Emigrating: leaving the Netherlands

Last update: 19 September 2022

Are you planning to leave the Netherlands, voluntarily or because you are required to?  Here you will find information about the arrangements you need to make, how you can get support if you have to leave the Netherlands, and what will happen if you are required to leave the Netherlands but do not do so.

For who is the leaving the Netherlands page for?

You have a valid residence permit, but you want to leave the Netherlands, for example because you are emigrating to another country or because you are returning to your country of origin. Alternatively, you do not have a valid residence permit and you have to leave the Netherlands because you are in the country illegally.

You have a residence permit, but you are planning to leave the Netherlands

Or you live in the Netherlands as a citizen of a country of the EU, EEA, or of Switzerland. Before you leave the Netherlands, you must complete the following formalities:

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You are in the Netherlands illegally and have to leave the country

Do you not have a valid residence permit? Or have you no right to be in the Netherlands for another reason? In that case you are in the Netherlands illegally and must leave the country. You are required to leave the Netherlands independently.

Immigrant detention and deportation centre

If you do not leave the Netherlands independently, the government has the power to force you to leave. Are you refusing to cooperate? Then you may be placed in immigration detention. You will then end up in a reception centre where you must stay until you leave the Netherlands. This is done if the government suspects that you will not report to the AVIM (Immigrant Identification and Trafficking Department). The AVIM is part of the Dutch police. Immigration detention is not intended as a punishment. Read more about immigration detention.

The government has the power to deport you if you do not leave the Netherlands independently. Is your deportation imminent? If so, you will be taken to a deportation centre. You will not be allowed to leave the deportation centre and you must stay there until you leave the country.

Appealing against immigration detention

Do you object to being held in immigration detention? If so, you can appeal to the District Court in The Hague. You must have a lawyer in order to do this. Can you not afford a lawyer? Then the government will arrange a lawyer for you. Read more about lodging an appeal against immigration detention on the website Rechtspraak.nl (Dutch only).

Support with leaving the Netherlands

You can get support with your departure from the Netherlands. Whether you leave independently or are required to leave is immaterial. Support comes in various forms.

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  • Support with obtaining a passport or other travel document

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  • Organisations offering support with departure from the Netherlands

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Rules and regulations

See also

Responsible organisation

Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst


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