Detention in the Netherlands

Last update: January 2013

You can find more information on return, detention and control under the header 'deportation'

When the police arrests you, always ask for your lawyer before you talk to the police. When you are in alien detention, you will not know how long it will take. The imprisonment may be up to 18 months. Usually, when the judge decides that there is no prospect on deportation, you must be released. This is often after 6 months, but can easily be extended another 12 months when the DT&V blames you for not cooperating on your own deportation. In prison you have the right to obtain a lawyer and medical support, although in practice the medical care is often not sufficient. You can receive mail, and visitors. Then you should ask for permission and write down the name and date of birth of the person who wants to visit you. If you need to call, you will need money to buy special phone cards.

There do exist some visit groups: people who do not agree with the way you are treated and, in solidarity, can visit you in prison. Contact a support organization or an action group to find out. There is an organization with a hotline about alien detention. If you have complaints about your treatment in detention you can contact 0800 3388776 (it's for free) or send an e-mail to:

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