To avoid losing track of failed asylum seekers and illegal foreign nationals, and ensure they have a roof over their heads, the Dutch authorities provide accommodation at various sites where they are prepared for and assisted with their departure from the Netherlands.
Asylum seekers are housed at a designated reception location during the asylum procedure. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers is responsible for providing this accommodation. The Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) helps these aliens prepare to leave the Netherlands if their asylum application is rejected.
Failed asylum seekers must leave the reception location within 28 days after a court has upheld the rejection of their asylum application. If they have not left the Netherlands by this point, they may be transferred to restrictive accommodation. Foreign nationals housed in restrictive accommodation are permitted to leave the centre but are required to stay within the municipality and report to the centre every day. They are also required to cooperate fully with the investigation into their nationality and identity. There is a restrictive accommodation in Vlagtwedde.
Detention of foreign nationals
If there is a risk that a foreign national whose removal is imminent may abscond he can be held at a detention centre, which he cannot leave. If a case concerns a family with children under 18, the authorities may decide to place just one of the parents in detention. The other family members then remain in restrictive accommodation.
Detention of foreign nationals under 18
The International Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the detention of a child may be used only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. For this reason, families with children are placed in restrictive accommodation instead of detention.
An entire family may be placed in detention, but no more than two weeks before the date of departure from the Netherlands. The detention centre must be one that is suitable for children. Detention of an entire family may be extended only if the individuals concerned resist repatriation or submit a new application for a residence permit at the last minute.
Foreign nationals with a criminal conviction
Foreign nationals with a criminal conviction who have yet to serve their sentence form a special group. During their term in prison, the DT&V manages the preparations for their return to their country of origin.
There are special detention centres for foreign nationals in Rotterdam, Schiphol, Ter Apel and Zeist.