IND sometimes more lenient with return visa because of earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Last update: 9 February 2023

Because of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, we are receiving applications from people who want to return, want to have family come over urgently or want to stay longer in the Netherlands. In some cases, the IND will (initially) be more lenient with requests for return visas or extension of short-stay visas until 30 April 2023. In this context, there is a difference between people with a regular residence permit and those with an asylum residence permit.

Regular residency for Syrian and Turkish people 

People from Syria and Turkey who have a regular residence permit (for example for work or study) or valid provisional residence permit (MVV) can travel to Turkey and Syria, and back again. Is someone still awaiting a decision? Then this person needs a return visa. For this group, the IND is temporarily more lenient when assessing whether someone is eligible for such a return visa. This group temporarily does not have to pay the fee for this visa. The return visa will be granted for the requested duration with a maximum of 3 months.

Syrian and Turkish people not back to country of origin

Asylum seekers and people with an asylum status cannot return to their country of origin because they have fled for the situation there or fear persecution. Hence, Syrian and Turkish asylum seekers or asylum status holders will not be given a return visa for a journey to Syria or Turkey. 

Asylum seekers and asylum status holders from Syria who want to go to Turkey

Syrians who are in procedure or have asylum status but are still awaiting a residence document and who want to travel to Turkey to help family there can request a return visa. This group does not have to pay fees temporarily. However, they must arrange the necessary travel documents themselves. The return visa will be granted for the requested duration with a maximum of 3 months.

People from the disaster area with a short-stay visa who do not want to return

Syrian and Turkish people from the disaster area who are currently staying in the Netherlands on a short-stay visa can request extension. The IND will be more lenient about this if the 180-day term has not been reached yet. 

Reuniting family members

Syrian or Turkish people in the Netherlands ask for an entry visa (MVV) to be issued faster for family members coming over for asylum family reunification. This way, someone can escape the emergency situation in Turkey faster. Although this wish is completely understandable, the IND is unable to handle all cases faster. This is because of the large number of outstanding applications for asylum family reunification. Whether family members can come to the Netherlands must be assessed carefully. Only then can an entry visa be issued.  

People who want a visa to have a family member come to the Netherlands temporarily

Applications for short-stay visas are processed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the website