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Which ministry has overall responsibility?

Ministry of Justice and Security

The Ministry of Justice and security (JenV) is responsible for maintaining the rule of law in the Netherlands. The Ministry develops migration policy, which relates to border control, the reception and admission policy of asylum seekers, visa policy, family migration, return migration and naturalisation.

The aim of the Ministry is to pursue a strict, but fair immigration and asylum policy.

Are there other ministries involved?

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) coordinates and carries out Dutch foreign policy at its headquarters in The Hague and through its missions abroad. The Ministry, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Security, develops visa policy and sets the visa requirements for individual countries.

Diplomatic missions abroad

Worldwide, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has some 150 embassies, and consulates-general. All of these represent the Netherlands. The embassies and consulates deal with visa applications and legalise documents. Third-country nationals who are required to take the Civic Integration Examination Abroad have to take this exam at a diplomatic mission, before they are allowed to migrate to the Netherlands.

Ministry of Social affairs and Employment

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) is responsible for labour market policy, including migration and the free movement of workers. The Ministry also works to foster the successful participation and integration of newcomers to the Netherlands.

Other Ministries

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science are involved in the assessment of applications of third-country nationals who want to come to the Netherlands to work as a self-employed worker. They will give advice on whether or not the intended business activities have an added value to the Dutch economy, which is a prerequisite for admission.

Are there decentralised entities?


Municipalities are responsible for the registration of migrants in the Municipal Personal Records Database.

Several municipalities in the Netherlands have an expatdesk. These expatdesks offer expats a warm welcome in the Netherlands and they inform them about what their city and region has to offer: from information on healthcare to cultural events. They can assist with all kinds of governmental procedures as well: local procedures like parking permits or registration of birth, but also on the national level, such as procedures with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

What are the implementing agencies?

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is an agency of the Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV). The IND processes all applications for regular residence permits to live and work in the Netherlands. The IND also processes all applications for asylum and applications requesting Dutch nationality.

Employee Insurance Agency (UWV)

The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) is an autonomous administrative authority and is commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). UWV implements employee insurances and provides labour market and data services. Employers can apply to the Agency for a work permit for third-country employees.

National Police (in Dutch)

The Netherlands has one national police force, consisting of ten regional units, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and security (JenV). Local authority over the police rests with the mayor and the chief public prosecutor.

Aliens Police (AVIM)

As part of the regional units, the Aliens Police is responsible for the supervision of aliens in the local communities.

Seaport Police (in Dutch)

The Seaport Police is the police force for the Rotterdam port area. It is responsible for border control in the port of Rotterdam

Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar)

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar), part of the Dutch armed forces, is a police organisation with military status, which is responsible for border entry checks, and control of irregular migration. It also assists during forced removals of migrants who do not have resident permits from the Netherlands.

Education Executive Agency (DUO)

The Education Executive Agency (DUO) is the implementing organisation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) for education. The Agency finances and informs participants in education and educational institutions and organises exams, thus enabling quality education. The Education Executive Agency is responsible for civic integration of migrants.

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK). The Agency assesses whether the business activities of a migrant wishing to practise a profession or set up a business in the Netherlands serve an essential Dutch interest. The Agency also assesses whether the investment of a migrant wishing to live in the Netherlands as a third-country investor has added value to the Dutch economy.

Are there general immigration policy papers?

Coalition agreement 2017-2021

Coalition agreement 2021 - 2025

Are there impact assessments, studies and reports available?

Statistics and publications | IND

Beleidsoverzichten | EMN Nederland - Europees Migratienetwerk Nederland (

State of Migration 2022: government working to gain more control over migration | News item |

‘State of Migration constitutes starting point for balanced migration debate’ | News item |

What is the key legislation?

Netherlands Nationality Act of 19 December 1984 (RWN: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap)

Aliens Employment Act of 21 December 1994 (Wav: Wet arbeid vreemdelingen)

Aliens Act 2000 of 23 November 2000 (Vreemdelingenwet 2000)

Aliens Decree 2000 of 23 November 2000 (Vreemdelingenbesluit 2000)

Civic Integration Act of 30 November 2006 (Wet inburgering)

Civic Integration Act of 1 Januari 2022 (Wet inburgering 2021)

Consult Dutch law online (in Dutch)

What are the national scientific research and statistical offices on immigration?

CBS - Statistics Netherlands

SCP - The Netherlands Institute for Social Research

WODC - Ministry of Security and Justice Research and Documentation Centre

ACVZ - Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs