Government focuses on voluntary departure and phased transition to asylum reception for asylum applications from third-country nationals from Ukraine

On 4 September, the Temporary Protection Directive for third-country nationals with a temporary residence permit in Ukraine will expire. As a result, from that moment on they no longer have the same rights as refugees from Ukraine. In order to prevent extra pressure in the already overcrowded asylum shelters, the IND is already processing part of the asylum applications from third-country nationals from Syria, Yemen and safe countries. In addition, the government is once again encouraging voluntary departures while third-country nationals still use the reception for refugees from Ukraine. Third-country nationals with pending asylum applications will be transferred to COA reception in phases after the Temporary Protection Directive has expired. In this way, the extra burden on asylum reception is reduced. This is what State Secretary Eric van der Burg (Justice and Security) writes to the House of Representatives today.

Update: Third-country nationals may stay in the Netherlands until the Raad van State (Council of State) makes a final decision in the appeal. The Minister for Migration announced this on September 2, 2023, in a letter to the Parliament (letter in Dutch). Third-country nationals will receive a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) regarding this matter. They will also retain the right to shelter, subsistence allowance, and employment.

Phased transfer to COA

Third-country nationals who decide to go through the asylum procedure, or whose asylum application is still pending on 4 September, will continue to be entitled to reception after that date. Most third-country nationals now stay in a reception location of the municipality, they will have to move to a COA reception location. Transfer from the reception for refugees from Ukraine to COA locations will take place step by step from the week of 24 July to the week of 16 October. Relocation to a COA location means that different rules apply.

Host households where third-country nationals reside have the possibility to continue this under COA regulations as long as the asylum procedure of the third-country national is ongoing. If the host household wants to stop providing reception, third-country nationals can go to a COA reception location.

Encourage voluntary departure

In order not to increase the pressure on the asylum chain even further, the government encourages voluntary departures. Third-country nationals who decide not to continue their asylum application, or whose asylum application has already been rejected, will no longer be entitled to reception from 4 September and will be obliged to leave the Netherlands. Between 1 June and 1 August, they can make use of the remigration policy of the Return and Departure Service (DT&V). Under strict conditions, they will receive support and a financial contribution upon departure. If you register in June and leave within one month, the financial contribution is €5000 per person. When registering in July and leaving within a month, it is €2000 per person. From 1 August 2023, regular departure support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other NGOs will apply.

This concerns approximately 4,500 third-country nationals with a temporary residence permit in Ukraine, who were registered in the Netherlands in the Personal Records Database (BRP) before 19 July 2022. For example, they studied or worked in Ukraine. It was previously discussed that the Temporary Protection Directive for this group would expire on 4 March 2023, this was extended by 6 months at that time.