Asylum procedures in the Netherlands

Last update: 19 May 2022

When you apply for asylum in the Netherlands, you follow an asylum procedure. The IND determines which asylum procedure you will follow based on where you come from and how you came to the Netherlands. Find out which asylum procedures there are and what the main characteristics are of the different asylum procedures.

General Asylum Procedure (AA)

The General Asylum Procedure (in Dutch: Algemene Asielprocedure or AA) is the standard asylum procedure. This procedure usually takes 6 days. There is also a longer General Asylum Procedure  (AA+), which usually takes 9 days.

Extended Asylum Procedure (VA)

The Extended Asylum Procedure (in Dutch: Verlengde Asielprocedure or VA) is similar to the General Asylum Procedure (AA/AA+) but it takes more time. The VA can take a few months or more. You will enter the VA if the IND cannot handle your application in the General Asylum Procedure (AA or AA+). Then you will usually move to a different reception centre. And you do not have to go to the IND office every day. You will enter the VA in these situations:

  • You are under the age of 12 and came to the Netherlands without your parents.
  • You are sick and you need to get better before you can explain why you fled.
  • The IND needs more time to decide on your asylum application. For example to investigate further.
  • There is no interpreter available.
  • You have family members who are also in the VA.
  • The IND temporarily cannot find a staff member with the necessary experience for you. 

Repeat asylum application (HASA)

You will submit a repeat asylum application (in Dutch: herhaalde asielaanvraag or HASA) if you apply for asylum again after a previous asylum application.

Dublin Procedure

The Dublin Procedure is the asylum procedure if a different EU/EEA country or Switzerland has to decide on your asylum application. You will follow the Dublin Procedure in these situations:

  • You applied for asylum for the first time in another country.
  • You first came to Europe illegally, via a different country.
  • The other country gave you a Schengen visa. 

These are the main characteristics of the Dublin Procedure:

  • Short asylum procedure.
  • During the procedure, you will stay and sleep in a reception centre of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (in Dutch: Centraal Orgaan opvang asielzoekers or COA).
  • You have 1 interview with the IND about your identity, nationality and travel route. You cannot explain why you are applying for asylum. But you can say why you think that the Netherlands should handle your asylum application. And you can say what you think about the fact that a different country might decide on your asylum application.
  • After the Dublin Procedure, you will travel to the country handling your asylum application. In the meantime, you still have a right to reception.
  • Did the IND reject your asylum application? Then you can appeal to a Dutch court. You are usually allowed to wait for the outcome in the Netherlands and you often still have the right to reception. Your lawyer will help you with your legal action.
  • You will enter the General Asylum Procedure (AA/AA+) if the Netherlands is going to handle your asylum anyway.

Simplified asylum procedure

You will follow the simplified asylum procedure if you come from a safe country of origin or if you are an EU citizen. Or if you already have protection in a different EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

These are the main characteristics of the simplified asylum procedure:

  • Short and fast asylum procedure.
  • You stay and sleep in a reception centre.
  • You have 1 interview with the IND about your identity, nationality, travel route and why you are applying for asylum. Do you already have protection in a different EU/EEA country or Switzerland? In that case the interview will only be about why you left that country. The IND will take a decision after the interview.
  • What if more information is needed before the IND can take a decision? In that case your asylum procedure will continue in the General Asylum Procedure (AA/AA+) or Extended Asylum Procedure.
  • If the IND rejected your asylum application you can appeal to a Dutch Court. You are usually allowed to wait for the outcome in the Netherlands and you often still have a right to reception. Your lawyer will help you with your legal action.
  • If the court agrees with the IND decision you must leave the Netherlands immediately. Your right to reception stops and you usually get an entry ban. You will move to a reception centre in order to return to your country of origin. Or you will be placed in a foreign nationals detention if the government cannot remove you from the country.
  • If the court does not agree with the IND decision, you enter the Extended asylum procedure. And the IND will take a decision again.

Border procedure (GP)

The border procedure (in Dutch: grensprocedure or GP) is the asylum procedure if you apply for asylum at the airport or seaport where you enter the Netherlands. The GP is similar to the General Asylum Procedure (AA/AA+). But in the GP, you stay and sleep in a detention facility near Schiphol Airport . In the border procedure, the IND can decide that you will follow the simplified asylum procedure. The border procedure can take up to 28 days. 

The border procedure stops in these situations:

  • The IND has decided positively on your asylum application. You will move to an open reception centre until you get a house from the local council.
  • The IND needs more time to assess your asylum application. The IND will continue to handle your application in the Extended Asylum Procedure. And you will move to an open reception centre.
  • The IND decides that it will continue handling your asylum application in the General Asylum Procedure. You will leave the detention facility and go to an open reception centre.
  • The IND rejects your asylum application. Within a certain time you can appeal  to a Dutch court against this decision.
  • What if the court agrees with the rejection by the IND during the border procedure? In that case you will not be allowed to enter the Netherlands. And you usually get an entry ban. You will go to another detention facility until you leave the Netherlands.
  • If the court finds that the IND has not made the right decision you will move to an open reception centre. You will enter the Extended Asylum Procedure. The IND will take a decision again.

Asylum procedure unaccompanied minor asylum seekers (AMV)

What if you are an asylum seeker under 18 and you have no parents or caregivers in the Netherlands? In that case you follow the asylum procedure for unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (in Dutch: alleenstaande, minderjarige vreemdelingen or AMV).

These are the main characteristics of the AMV procedure:

  • First, you will rest from the journey after you have applied for asylum. And you prepare yourself for the asylum procedure. The Dutch Council for Refugees (in Dutch: Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland or VWN) and a lawyer helps you prepare. Your asylum procedure will start a few weeks after you have applied for asylum.
  • You follow the General Asylum Procedure (AA/AA+), but the IND takes your age into account.
  • You will get a guardian from the NIDOS Foundation (in Dutch: stichting NIDOS) because you are an AMV. The guardian helps and counsels you with finding a place to live, a school to go to in the Netherlands and with your asylum procedure. The guardian helps you take important decisions.
  • You will live and sleep in a special reception centre for young asylum seekers. If you are under 15 the NIDOS will arrange a foster family for you to stay with.
  • What if you do not have any identification documents? Then the IND checks whether you are a minor, for example by asking you questions. Or it carries out an investigation in a different EU/EEA country or Switzerland.
  • Sometimes the IND asks if you want to participate in an age test. This test gives the IND clarity about your age. During this test, X-rays are taken of the bones in your shoulder and wrist.
  • The IND decides whether you will get a residence permit. If you do not agree with the decision by the IND,  you can appeal to a Dutch court. A lawyer will help you do this.
  • If you are not allowed to stay in the Netherlands, you must go back to the country where you came from. The Repatriation and Departure Service (in Dutch: Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek or DT&V) examines whether there is good reception in your own country. And it helps you with your departure. You will stay in a reception centre as long as your journey home has not yet been arranged.
  • What if you do not get asylum and you are simply unable to arrange your return? And you cannot do anything about this? In that case you may be able to get a no-fault residence permit. This is a special residence permit.