Safe third country



Dutch Council for Refugees

An asylum request can be declared inadmissible in case a third country is regarded a safe country for the asylum seeker (Article 30a, first paragraph, under c, Aliens Act. There is no list of safe third countries. The concept is applied on a case by case basis.

Article 3.106a, first paragraph, of the Aliens Decree stipulates the criteria for a country to be considered a safe third country. This is an implementation of Article 38 of the Asylum Procedures Directive. Article 3.37e of the Aliens Regulation stipulates that the Secretary of State's assessment, whether a third country can be considered to be safe, should be based on a number of sources of information, specifically from EASO, UNHCR, the Council of Europe and other relevant/authoritative/reputable organizations.

On the basis of paragraph 2 of Article 3.106a of the Aliens Decree a  connection (band) with the third country is required on the basis of which it would be reasonable for the asylum seeker to go to that country. This has been elaborated on in Article 3.37e, third paragraph, of the Aliens Regulations and in paragraph C2/6.3 Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines. According to the IND such a connection exists in case: (C2/6.3 Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines):

  • the husband/wife or partner of the asylum seeker has the nationality of the third country;

  • first or direct family members reside in the third country, with whom the asylum seeker is still in contact, or

  • the asylum seeker has stayed in the third country

There is no recent jurisprudence from the Council of State on the concept of safe third country. We are not aware of cases in which mere transit through a third country was considered to be sufficient to declare the asylum request inadmissible on the basis of the concept of safe third country. 

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti