Forced return

If a foreign national who is residing in the Netherlands unlawfully does not leave the country voluntarily, the government can force them to leave. This is referred to as forced return. In such cases the government takes the initiative to expel the individual.

Supervision measures and expulsion

Once the departure deadline has expired the foreign national must leave the Netherlands. The government can take several types of measures to ensure they leave the country. These are called supervision measures.

Examples of supervision measures:

  • Instructing the foreign national to report to the police regularly. In the meantime, he can organise his return, with help from the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V).
  • Having the foreign national pay a deposit. If he reports to the airport and actually leaves the country, the deposit will be returned to him.
  • Confiscating the foreign national’s documents (e.g. passport).
  • Banning the foreign national from crossing the municipal boundary.

Different measures will be effective for different people. This depends on:

  • the individual’s personal circumstances;
  • whether the individual cooperates in organising his return;
  • whether there is a risk of the individual evading supervision.

A combination of measures may also be taken. If no supervision measures are possible, the alien may be detained, under certain conditions. This may be the case if the person concerned refuses to cooperate at all.

Countries’ cooperation with forced return of immigrants

Forced return is only possible if the country of origin cooperates, for instance by issuing travel documents. Not all countries are willing to cooperate, however. The government therefore would like those countries to face consequences for their non-cooperation. For instance, their development aid could be cut.