For those who are considering returning to their country of origin … Foreign nationals who do not have a valid residence permit run the risk of immigration detention and deportation. After a negative decision, the applicant gets normally four weeks to voluntarily leave the Netherlands (and Europe). Those who don’t return, run the risk of aliensdetention and

Detention of aliens

When will the police detain me in detention of aliens? If you have no residence permit and the police suspect that you will not return voluntary, you can be placed in detention of aliens. Detention of aliens is an ultimate measure, a less severe measure can be applied if the person concerned has a fixed

Renter rights

Am I entitled to protection by the Dutch Rent Act? If you have legal tenancy, you are entitled to protection by the Dutch Rent Act. Strictly speaking a written agreement is not required for this protection, but you need to be able to prove that you rented the accommodation, for example by proving you made

Asylum Shelters

Shelter in an Asylum Seekers’ Centre These centres are accessible to asylum seekers during the asylum procedure. They are also accessible to asylum seekers who have been granted ‘delay of departure on medical grounds’ (article 64 of the Aliens Law). Migrants have to apply for delay of departure at the IND. The IND will grant

Parental support

Who can provide help with parenting? Welfare institutions provide various easily accessible activities for help and support with parenting, such as home start, opvoedbureau [office for help with parenting], and school welfare institutions. Every municipality has a ‘centrum Jeugd en Gezin’ (CJG, centre for Youth and Families). The CJG can help you if you (or

Social services

Where can I go for advice about my social services? Institutions for welfare work provide advice for example about your entitlement to accommodation and support in homeless’ shelters and such like. There are specialized institutions for welfare work for certain target groups. You can find addresses under the organisation contact links. Organisations Social services

Bank accounts

Can I open a bank account? Undocumented migrants should be able to open a basic bank account, a valid identity document is required. This is written in the EU-regulation 2014/92

Driving license

Can I get a driving license? In order to obtain and extend a driving license an identity certificate and a residence permit are required. For the replacement of a lost driving licence this is not required.

Nationality of child

Which nationality will my child have? A child who is born in the Netherlands is not automatically granted Dutch nationality. The child’s nationality will depend on the citizenship regulations in the countries of origin of both parents. In most cases a child will be given the mother’s nationality. Generally speaking the child will have the


Can I join a trade union? Yes, even people without residence permits can join a trade union. FNV Bondgenoten [Allies] has a special unit for cleaners without residence permits, ‘domestic workers’. This unit knows how to deal with practical problems such as the fact that many undocumented people have no bank accounts.

Financial assistance

I have no residence permit, how can I survive? If you have no residence permit you are not entitled to most forms of financial support. There are a few exceptions, particularly for families with children or for people who are involved in legal proceedings to obtain a residence permit. Assistance benefit The Dutch Participation Law

Stop & Search/Frisk

When are the police allowed to ask me to show my identity papers? The police and other ‘authorities’ are allowed to ask for identity certificates ‘if this can reasonably be assumed to be required for performing their duties’. Authorities are almost all people who have supervising responsibilities. Checks tend to be held in cases of