NETHERLANDS: List of Safe Countries of Origin Expanded

February 19, 2016

As of 9th February 2016, the Dutch State Secretary for Security and Justice has made six new additions to the list of Safe Countries of Origin. The list now includes: Ghana, India, Jamaica, Morocco, Mongolia and Senegal.

What is the List of Safe Countries of Origin?

The list of safe countries of origin was drawn up by the Dutch government on 3rd November 2015, to speed up the asylum application process. A country will be added to the list if there is no conflict or prejudice that causes danger and/or prevents nationals from residing there. Therefore, all countries on the list are deemed as safe to return to, meaning that anyone entering the Netherlands seeking asylum from a listed country will be immediately rejected by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Changes to the List of Safe Countries of Origin

The list is an ongoing project that changes depending on the safety level in each country. Any country can be added or removed. Some of the countries currently on the list (including the new additions) are:

  • Albania

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • Ghana

  • India

  • Jamaica

  • Macedonia

  • Montenegro

  • Morocco

  • Mongolia

  • Kosovo

  • Senegal

  • Serbia

There are plans to investigate whether Algeria, Georgia, Ukraine, Tunisia and Turkey can be added to the list.

Other important information

Should an asylum seeker”s application be rejected due to being from a safe country of origin, they are permitted to appeal this decision. However, from 1st March 2016, they must provide sufficient and plausible evidence that remaining in their country of origin poses a threat to their wellbeing, to support their asylum claim. Furthermore, they will not be permitted to stay in the Netherlands whilst the appeal is being considered, and will have to return to their country of origin. If an individual does not voluntarily leave the Netherlands in this instance, they may be forcibly removed.

This list is likely to assist the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) in speeding up the process times for asylum seekers as they will now be able to immediately reject applications, from asylum seekers who do not require protection according to the list, therefore freeing up more time to consider more relevant applications.

Should you need further information on Dutch immigration, please email us at [email protected].