IND will decide on Afghan asylum applications again

Last update: 30 June 2022

From now on, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will decide on asylum applications by people from Afghanistan again. This was announced by minister Eric van der Burg in a letter to the house of representatives (only in Dutch).

Because of the uncertain situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power, a so-called postponement of decisions and departures applied to Afghan asylum applications since August 2021. This meant that the situation in the country was too uncertain to be able to consider applications well. On 25 February 2022, the decision stop was extended by six months pending a new official report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the situation in the country.

Official report

In the official report of 28 March 2022, it is written that it is difficult to gain a complete picture of the situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power. But there are no more fights between the (former) government troops and the Taliban, decreasing the immediate risk to safety for people in general. Therefore, the Minister for Migration has decided to withdraw the postponement of decisions and departures and start deciding on Afghan asylum applications again.

Resumption of decision process

When resuming the decision process of Afghan asylum applications, the IND will base itself on applicants’ individual circumstances. When doing so, it will also look at the security and human rights situation, which is a reason for concern. This means that it is more likely that an applicant will be given the benefit of doubt within the policy framework and a residence permit will be granted. Various target groups will also be taken into consideration who may currently have to fear persecution or are at risk of inhumane treatment in Afghanistan.

Country-specific asylum policy

Persons belonging to a certain population group who have been designated as a risk group in the country-specific policy can make it plausible that they deserve asylum protection even with slight indications. The change of the country-specific policy will be recorded in the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines and will be published in the Government Gazette.

As always, the IND will remain on the lookout for so-called counter indications when it assesses asylum applications, such as war crimes and danger to national security.