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Discretionary power abolished with effect from 1 May

​The decision to abolish the discretionary power of the State Secretary of Justice and Security will enter into effect on 1 May 2019.

The amendment to the Aliens Decree  2000 (Vb 2000) was published today in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees .

Simultaneously with abolishment of the discretionary power, the Managing Director of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will be mandated to assess officially during the first application procedure in the Netherlands whether a distressing situation exists. The IND will be given the possibility to issue a regular temporary residence permit on the basis of this assessment.

Because the discretionary power will be abolished, it will not pass to the Managing Director of the IND. Instead, at the beginning of a regular as well as an asylum procedure, the IND will already assess whether there is a distressing situation. The IND will do so officially only on the first application submitted in the Netherlands.

Third-country nationals who apply for a regular or an asylum residence permit for the first time can indicate whether special circumstances are involved. The IND will include this in its assessment of the application. It is not possible to submit a separate application for distressing circumstances.

This amendment to the Aliens Regulations and the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines will be published on 1 May 2019. In the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines, the policy framework will be described against which this is tested. Further notification about this will follow on 1 May 2019.


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