Housing and Settlement Rights

Asylum Seeker
Asylum seekers do not have a right to their own housing and settlement. Instead, the COA assigns them to different types of accommodation which include the following:

  • Centrale Ontvangst Locatie (COL)
    The registration office of the IND is in Ter Apel, which is where the COL is located. The facility can hosts asylum seekers from the registration to the relocation to the POL. Asylum seekers receive their medical intake, tuberculosis check, and registration interview from the IND at this facility. 
  • Procesopvanglocatie (POL)
    Hosts asylum seekers who are going through the first phase of the asylum-seeking process. They are located near IND offices. Within the POL conversation between asylum seekers and lawyers, information by VluchtelingenWerk, information about COA, and medical advice is facilitated.
  • Asielzoekerscentrum (AZC)
    Hosts asylum seekers who have received a ‘temporary asylum permit’. Families can live here until housing becomes available in the respective municipalities. Children are able to attend primary education here. 
  • Vrijheidsbeperkende Locatie (VBL)
    Hosts asylum seekers who no longer have the right to residency from the AZC. They stay here until returning to the country of origin.
  • Gezins Opvang Locatie (GOL)
    Hosts families with minors that are no longer eligible to remain in the Netherlands. 
  • Extra Begeleidings- en Toezicht Locatie (EBTL)
    Hosts asylum seekers that caused a nuisance in another COA location in the form of bullying, vandalism, aggressive behavior, or violation of house rules.

Refugees Social Housing
As soon as a resident permit is granted, refugees are allowed to move to a municipality. The government decides which municipality and aims to meet personal needs throughout the process (such as the distance from work and/or educational facilities). As of 2017, refugees are not provided with municipal residency in an urgent matter. 

Last updated byCaitlin