Leaving the Netherlands

Last update: 23 February 2024

You are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or have a valid residence permit in the Netherlands. You want to leave the Netherlands. Find out what you need to arrange. And what happens if you are obliged to leave the Netherlands but do not leave.

Leaving the Netherlands voluntarily

You are leaving the Netherlands voluntarily. For example because you are returning to your country of origin. You do not have to end your residence permit. But there are some things you need to take care of before you leave the Netherlands.

Inform your local council

Do this at the Civil Affairs Department (in Dutch: afdeling Burgerzaken) of the local council  in your area. Your local council (municipality) will deregister you from the personal records database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen or BRP). They will let the IND know you have deregistered.

Inform the IND of you departure

In certain situations, you must also inform the IND of your departure. You can do this yourself, or your sponsor (for example your partner or employer) can do this for you.

You must inform the IND of your departure in these situations:

  • You dit not inform your local council of your departure within 4 weeks after leaving the Netherlands.
  • You have an asylum residence permit and are leaving the Netherlands voluntarily. Always use this declaration:

Do you have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality? Then you do not have to inform the IND of your departure.

Informing the IND of departure online

Do you want to inform the IND of your departure online? Then use the online notification form.

Are you a recognised sponsor? Then use the notification form in the Business Portal.

Informing the IND of departure in writing

Do you want to inform the IND of your departure in writing? Then use the relevant form relevant for the residence purpose of your residence permit:

Leave the Netherlands on time

On time means that you leave before your residence permit expires. What happens if you do not leave the Netherlands on time? Then the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMAR) can impose a return decision on you. You can also receive an entry ban.


Being obliged to leave the Netherlands

Are you in the Netherlands without a valid residence permit? Then you are illegal and the government can oblige you to leave the Netherlands. What happens if you do not leave the Netherlands yourself? Then the government can force you to leave.

Foreign nationals detention

Do you have to leave the Netherlands but do you not leave voluntarily? And is there a risk that you will not do so? Then you could be placed in foreign nationals detention. This is a way to keep someone available for departure from the Netherlands. It is not meant as a punishment. Find out more about foreign nationals detention.

You can be placed in a detention centre. You will stay there until you leave the Netherlands. Can you be removed in a short period? Then you can be placed in a deportation centre.

Appeal against foreign nationals detention

Do you disagree with the foreign nationals detention? Then you can appeal. Find out more about appealing against foreign nationals detention (in Dutch).


Return residence document (card) to the IND

The card is property of the Dutch government. Invalidate the residence document before you give it back to the IND. You do this by cutting a corner off the document, or by making a hole in it.

There are different ways to give the residence document back to us:

  • Send the card in an envelope to this postal address:
    IND Bureau Documenten
    Postbus 49
    9560 AA Ter Apel
  • Enclose the card with the Notification form for foreign nationals. The form contains the address:
  • Hand the card back to an IND desk. First make an appointment for this by calling the IND. Do not forget to fill in a Notification form for foreign nationals and bring it to the appointment.

Assistance with leaving the Netherlands

You get help when you leave the Netherlands. It does not matter whether you leave voluntarily or are made to leave.

Getting assistance with passport or other travel document

You need a valid passport or other travel document to travel. What if you do not have such a document? Then apply for a new passport or travel document. You do this at the embassy or consulate of the country of your nationality.

Are you unable to get a travel document? The Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) can help you. The DT&V will ask for a replacement travel document (laissez-passer) for you. Find out more about assistance from the DT&V.

Organisations that provide help for departure

There are different organisations that can help you when you leave the Netherlands:


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