Important information in your own language

[ Belangrijke informatie in je eigen taal ]

When you are new to the Netherlands, there are many things unknown and complex. As long as you have not mastered the Dutch language, it is difficult to find the right information. Whereas you must settle all kinds of important affairs. On this website, you will find relevant information for refugees in your own language.

Situation in Afghanistan

[ Situatie Afghanistan ]
  • Update 15/9/21!
    A letter to Parliament states that the email address will close on Friday 17 September. We therefore recommend that you send the e-mails with evacuation requests no later than Thursday 16 September. The parliamentary debate on this letter has yet to take place. It is therefore still unclear what will happen after September 17. As soon as there is news, we will inform you via this website.

Many Afghan nationals in the Netherlands are contacting us with concerns about their family in Afghanistan.

The Dutch government does not normally issue humanitarian visas. This means that asylum seekers can only request asylum after travelling to the Netherlands.

The Dutch government tried to evacuate Afghans who worked for the Netherlands or were part of the Dutch contributions to international military or police missions. This was by exception only This concerned interpreters, local embassy staff and people who worked for the Dutch in Afghanistan in another capacity, such as employees of Dutch development projects, human rights and women's rights defenders and journalists and their fixers. Partners and underage children are also included in these groups.

We advise you to send an email to as soon as possible in the following cases:

  • You belong to one of these groups
  • Your family member belongs to one of these groups
  • You belong to one of these groups and your family member is at high personal risk because of it
  • You belong to one of these groups and your family member is heavily dependent on your care

It is unclear whether these groups will be able to come to the Netherlands once the evacuations are over. It is also unclear how.

If you are already in the Netherlands, but your family is not, you can apply for reunification with your immediate family if you have an asylum permit. The Netherlands has a special procedure for this. Immediate family means your spouse and children living abroad. For more information, please see the page on Family Reunification.

Unfortunately, there is no special arrangement in the Netherlands for other Afghan family members. You can submit a regular application for other family members, but this is subject to strict requirements. In some cases, an exception can be made for family members who are particularly dependent on you if there is no one else to take care of them. For more information, please see the IND's website (under the tab Family, other reason).

We hope your family is safe. If they have problems in Afghanistan, they can contact UNHCR or the Red Cross. ( and
VluchtelingenWerk will continue talking to the Dutch government and ask them to protect Afghan refugees.

The Dutch Council for Refugees will remain available in the 'corona crisis'

[ VluchtelingenWerk blijft bereikbaar in ‘corona-crisis’ ]

Services by the Dutch Council for Refugees (VWN) will also continue during the 'corona crisis'. Refugees can keep counting on our support in these turbulent times. We will continue to respond to questions. But the coming time we will do so differently. We can answer many question via telephone, email, or WhatsApp. If this can't be done, the team leader of the Dutch Council for Refugees can decide to schedule you an appointment at our office.

So: call us or email your question. See the poster put up in our office for the telephone number and email address.
Or see the panel on the right of this page (on laptops) or below (on smartphones) and enter your city or town into the white bar.

For more information about corona, please see:

  • >>
  • In this video, you can follow Mark Rutte’s part of the press conference in English, in which the prime ministers brings you up to date on the measures for the coming period, so you can understand the latest news on the corona virus in your own language.

Applying for asylum in the Netherlands from abroad

[ Niet in Nederland, wel asiel aanvragen voor Nederland ]

VluchtelingenWerk does not decide on asylum applications or issue visas for travel to the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) looks into whether you qualify as a refugee on behalf of the government.

You cannot submit an asylum application to the IND from abroad. You must travel to the Netherlands first. Nor is it usually possible to obtain a visa to travel to the Netherlands to apply for asylum here. You can read more about the asylum procedure in the Netherlands here:

This website:,  provides an overview of refugee organisations that may be able to help you in your country of residence.

If you worked for the Dutch armed forces in Afghanistan and want to apply for asylum
Afghans who have worked for the Dutch armed forces in Afghanistan are sometimes permitted to travel to the Netherlands to apply for asylum here. They can contact the Dutch embassy in Kabul by email ( to request permission to travel to the Netherlands. Afghans who served as interpreters for the Dutch armed forces are usually given a visa to travel to the Netherlands and are granted asylum here. Other people who have worked for the Dutch armed forces can also submit a request to the embassy in Kabul but must still demonstrate that they are personally in danger.

If you are not granted asylum

[ Als je geen asiel krijgt ]

Information for children

[ Informatie voor kinderen ]

Are you younger than 18 years of age and looking for information about school, living in a reception centre, or Dutch culture? The Children's Helpline and the Dutch Council for Refugees have websites especially for refugee children. Go to:

About the Dutch Council for Refugees

[ Over VluchtelingenWerk ]

The Dutch Council for Refugees is an independent organisation that acts in the best interests of refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Our employees and many volunteers commit themselves to the protection of asylum seekers and refugees by providing personal support and representing their interests at their admission, reception, and social participation. We base our work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Feedback on this website?

[ Feedback op deze website? ]

The Dutch Council for Refugees has compiled this website with utmost care. If you discover an error, please tell us about it in Dutch or English at

Contact and advice


If you need personal advice or guidance, please contact the Dutch Council for Refugees in your reception centre or municipality. Type the place name or postcode where you are staying.

Spreekuur means consulting hours. Sometimes it says Juridisch spreekuur. These consulting hours are meant for matters around your residence status or family reunification.

If the Dutch Council for Refugees is not active in your municipality, the contact details of the regional head office are shown above. In that case, please contact your municipality or the organisation in your municipality that provides guidance to refugees.