Agreement of House of Representatives to abolish administrative penalty payments helps IND

Last update: 25 June 2024

A majority of the House of Representatives (in Dutch: Tweede Kamer)  agreed this afternoon to abolish administrative penalty payments for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). If the Senate (in Dutch: Eerste Kamer) also agrees with the legislative amendment then the IND will no longer have to pay part of the amount that the Service is now losing in penalty payments. Judicial penalty payments will still be possible. The IND has been arguing for a longer time also to abolish judicial penalty payments.

The IND pays a penalty to applicants if decisions are not taken within the statutory time limit. The total amount of penalty payments has already been increasing for a longer time because an increasingly larger number of applicants has to wait longer and longer. In the first four months of  2024 the IND paid 9.9 million euros in penalty payments and this was 11.3 million euros in all of 2023.  

Penalty payments do not work 

The IND is not an advocate of penalty payments because they do not help to take quicker decisions. On the contrary, they actually have a disruptive effect. Handling penalty payment procedures takes extra time and capacity. The IND cannot use this to process new applications, whereas the large number of applicants who have to want long is the exact reason for the penalty payments. That is why the IND has already been asking for a longer time also to abolish judicial penalty payments. In any case the IND would like to see that the penalty payments are lowered so that there will be fewer financial consequences.  

Two types of penalty payments

The statutory decision period is different for each application. If the decision period has ended and the IND has still not taken a decision, then the applicant can put the IND in default. This means that this person asks the IND finally to take a decision within two weeks. Then the IND has two weeks more to decide. If this is not done, the IND has to pay an incremental administrative penalty for each day that the decision is late, up to a maximum sum of €1,442. This administrative penalty payment does not apply to the asylum process. But a person who applies for asylum can however put the IND in default. That is actually a condition for starting proceedings for the judicial penalty payment afterwards, if necessary.

If the IND has not decided within two weeks of the notice of default, an applicant can appeal to the court. Then the court determines within which period the IND must still decide. This is usually eight weeks for asylum applications in order to schedule an interview and afterwards another eight weeks to take a decision. Does the IND not adhere to this period? Then the court rules that the IND must pay a penalty. This is a judicial penalty payment. 
Find out more about Penalties and the IND