How are asylum applications by people from safe countries dealt with?

The number of asylum applications submitted by people from 'safe countries of origin' is high. Dealing with these applications puts extra pressure on the asylum system and results in high costs. So these applications need to be dealt with as efficiently as possible.

Fast-tracking applications from safe countries of origin

The Minister for Immigration has a national list of safe countries of origin. If an asylum seeker is from one of the countries on the list, their application is dealt with more quickly, because they have little chance of being granted a residence permit.

If an asylum seeker from a safe country does need protection, they can state this during the asylum procedure. If sufficient evidence is provided, they may be granted a residence permit after all.

While the application is being processed, the asylum seeker stays at a facility run by the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). Since September 2020, asylum seekers from safe countries are given accommodation with very basic facilities.

Fast-tracking applications from safe countries of origin

If an asylum seeker is from a country on the list of safe countries of origin, their application is dealt with more quickly, because the asylum seeker has very little chance of being granted a residence permit. A decision on their application will be taken within a week. The asylum seeker must demonstrate that they are in need of international protection.

While their applications are being dealt with these asylum seekers remain at the central reception facility in Ter Apel.

After an application by an asylum seeker from a safe country is denied

If an asylum application is denied because the individual is from a safe country, they must leave the Netherlands immediately. They are also banned from entering the European Union (EU) again for two years. Following denial of their application, the individual no longer has the right to stay in an asylum seekers’ centre.

They can ask a court to review the decision to deny their application, but are not usually allowed to await the court's decision in the Netherlands.

Fast-tracked removal of individuals from safe countries

A failed asylum seeker must return to their country of origin soon after their application has been denied. The individual must organise their return journey on their own. If they don't, the authorities will arrange for them to be removed from the country. This is referred to as forced return.