No applications from specific nationalities are considered as manifestly well-founded. However, Dutch authorities publish country-specific policy recommendations for processing asylum cases of various specific nationalities. This country-specific policy includes for example which groups are considered to be at risk, in which areas an armed conflict is considered to reach the art. 15c QD standard, but also for which nationalities there is a Postponement of Decision and Departure in place (see below).
In general, applications from asylum seekers from “safe countries of origin” are considered manifestly unfounded and subject to an Accelerated Procedure (“Track 2”). However, in policy rules exceptions are being made with regard to certain groups, like LGBTI asylum seekers or specific ethnicities. The safe countries of origin are listed in the section on Safe Country of Origin.
For all other nationalities there is no differentiated treatment in the procedure. There is one exception made for the written interview which is offered only to certain nationalities who have relatively high protection rates: Türkiye, Syria and Yemen. For more information see the section dedicated to the Written interview.
Public Country-specific policy
In 2022, the Dutch had published the country-specific policy for 35 nationalities and is usually based on an official country report from the ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is published in the Aliens Circular C7  and currently includes the following countries:
- Democratic Republic Congo
- Ivory Coast
- Lebanon: situation for Palestinians
- Russian Federation
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
The following paragraphs explain which categories and groups can be distinguished in a country-specific policy and provides some examples. For the complete and up-to-date public country-specific policy please see paragraph C7 of the Aliens Circular.
The standard country-specific policy consists of the following paragraphs:
- Postponement of Decision
- Article 1F Refugee Convention
- Persecution under the Refugee Convention
- Serious Harm under art 15 QD
- Adequate reception for unaccompanied minors
- Postponement of Departure
Postponement of Decision and Departure
When the situation in a certain country is uncertain, Dutch authorities can proclaim a general Postponement of Decision and Departure for a certain nationality or certain groups within a country of origin. This means that the time limit for deciding is prolonged for six months. During these six months there will usually also be no forced returns executed. The Postponement of Decision and Departure can be prolonged with an additional 6 months. In 2022, there was a Postponement of Decision and Departure in place for the Russian Federation (only concerning military conscription refusers and deserters, prolonged for 6 additional months on 29 December), Ukraine (prolonged for 6 additional months in August) and Sudan (prolonged for 6 additional months on 23 August).
Article 1F Refugee Convention
For some nationalities the Dutch authorities have included a description of categories in which ‘personal and knowing participation’ within the meaning of art. 1F Refugee Convention is assumed. These categories include lists of military positions within a certain military branch or during a certain regime or time. In 2022 the country-specific policy of Afghanistan and Iraq include an 1F-paragraph.
Refugee protection: Group Persecution and Groups of Risk
The country-specific policy first identifies groups that have well-founded fear of being persecuted under the Refugee Convention. A group can be identified as being at risk of group persecution. As a result, being a member of this groups is enough to qualify for refugee protection. In 2022 groups that have been identified as being at risk of group persecution are:
- Afghanistan: translators that have been working for international military or policy missions.
- China: Uyghurs
- China: Active followers of religious and spiritual movements identified as xie jiao by the Chinese authorities 
- Russian Federation: LGBT individuals from Chechnya
A group can also be qualified a Group of Risk. This means the Dutch authorities accept there is an elevated risk of persecution for members of this group in the country of origin. In theory, applicants being a member of a Group of Risk should have a lower burden of proof and it should be easier to qualify for refugee protection. In practice, the effect of being qualified as a Group of Risk on the protection rate varies greatly. A Group of Risk can consist of an ethnicity (for example Hazara in Afghanistan), a social group (for example LGBTI in Egypt) or religious group (for example Christians in Libya and Pakistan). Some Groups of Risk have a very broad definition (for example ‘journalists’ in Libya and Burundi), others have a very narrow and specific definition (for example in Somalia a Group of Risk is defined as: “Leaders of clans who support or support the government or elections, or other prominent persons with a large public reach and who openly spoke out against Al-Shabaab”).
Subsidiary Protection: Systemic Exposure and Vulnerable groups
Next there is a section considering serious harm under article 15 QD (subsidiary protection). Groups can be identified that are at risk of systemic exposure to serious harm. As a result, being a member of this groups is enough to qualify for subsidiary protection. In 2022, no groups were considered to be at risk of systemic exposure. Only in Somalia, the human rights situation in southern and central Somalia where Al-Shabaab is in power or controls the area is considered so severe that any returnee is considered to be at risk of serious harm. However, under certain conditions, it can be argued that an internal protection alternative in an area where Al-Shabaab is not in power exists.
A group can also be qualified a Vulnerable Group. This means Dutch authorities accept there is an elevated risk of serious harm for members of this group in the country of origin. In theory, applicants being a member of a Vulnerable Group should have a lower burden of proof and it should be easier to qualify for subsidiary protection. In practice, the effect of being qualified as a Vulnerable group on the protection rate varies greatly. A Vulnerable Group can consist of an ethnicity (for example Yezidi in Iraq), a religious group (for example converted Christians in Afghanistan) or other groups (for example ethnic Tigrayan women in Ethiopia). Some Groups of Risk are also considered a Vulnerable group, this is the case for the Country-specific Policy for Afghanistan, which includes the group: “non-(practising) Muslims, including converts (converts to Christianity), (alleged) apostates, Christians, Bahai and Sikhs/Hindus.”
Exceptional circumstances under article 15c QD
The Country-specific policy also includes the countries and areas for which the Dutch Authorities consider an armed conflict is considered to reach the art. 15c QD standard. In 2022, this was the case for the whole of Yemen. As a result, every applicant coming from the country will be granted subsidiary protection status (subject to possible application of the safe third country concept and other contra-indications such as exclusion clauses). In Congo DRC there is also considered to be exceptional situation that reaches the art.15 QD standard in the provinces North-Kivu, South-Kivu and Ituri. However, an internal protection alternative is considered to be present in other areas of the country. The same accounts for Cameroon and the provinces North-West and South-West (NWSW).
Some country-specific policies contain a protection paragraph. This includes the (im)possibility to receive protection from the authorities in that country or the (im)possibilities of an internal protection alternative. Sometimes groups are listed for which the Dutch authorities assume no protection from the authorities is possible (for example women who fear FGM in Sudan), or no protection alternative can be opposed (for example Ahmadi’s in Pakistan).
Adequate reception for unaccompanied minors
In the country-specific policy is also included whether there is adequate reception for unaccompanied minors. Either the country-specific policy includes that: “general reception facilities are not available and/or adequate, and the authorities do not take care of the reception” (this is the case for example for Uganda and Syria). Or it is included explicitly that there is adequate reception for unaccompanied minors (for example Türkiye).
The country-specific policy for Syria contains no groups that fear Group Persecution or Systemic Exposure to serious harm. Also, no exceptional circumstances under art. 15C QD are accepted for any part of the country. However, almost all applicants from Syria are eligible for a subsidiary protection status. The Dutch authorities assume that a foreign national from Syria runs a real risk of serious harm upon or after returning from abroad. Two exceptions are formulated; applicants that are active supporters of the regime and applicants that have already returned to Syria without experiencing problems.
Short asylum procedure evacuated Afghan nationals
From 26 Augustus 2021 to 6 December 2022, a total of 2,591 people were evacuated from Afghanistan to the Netherlands In many cases, the evacuees used to work for the Dutch government in Afghanistan. After the Taliban takeover of the country, these people were considered at risk to be persecuted in their home country. The applications of these asylum seekers were processed in a short asylum procedure in specific emergency facilities. These emergency facilities were created to accommodate the evacuated persons.
The applications of evacuated Afghan asylum seekers have been processed in a shorter asylum procedure. As far as known, almost all of them have obtained an asylum permit.
There is an elaborate country policy for Afghanistan including extensive lists with groups of risk and vulnerable groups.
Groups of risk include:
- family members associated by the Taliban with the interpreters.
- persons who are or have been active in journalism and media or in the field of human rights and their family members associated with them by the Taliban.
- representatives and employees of the judiciary, police, army and ministries under the previous regime and their relatives associated with them by the Taliban.
- women who work or have worked in areas within the public arena other than those referred to under b and c (particularly non-governmental organisations, in education and health care).
- civilians associated with – or considered supportive of – the former Afghan authorities, Afghan civil society and the international community in Afghanistan, including international forces, and as a result are at increased risk of targeted violence, in particular by the Taliban and ISKP. This also includes employees of Dutch or other international development projects, fixers of journalists and people who have worked for the Dutch government or other Western countries (other than interpreters) in Afghanistan. This also applies to relatives associated with them by the Taliban.
- persons who have (in the past) publicly criticized the Taliban.
- persons who come from a living area where they belong to a (marginalized) ethnic minority, who experience serious problems there.
- persons who come from a living area where they belong to a (marginalized) religious minority, who experience serious problems there.
- non-(practising) Muslims, including converts (converts to Christianity), (alleged) apostates, Christians, Bahai and Sikhs/Hindus.
- LGBT people.
- victims of Bacha Bazi abuse.
- aliens who come from an area where they belong to a (marginalized) ethnic minority, who experience serious problems there.
- aliens who come from an area where they belong to a (marginalized) religious minority, who experience serious problems there.
- non-(practising) Muslims, including converts (converts to Christianity), (alleged) apostates, Christians, Bahai and Sikhs/Hindus.
With regard to female applicants there are two catagories which are considered as in need of protection: single women and westernized women. Single women obtain a subsidiary protection status, except when the applicant has been able to maintain herself independently in Afghanistan in the past. For westernized women the following is included in the country specific policy: as a rule, a Western lifestyle developed in the Netherlands cannot, in itself, lead to refugee status or subsidiary protection. Adaptation to Afghanistan’s customs may be required. There are two exceptions to this: if the Western behavior is an expression of a religious or political conviction, or if a woman has personal characteristics that are extremely difficult or virtually impossible to change and because of these characteristics she fears persecution or inhumane treatment in Afghanistan. In IND Information Message 2022/71 of 21 July 2022 it is stated that due to the very worrying situation of women in Afghanistan (alleged) westernized women will sooner receive the benefit of the doubt.
Other decision and departure moratoria
For Ukraine a decision and departure moratorium was installed on 28 February 2022. This was extended with another six months in August 2022. See for more information the section on Ukraine.
For Russian male deserters and conscripts between the ages of 18 and 27, a decision and departure moratorium was installed on 28 June 2022. This was extended with another six months on 13 December 2022.
For Sudanese political activists, a decision and departure moratorium was installed on 24 February 2022. This was extended with another six months on 23 August 2022.
 The official country report takes into account all types of information, also EUAA country guidance information. However, the EUAA guidance is not always followed in the actual country specific policy.
 See paragraph C7/2.2 (Afghanistan) and C7/16.2 (Iraq) Aliens Circular
 See C7/2.3.1 Aliens Circular
 See C7/9.3.1 Aliens Circular
 See C7/28.3.1 Aliens Circular
 In court cases, there is often discussion about whether the level of conflict in a certain country or area reaches the standard for art. 15C, this was for example the case for Libya. When the highest court in the Netherlands decides there is a 15c policy in a country, it is usually included in the country policy.
 See paragraph C7/11.4.1 and C7/11.5.2 Aliens Circular
 See paragraph C7/20 Aliens Circular
 See paragraph C7/32.5.1 Aliens Circular
 See paragraph C7/27.5.2 Aliens Circular
 See paragraph C7/33.4.4 Aliens Circular
 Paragraph C7/28.1 Aliens Circular.
 Paragraph C7/32.1 Aliens Circular.