimed at applications from people from these countries. The measures taken also free up more time to process all other asylum applications.

    Consequences for the scheduling of your application

    In principle, the IND tries to plan the processing of applications in all asylum procedures in order of arrival. Due to the measures taken, this is sometimes not possible. So it may happen that someone who has been in the Netherlands for a shorter period of time will have their turn earlier than you.

    Measures for asylum applications from Syrians and Yemenis

    Applicants from countries that are unsafe for everyone have a greater chance of receiving an asylum permit. This applies, for example, to people from Syria and Yemen. The IND wants to provide this group of applicants with clarity about their asylum application more quickly. The IND does this in the following ways:

    • Shorter hearings at the COA reception centre
      Applicants from Syria and Yemen may receive a shorter hearing (interview) about the reasons for the asylum application. IND employees also sometimes come to the COA shelter for this hearing. This means you do not have to travel to an IND office. And the IND can conduct multiple hearings in one day.
    • Combi hearing for asylum applicants under the age of 18
      Applicants from Syria and Yemen who are younger than 18 years old and have not yet had a first interview with the IND will receive a combined hearing. This means that the registration interview and the further interview take place in one go. The invitation letter sent from the IND contains more information about this combined hearing.

    Faster processing of applications with little chance of asylum

    The IND tries to process asylum applications with little chance of an asylum permit more quickly. This concerns, for example, applicants who have previously applied for asylum in another European country. Or for applicants who come from a safe country.

    The IND is training more employees

    The IND is hiring new employees to shorten waiting times. Deciding on an asylum application is complicated and must be done with care. As a result, training new employees takes a lot of time. The effect is because of that not immediately visible. In addition, the IND hires employees who can, for example, take over the administration of decision-making staff. This gives the decision-making staff more time to decide on asylum applications.