Number of asylum applications also increasing in 2023

Last update: 4 November 2022

The number of asylum seekers coming to the Netherlands and applying to the IND for asylum in 2022 is higher than estimated earlier. Because of this, more asylum seekers are waiting for a decision on their future in the Netherlands. Next year, many asylum seekers are also expected in the Netherlands. Today, the Minister for Migration informed the House of Representatives about this alarming situation.

Waiting time considerably longer for asylum seekers 

Early 2022, the IND still needed to decide on 20,400 asylum applications. This year, between 48,200 and 55,700 applications are likely to be added to this (including asylum family reunification). The IND has the capacity to decide on almost 28,000 asylum applications this year. Consequently, the number of asylum seekers who are waiting for a decision will increase to 31,400 at the beginning of 2023. Next year, a similar number of new asylum applications is expected, causing a further increase in the number of decisions that need to be taken. The legal decision period has recently been extended temporarily from 6 to 15 months. 

Insufficient capacity to keep up with influx 

Under the current policy it is impossible for the IND to increase the number of decisions so that it can keep up with the influx. Up until August this year, the IND grew by over 400 staff members. After a 9-month training period, more than a quarter of them will be deployed to process asylum applications. There is a limit to the number of new staff members that can be trained because it requires capacity from experienced staff members. The IND expects to be able to decide on a similar number of asylum applications next year. 
In addition to the permanent recruitment and education of new staff, work on a future-proof organisation is in progress, which is better able to adapt to the peaks and troughs in the number of applications for residence in the Netherlands. This means better management of capacity so that it is used appropriately. Of course, the IND is constantly improving the organisation of processes to be better able to take careful, smart and fast decisions. The underlying causes of the increasing complexity of the assessment of asylum applications are also being looked into. The IND is looking forward to the reorientation to the asylum issue, which involves consideration of how the asylum process can be organised more efficiently in the future. 

Many applications granted compared to other European countries

From a first analysis of the granting percentages, it becomes clear that the Netherlands grants asylum seekers residence permits relatively often compared to other European countries. The percentage of applications granted here is 85% when looking at first instance applications, repeat applications and resettlement. More investigation is needed to be able to draw further conclusions. 

One of the causes can be that recent years have seen an increase in the number of asylum applications by refugees who are likely to be granted a permit. More than half of the applications are made by asylum seekers from Syria, Turkey, Yemen and Afghanistan. In addition, the number of applications by unaccompanied minor asylum seekers is increasing rapidly and a considerable portion of these applications leads to a residence permit.