No residence permit, what to do next?

[ Geen verblijfsvergunning, wat nu? ]

If your asylum application has been rejected, everything goes differently from what you had expected or hoped. Together, we can examine which options you have got. We can also assist you in making a plan for the future.

Terugkeer animatie - Engelse voice-over / ondertiteld

If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has rejected your asylum application, you can discuss with your lawyer whether it is sensible to appeal to a court. If the court agrees with the IND, the Dutch government will oblige you to return to your country of origin. The Dutch government will ask you to leave the reception centre. This does not mean in all situations that you will end up out on the street. The Dutch government will always provide reception facilities to, for example, families with children. Ask your counsellor at the Dutch Council for Refugees about your reception facilities.

There are now three possibilities for your future:

1. Return to your country of origin

[ 1. Terugkeer naar je land van herkomst ]

When you think about a future in your country of origin, you may have doubts and questions. You can discuss them with the Dutch Council for Refugees. It is your decision whether you wish to return and which organisation will assist you in this.

Assisted voluntary return

[ Zelfstandige terugkeer ]

If you return voluntary to your country of origin, you may qualify for support from the Dutch government. This depends on your personal situation and from which country you originate. This support may be a product, service, or financial contribution. Examples are start-up capital to begin your own shop and assistance in writing a business plan. The contributions for a limited number of countries are:
€1,800 for an adult, including a maximum amount of €300 in cash.
€2,800 for an accompanying child or an unaccompanied minor, including a maximum amount of €300 in cash.
The Dutch Council for Refugees can tell you which arrangement applies to your country. In addition to this support, the Dutch Council for Refugees can help you to apply for additional facilities at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), for example in the form of an airline ticket and additional cash (€200 for an adult, €40 for an accompanying child).
All amounts mentioned above applied on 1 July 2017. Ask the staff member at the Dutch Council for Refugees if the amounts are still correct.

Forced return

[ Gedwongen terugkeer ]

If your asylum application has been rejected, the government agency Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) will contact you to discuss your departure to your country of origin. This does not mean that you must leave the Netherlands immediately. If your lawyer has lodged an appeal against the decision of the IND, you will be allowed to await the court decision in the Netherlands in many cases. Important to know: If you do not choose to return voluntary but are deported forcibly, you will not receive any support from the Dutch government in the form of funds, products or services.

2. Life as an illegal immigrant

[ 2. Leven in illegaliteit ]

Life as an illegal migrant is often hard. If you are an illegal migrant, you are vulnerable. You cannot work legally, and it is hard to find a place to live. Many illegal migrants are exploited. However, you do have a right to necessary medical care. If you are stopped by the police, you may end up in prison and still be deported from the country.

3. Stay in a country other than the Netherlands

[ 3. Verblijf in een ander land dan Nederland ]

Whether you will be able to settle in another country after the rejection by the Dutch government depends on your situation. The Dutch Council for Refugees can ask your lawyer or the embassy of the relevant country about your possibilities.

What can the Dutch Council for Refugees do for you?

[ Wat kan VluchtelingenWerk voor je doen? ]
  • We can assist you in your orientation towards return, so that you can make an informed choice about your future.  Together we can discuss your possibilities in your fatherland with regard to work, own enterprise, education, medical care, and housing.
  • We can bring you into contact with other organisations in the Netherlands that assist in return. You personally choose which organisation fits best with your situation. The financial support is the same at each organisation. You can register with only one organisation at a time. This is checked by the government.
  • We can bring you into contact with organisations in your country of origin. These organisations give information about the situation in your fatherland and can you provide assistance and guidance upon your return. This will enable you to return safely, in a dignified manner, and with prospects for the future. This support differs by country. Ask a staff member at the Dutch Council for Refugees about the possibilities.
  • We can assist you in obtaining travel documents.

More information

[ Meer informatie ]

Rijksoverheid overzicht Terugkeerprojecten - Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek (DT&V)

The DT&V organises and supports departure of foreign nationals who are not allowed to stay in the Netherlands.

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.