Over 20 thousand asylum applications in first half year; peak expected in autumn

Last update: 13 July 2023

In the first six months of 2023, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) received 20,122 asylum applications in total. These are first and repeat applications and reuniting family members entering the Netherlands. This is a little more than in the first six months of 2022 (19,956). The monthly pattern in the first half of 2023 resembles the pattern of previous years. Just like in 2023, the number of applications last year increased as the year progressed. It is not possible to say how high the number of applications will be in the usually busy autumn season.

Monthly statistics of recent years show that most asylum applications are submitted in the months of August to November. Therefore, it is expected that applications will also peak in autumn this year. It is impossible to tell how many applications will be submitted to the IND. The past has shown that asylum applications are unpredictable.  

More outstanding applications

Last month (4,020) the number of asylum applications was considerably higher than in May (3,597). The number of outstanding asylum applications also increased further in June (36,870). Because of this, the waiting time further increases for applicants. 

To a lesser extent, the number of outstanding applications for a regular residence permit for Family also increased. In June, the number of applications for this type of permit was higher than the preceding months (4,180). For Knowledge and Talent, the number of applications rose to 2,580 in June; this type of applications peaks in the summer months.

This becomes clear from the asylum trends and other current statistics published monthly by the IND. 

Third-country nationals Ukraine included in March and June asylum applications

The monthly statistics of the IND show peaks in March and June for first asylum applications in the general asylum procedure. In March, registration took place of asylum applications by third-country nationals with a temporary Ukrainian residence permit who came from a safe country, or from Syria or Yemen. In June, other third-country nationals with a temporary Ukrainian residence permit were registered. The protection under the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) will expire on 4 September 2023 for this group of third-country nationals. To be able to remain in the Netherlands, this group can go through with their asylum application. The IND has recently informed them about this. Third-country nationals who do not wish to apply for asylum must leave the Netherlands after 4 September.  

Waiting times continue to increase, also for family reunification

Although the IND is making more decisions than agreed in advance, the number of outstanding applications is rising every month. This applies particularly to asylum applications (36,870) and applications for family reunification (21,990, excluding 8 ECHR). By now, the average waiting time for a decision by the IND has become more than a year for applicants in the General Asylum Procedure (track 4). 

Unaccompanied minors

The asylum trends show that in the past half year, more unaccompanied minor children applied for asylum (1,852) than in the first six months of 2022 (1,198). This is in line with a trend that has been visible longer: the number of unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (in Dutch: alleenstaande minderjarige vreemdelingen or AMV) has been rising for a couple of years. 

Fast appointment at the desk

Issuing residence documents and taking biometrics is done by appointment at an IND desk. Although last month the number of appointments for this was almost the same as in the month before, clients could visit the desk sooner. Now, there are usually appointment options after three days. At the beginning of the year, this was still 10 days to 2 weeks. Additional staff and longer opening hours have made the difference.