Last update : March 2020

After a negative decision or when you are not allowed to await a decision you have the obligation to leave voluntarily. When you do not leave the Netherlands in the given period, the government will try to remove you by force.

Return, detention and control

Obligation to return

After a negative decision or when you are not allowed to await a decision you have the obligation to leave voluntarily. When you do not leave the Netherlands in the given period, the government will try to remove you by force.

Period of departure

There is a given period of departure, often 28 days, but this can be 0 days as well. The given period of departure can be extended when you are cooperating on your return, if you have been granted delay of departure for medical reasons or if there is a departure moratorium in force.
Shelter: You do not have legal stay during the period of departure, but you do have he right on shelter until the end of this period. Families with minor children are placed in a GOL (family location) while awaiting their deportation, single adults can be moved to the VLB (freedom-restriction camp). Both are open camps with a duty to report every day
If you do not wish to (work on your) return, you could better leave the AZC (shelter for asylum seekers) before the period of departure ends, otherwise the aliens police will arrest you there and take you to a detention center in preparation of your flight.

“Voluntary” return

The government invests a lot of money in organizations such as IOM, who support people to return to their country. These organizations will give you some financial allowance when you return voluntarily.
You can find the list of organizations here:

Enforced removal

Conversations with DT[&]V:

There will be 3 formal conversations with the DT[&]V (Dienst Terugkeer [&] Vertrek, the authority responsible for return), starting after the first negative decision on your asylum request. If you do not cooperate enough, you can be put in detention. When you do not show up at an appointment with DT[&]V, it will be seen as not cooperative.
When you can show that you are a citizen of a particular country, for example by presenting a birth certificate, this country can give you a laissez-passer (LP), a travel document with which you can travel once to this country.
Presentations at the embassy:
In order to obtain a LP, the DT[&]V will present you at the embassy of your country of origin (or where they think you come from), written or in person at the authorities of that country. They will determine your identity and nationality. They are not allowed to give any information on the reasons why you are in the Netherlands and wether you have asked for asylum. Generally, if the DT[&]V has your passport, it will be easier to deport you. It depends on the embassy whether or not they give a laissez passer for forced deportation: there are some embassies that (almost) never give laissez-passers or only when you want to return voluntarily.


To prevent your deportation you can start a new asylum procedure or a procedure on other grounds. In most cases you are allowed to await the decision, which means that you cannot be deported.
Sometimes it may help to ask support from your surroundings (school, social centers, friends, etc.), the mayor of your town, churches or support organizations to stop your deportation. In some cases it may help to ask attention from the media to tell your story and put pressure on the authorities. This is not a guarantee to stop your deportation, but it is still an option we want to mention.
To stop your flight, you can try to influence the other passengers to stand up in the plane. The pilot of the plane may decide not to fly when not all people sit down.

Entry ban

You may get an entry ban for the whole Schengen area for a specific period if you are apprehended after you got a return order. Note: If you want to start a new procedure, you should at the same time take legal steps against this entry ban with the help of a lawyer.

Declared undesirable (Persona non grata):

when you are condemned for committing a crime, you can get a long-term entry ban for the whole of the Schengen area. European migrants can be declared ‘undesirable’.

When you have a long-term entry ban, you cannot get a residence permit any more, unless you live long enough outside the EU.

Police and identification

When you stay in the Netherlands or Europe without papers you will have to watch out for the police, watch out for instance for committing traffic offenses, because the police will then ask for your identity document. The Compulsory Identification Act is in force in the Netherlands, meaning that you have to be able to show your identity document when the police asks you to. When you can’t, you risk detention and deportation.