Temporarily no decisions for asylum seekers from the Palestinian Territories

Last update: 20 December 2023

In the next six months the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will not take any decisions on the asylum applications by stateless and other Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank. Because of the uncertain situation there,  asylum decisions will be temporarily suspended. This took effect on 19 December.

Based on the present uncertainty in the Palestinian Territories, no prolonged policy can be formed, as State Secretary Van der Burg wrote to the House of Representatives (in Dutch: Tweede Kamer). That is why the outgoing government decided temporarily not to decide on asylum applications from those territories. This also means that in the next six months no asylum applicants will be sent back to the Palestinian Territories. 

Decision and departure moratorium

This decision, officially called a decision and departure moratorium, is taken when the situation in a certain country or territory is uncertain for a short period. Then temporarily no decisions are taken on asylum applications from this country or territory, and people are not sent back there. From the outbreak of the war in October the IND has suspended asylum applications by stateless and other Palestinians. That was a temporary procedure. This decision and departure has laid down this procedure for the next six months.  


The IND will indeed decide on applications that were submitted more than 21 months ago, and on applications that, owing to individual circumstances, for the rest apart from the present violent situation, would result in a positive decision on residence in the Netherlands. 
In addition, the IND will decide in cases of stateless and other Palestinians who fall under the protection of the UNRWA and had already left the Palestinian Territories before the war. But they must already have had a second interview with the IND and must be able to obtain a positive decision on residence in the Netherlands. If asylum seekers were registered earlier in a different European country, a Dublin claim, if any, can indeed be continued.

‘Unknown nationality’

In the asylum process the IND examines the identity, nationality and origin of an asylum seeker. Asylum seekers of Palestinian origin are often registered  at the start of the process with an   ‘unknown nationality’. 

No reliable figures are available on the number of applications by Palestinian asylum seekers or the number of Palestinians undergoing the asylum process. This is because the Palestinian nationality is not recognised and foreign nationals therefore cannot be registered as such. In addition, stateless and other Palestinians can have different countries as their usual place of residence. 

Applications for family reunification

In some cases, applications for family reunification by residence permit holders from the Palestinian Territories can be processed with priority. If an application is submitted, the IND examines per application if this is possible. The substantive processing of the application remains unchanged. The decision and departure moratorium is does not apply to applications for family reunification.