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Plane at an airport

Arrival at Schiphol Airport or another airport in the Netherlands

Last updated: 2/23/2024, 9:57 AM
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Are you arriving by plane at Schiphol airport or another airport in the Netherlands? Then you apply for asylum at the airport. You then await your asylum application in a closed reception centre at Schiphol Airport.

Step 1: arrival at the airport

After you arrive at Schiphol Airport, report to the

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Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar)
. Tell the KMar that you want to apply for asylum in the Netherlands. KMar will never tells the authorities in your country of origin that you are applying for asylum in the Netherlands.

Step 2: registration with KMar

  • KMar records your personal information, such as your name, date of birth and nationality.

  • KMar will take pictures of you and your fingerprints.

  • KMar will search your clothes and luggage and may confiscate your phone. You will get proof on paper if KMar takes documents from you.

  • KMar will ask you questions about your journey, whether you have previously sought asylum in the Netherlands or another European country and whether you have family members here.

  • You sign your asylum application at KMar.

Step 3: The first interview with the IND

The first interview is with

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the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
. During the interview, the IND checks whether your information is correct. The IND will ask questions about you, your flight to the Netherlands and the reason(s) why you fled. The IND does not ask any further questions about the reasons during the interview. In a second interview you will get the chance to explain this in detail.

  • It is very important that you say the same things in the 1st interview with the IND as you do in the 2nd interview. For example, about how long you went to school and when you fled. Or about other important dates in your life.

  • Speak honestly about your family members during the interview. If you want to apply for family reunification later, the IND will see if you have already provided information about family members during this interview.

  • During all interviews with the IND, you may bring notes. You can make a timeline to remember important dates. If you do not know any dates, be honest with the IND.

  • During the interview with the IND, you can submit documents that support your story.

There is an interpreter who speaks your language at the interview with the IND

The IND employee asks the questions in Dutch. The interpreter translates them for you. The interpreter also translates your answers into Dutch. The interpreter comes from your country of origin, is independent, does not work for the IND and has no influence on the decision about your asylum application. As interpreters are very busy, you might get an interpreter who speaks a different dialect. Tell me immediately if the interpreter and you cannot understand each other properly. As it is important that no misunderstandings arise because the interpreter and you do not understand each other well.

You may ask during the application interview for an interpreter who speaks in your dialect and ask for an interpreter of your own gender.

Step 4: Waiting in a closed reception centre

After your registration, you will be taken to a special detention centre for foreign nationals. This centre is called Justitieel Complex Schiphol (JCS). You cannot leave the JCS of your own accord until your procedure is finished. You will stay in the JCS for a maximum of 28 days. Vulnerable people will not be placed in the JCS.

Sometimes further investigation of your asylum application is required

If more research is required to make a decision on your asylum application, the procedure will take longer than 28 days. You will then go to an open reception centre in the Netherlands.

This happens during the waiting period

During the waiting period for your 2nd interview with the IND, you can rest and prepare.

1. It is important to collect as many documents as possible during the waiting period that support your identity and your refugee story.

2. You will receive information from

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VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN)
. VWN explains what to expect during the procedure and what your rights and obligations are. VWN can also help you with legal support, and with collecting documents and evidence. Assistance from VWN is independent and free.

3. You may be given a tuberculosis test. A nurse will examine whether you have the disease tuberculosis. If necessary, the nurse will take an X-ray of your lungs. If you do have tuberculosis, you will be given medicine for this.

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