Postponement of decisions and departures for Russian conscripts extended

Last update: 28 December 2022

The Minister for Migration will extend the postponement of decisions and departures for Russian conscripts by half a year as of 29 December. This means that the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will continue not to take any decisions on asylum applications by Russian conscripts who have refused to perform service or have deserted. Neither do foreign nationals who belong to this group and are already in the Netherlands have to depart in this period.

The decision to put any decisions and removals temporarily on hold is called postponement of decisions and departures. It is imposed if the situation in a certain country or area is unclear. Or if the situation of a specific group from that country or area is unclear.
In this case, this applies to Russian conscripts who refuse to perform their duty or desert because of the war in Ukraine. This group consists of all Russian men aged between 18 and 27 years old who have been called upon to perform their military duty.

Insufficient information about (forced) deployment of Russian conscripts

The postponement of decisions and departures started on 29 June this year because there was a lack of current, unambiguous and reliable information about the question to which extent conscripts in Russia were being deployed (by force) in the war in Ukraine. The current official country report of 7 April 2021 about the Russian Federation is from before the Russian invasion of Ukraine of 24 February 2022, so does not provide this information.

Currently, there is still not enough reliable information about this topic and it is still not possible to make careful decisions on the asylum applications of Russian conscripts aged 18 to 27 years old. The new general official country report on the Russian Federation is expected in the first quarter of 2023 and will possibly give more clarity about this.

 The IND can decide in individual cases

The postponement of decisions and departures does not apply to professional Russian servicemen who have deserted. The available information about their situation is adequate for the IND to be able to decide on requests for international protection by this target group. 

The same applies to persons who claim to be afraid of mobilisation. The Russian Minister of Defence announced that mobilisation has been completed and ordered the military units to cease mobilisation efforts as of 31 October.

Legal decision period extended

The IND assesses whether someone falls under the postponement of decisions and departures. The legal decision period for ongoing asylum applications and asylum applications which are submitted during the postponement will be extended to a maximum decision period of 18 or 21 months from the date of the asylum application. As a result of the postponement of departures, Russian foreign nationals who fall within the scope of this postponement will not be required to return to Russia or removed by force and they will be offered reception and other facilities.