First results of the pilot with joining family members in Zevenaar successful

Last update: 18 February 2022

In December 2021, the IND and COA started a pilot for joining family members in Zevenaar. Those joining family members who do not require accommodation and can stay with relatives no longer report to Ter Apel but the IND in Zevenaar. The first results of this pilot are successful. Nearly all eligible joining family members, about 250, used this route in January. Thus, the pressure on both the application process and the asylum reception in Ter Apel will be relaxed.

Relieving Ter Apel

Due to the high influx of asylum seekers and joining family members, the application centre in Ter Apel has been bustling for some time now. Previously, all joining family members of asylum seekers declared their presence in Ter Apel. In 2021, the latter concerned well over 10,000 people. All those reporting went by default to the reception facility, even if they could go to relatives. The IND has now made a division. Only those joining family members who are still waiting for suitable accommodation report to Ter Apel. All others come to Zevenaar.

At the office in Zevenaar, dozens of joining family members come by for their interview and decision a week. About a third of all joining family members who came to the Netherlands in recent weeks. Moving this group's registration process to Zevenaar instantly relieved Ter Apel. In this way, the IND can help more asylum seekers and joining family members speedily.

By appointment only

The Zevenaar location works by appointment only, which is new. At Ter Apel, people can just knock at the door. In Zevenaar, they have to make an appointment online - before boarding the plane to the Netherlands. Then, the IND will immediately start making preparations for the appointment, make out the paperwork, and ensure smooth handling at the location. The COA checks whether the accommodation at the family member in the Netherlands is appropriate. Once in Zevenaar, joining family members will receive the decision from the IND, stating that they will get a residence permit. Following the registration, joining family members still need to register in the Key Register of Persons (BRP).

Step by step

Moving the registration process for joining family members from Ter Apel to Zevenaar is a step-by-step process. The pilot started with the group that can stay with a family member in the Netherlands after arrival. Based on these experiences, the IND, together with COA and other partners, will examine how the application process for people without accommodation can be moved. The aim is that, eventually, all joining family members will report in Zevenaar.

Read more about this in Vreemdelingenvisie