Number of asylum seekers in 2024 in line with previous forecast

The number of people expected to apply for asylum in the Netherlands this year is in line with the forecast of November 2023. This is evident from a letter sent by State Secretary of Asylum and Migration Van der Burg to the House of Representatives. In the event policy does not change, it is expected this year that between 32,000 and 63,000 new asylum seekers will come to the Netherlands. This means that the total asylum flow may end up between 49,800 and 78,500. This also concerns for example people who re-apply for asylum and dependants as a result of family reunification. A forecast for the inflow of refugees from Ukraine was also included due to the continuing war in Ukraine.

Challenges and perspective

Last year and this year, important steps were made to gain greater control of migration. Outside Europe, arrangements were made in the asylum and migration pact. The arrangement means that it can be established more quickly at Europe’s outer borders who has a chance of receiving asylum and who does not. This increases control over who enters Europe. The focus is on return to the home country for the group with little chance of receiving asylum if it becomes clear that they are not allowed to stay. Arrangements have been with countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and Nigeria about combating people smuggling, human trafficking and return to the home country.

The Dispersal Act entered into effect for municipalities at the start of this year. The purpose is to have sufficient reception places that are spread more evenly across the country. There is still a shortage at this time. The number of asylum permit holders in reception facilities is too high as well. These are people who are allowed to stay in the Netherlands but do not yet have their own accommodation. What are known as transfer locations have been opened in order to reduce the pressure in the asylum reception facilities. Asylum permit holders may stay there temporarily while awaiting a permanent place to live. More than 30 municipalities have indicated they want to get to work on this.

Number of reception places

Based on the expected number of asylum seekers who will come, the speed of the procedure and the number of people who receive accommodation in a municipality, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) expects that almost 97,500 reception places will be needed on 1 January next year. This number may increase to 133,500 on 1 January 2026. It was determined on the basis of the Dispersal Act that 96,000 reception places are needed by 1 July next year at the latest. The Dispersal Act applies a 2-year estimate (until 1 February 2026) and it is set at 96,000 places. This number remains guiding for municipalities. Interim changes are possible in case of a (new) war or natural disaster, which is not relevant at this moment.

It remains important to look ahead at 2026 and the Ministry will continue to talk about this with the parties involved. The focus will be on controlling the inflow, partly as a result of European efforts, controlling IND’s production throughput and increasing the outflow of asylum permit holders from the asylum reception facilities.

Accommodation of asylum permit holders

Municipalities are obliged by law to offer asylum permit holders suitable accommodation. This means that the municipalities will have to allocate somewhere to live for 18,750 people in the first half of this year. In addition, the backlog at the end of last year is approximately 6,400. This means that the total number comes to more than 25,000 asylum permit holders who must be provided with a place to live before 1 July of this year. The tempo needs to be accelerated as there are too many asylum permit holders in the asylum reception facilities. This is also better for the people themselves, who will be able to integrate by working or by attending training for example. 17,000 asylum permit holders must be accommodated before the second half of this year. 


The war in Ukraine has not yet ended. This means that refugees from this country continue to come to the Netherlands. It is expected that 28,000 new people from the Ukraine will come to the Netherlands this year and that around 136,000 refugees from Ukraine will be residing in the Netherlands on 1 January of next year. This means that 120,000 municipal reception places are needed by 1 January next year. In the event refugees from Ukraine have their own income as a result of work for example, the plan is to request them to make a personal contribution towards the costs of the reception.