On Sunday, 15 March, the government announced new measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, as far as possible. These measures affect everyone in the Netherlands and therefore also IND employees and the work that they do in contact with clients.
Interviews will no longer take place. This applies to asylum as well as regular applications. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) will not receive or admit foreign nationals arriving in the Netherlands to a reception centre. Further, the IND will not conduct identification and registration. These measures will apply in any event up to and including 6 April. Services provided at the IND desks are limited to urgent matters up to and including this date. Further information about which services this concerns will be communicated on the IND's website. Where, as a result of these measures, a decision cannot be taken within the legally required period, this constitutes an event of force majeure.
However important the application process may be, it is not an essential process (such as health care, police or fire services). The hour-long meeting during the interview with asylum seekers brings with it a high risk of infection for all parties concerned. This takes into account the fact that these foreigners have travelled through Europe and it is not known whether they have travelled through a risk area.
What can I do?
We would ask you to consult our website as far as possible. At the top right of the website under Contact, you can find out various ways to contact the IND without having to visit one of our locations. Have you consulted our website but still have an urgent question? Please first consider whether you can wait for an answer. Otherwise, contact us via our telephone lines or contact our webcareteam via Twitter.