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Refugees line up for application in Dutch village of Ter Apel

Source: Inge van Mill

Requirements for an asylum residence permit

Last updated: 2/25/2024, 4:07 PM
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You can apply for asylum in the Netherlands under certain conditions. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) assesses whether you meet those conditions. After that, the IND will also determine whether you will get an asylum a or b residence permit. You cannot apply for asylum in the Netherlands if you are abroad.

You can only apply for asylum if you are in the Netherlands

Are you not in the Netherlands, but in another country? Then you cannot apply for asylum in the Netherlands. Nor can you apply for asylum online. You must be in the Netherlands to apply for asylum.

Click here for an additional explanation
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
in the Netherlands decides whether and which temporary asylum residence permit you will get. The IND therefore conducts interviews with you in the Netherlands to make a decision. It is important that you tell the IND all the information about why you fled clearly and completely.

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VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN)
can help you prepare for interviews with the IND.

You can apply for a residence permit asylum for these reasons

You can apply for an asylum residence permit in Dutch if:

  • You fear persecution in your country of origin because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or because you belong to a social group that is discriminated against.

  • You are at risk of facing the death penalty, torture or some other form of inhumane treatment in your country of origin.

  • You fear becoming a victim of violence from an armed conflict, e.g. war, in your country of origin.

These three reasons are agreed upon in international treaties. For example, in the

Click here for an additional explanation
Refugee Convention
. The Netherlands has signed these treaties. These treaties state how refugees should be treated.

There are 2 different asylum permits in the Netherlands: a and b

Are you entitled to asylum according to the IND? Then you can get an asylum residence permit. There are two types of asylum residence permits in the Netherlands. Namely a permit based on reason A or reason B. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) decides if and which temporary asylum residence permit you will receive. It is important that you get asylum for the right reason. Read here the difference between the a and b asylum permit in the Netherlands:

  • Asylum permit based on reason A This permit is given to you if the IND finds that you are personally at risk of persecution in your country of origin - because of your race or nationality, religion, political opinion or because you belong to a certain social group. For example, because you are LGBTQIA+.

  • Asylum permit based on reason B This permit is granted if the IND finds that your country of origin is dangerous for everyone who comes from there. Or if you are personally at risk for a reason other than those mentioned above for reason A.

Has the IND decided that you will get an asylum residence permit? The letter you receive from the IND will state whether this is a permit based on reason A or reason B. Both permits are valid for five years.

It is important to get asylum for the right reason

The difference in residence permit does not seem important because you have the same rights in the Netherlands during your stay. However, it is important because it sometimes affects how long and why you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands.

Suppose there is a war in your country of origin, and therefore your country is dangerous for everyone. So for you too. Then you can therefore get an asylum permit based on reason B. In addition, are you in personal danger because you belong to a religious group? Then you can get asylum based on reason A because you belong to a religious group that is in danger.

If the war in your country of origin is over, you can lose your asylum permit based on reason B. But with an asylum permit based on reason A, you are still in danger according to the IND. As the country is still dangerous for you because you belong to a certain religious group. Then you can stay in the Netherlands as long as your residence permit is valid, or even apply for a new residence permit.

Therefore, when you apply for asylum, make sure you explain clearly and completely why you have fled. Then the IND cannot revoke your residence permit if the situation in your country of origin changes while you are still in danger.

The IND can revoke your residence permit earlier than five years

If you have an asylum residence permit based on ground A, but you are personally no longer at risk in your country of origin, the IND can take away your asylum residence permit. For example, because your country of origin is safe again for your religious group.

If you have an asylum residence permit based on ground B, but your country of origin is safe again, the IND can withdraw your asylum residence permit. For example, because the war in your country of origin is over.

How long does the asylum procedure take in the Netherlands?

The IND has 15 months to decide on your asylum procedure. Read here why this is the case and what all the waiting times are.

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