The process of applying for asylum in the Netherlands is a complex and carefully structured journey. In this article, our immigration lawyer will provide a detailed overview of how the process of seeking asylum works, step by step.
Registration with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) and asylum application
When someone wishes to apply for asylum in the Netherlands, it begins with registration at the IND’s registration center in Ter Apel. Personal information such as name, date of birth, and nationality is recorded, and fingerprints are taken for identification purposes. Following this registration, the asylum seeker must formalize their asylum application by signing it at the IND. Subsequently, there is an interview with the IND to confirm the individual’s identity, nationality, and travel history.
Determining the procedure and rest and preparation period
After an individual has applied for asylum, the IND determines which procedure is appropriate for the asylum seeker’s situation. There are various types of procedures, including some that may be expedited. An essential part of this step is verifying whether the asylum seeker is already registered in another EU country, in accordance with the Dublin Regulation. The asylum seeker is provided accommodation through the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and receives assistance from a lawyer. A medical examination is also conducted, and the IND schedules the continuation of the asylum procedure. During a rest period of at least 6 days, the asylum seeker can recover from their journey and prepare for what lies ahead.
General Asylum Procedure (AA) and extended asylum procedure
During the general asylum procedure, an asylum seeker has up to 8 days to tell their story, and the IND reviews their application. This is a critical phase where a decision is made about whether or not someone will be granted asylum. The asylum seeker has the opportunity to explain their situation to the IND during this time. If the IND requires more time for investigation, the procedure may be extended. This extended process occurs when the IND needs additional information to make a final decision.
Decision on the asylum application
Within 6 months of submitting their application, asylum seekers are informed whether they will receive a residence permit. Sometimes the IND can extend this timeframe, for instance, if further investigation is necessary. If an asylum seeker is not granted a residence permit, they have the option to appeal, often with the assistance of their lawyer.
Residence permit and rights; permanent residence?
Upon receiving a positive decision, an asylum seeker is initially granted a temporary residence permit valid for five years. This permit grants them access to housing, social services, integration programs, and employment. Additionally, they are required to pass an integration exam. After this period, an assessment is made to determine whether the individual still requires protection and whether they have successfully completed the integration exam, potentially leading to a permanent residence permit. It’s important to note that this permit can be revoked if the asylum seeker commits a serious crime.