Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions


Country Report: Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions Last updated: 30/04/24


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Article 10 RVA sets out the grounds for restricting or, in exceptional cases, withdrawing reception conditions. These include cases where the asylum seeker:

  • Has left the reception centre without informing the COA or without permission, if permission is required;[1]
  • Has not reported to the reception centre for two weeks;[2]
  • Has failed to respond to COA requests for information for two weeks, including personal details required for registration in the centre;
  • Has failed to appear for the personal interview with the IND for two consecutive times;
  • Has lodged a subsequent application after a final decision;
  • Has concealed financial resources and therefore improperly benefitted from reception;
  • Does not pay back a fee paid to them for childbirth costs;
  • Seriously violates the house rules of the centre;[3]
  • Has committed a serious form of violence to asylum seekers staying in the centre, persons employed in the centre or others.

This sanction policy is further elaborated in the Measures Policy (Maatregelenbeleid COA).[4] It specifies the measures that can be imposed for incidents based on their level of impact. The measures entail an actual reduction or withdrawal of material reception conditions e.g. suspension of the financial allowance or accommodation. Before imposing a measure, the asylum seeker must be heard. Following the Haqbin judgment,[5] the COA is not allowed to completely withdraw material reception as a sanction. The State Secretary therefore announced that instead of temporarily withdrawing material receptions, ‘time out places’ would be introduced in AZCs as of 1 July 2020.[6] COA is still using the ROV measure of completely withdrawing material reception and financial allowances, thereby announcing that if the asylum seeker does not have a place to go they can stay in a ‘time-out  place’. Staying in a ‘time-out place’ means that someone temporarily stays at a different location and will receive no financial allowances, just microwave food.

Individuals who received a positive asylum decision might, however, lose the entitlement to reception according to COA. Article 12(2) RVA states that BIPs must report to the COA every two weeks (and also once at AVIM). If they do not report twice in a row, they will be removed from the reception centre. There are only a few court decisions on this kind of cases. The outcomes are very different. One positive case refers to Haqbin and the applicability of the Reception Directive on BIPs through article 3 RVA.[7] In other cases courts ruled that COA was allowed to stop the reception.[8]

The position of BIPs who have been removed from reception centres is very precarious. They can no longer be hosted in another asylum seekers’ centre, the freedom-restricting location or a national aliens facility – the latter because they already have a permit – and they often have difficulties finding housing at the municipality by themselves without the COA intervention.

Asylum seekers aged 16 or more, who seriously violate the house rules of reception centres or otherwise demonstrate aggressive behaviour, may also be transferred to Enforcement and Surveillance Location (Handhaving en toezichtlocatie, HTL) in Hoogeveen at a former prison building.[9] Placement in the HTL is accompanied by a freedom-restricting measure on the basis of Article 56 of the Aliens Act. See Types of Accommodation.[10]



[1] This specific ground is not elaborated on in the Measures Policy. In general, there are no rules as to report when you leave the premises. Absence is only penalized if one fails to adhere to the reporting obligation.

[2] Article 19(1)(e) RVA. This provision sets out the obligation to report to the centre once a week.

[3] Article 19(1) RVA.

[4] Maatregelenbeleid COA, available in Dutch at:

[5] CJEU, C-233/18, Zubair Haqbin v Federaal Agentschap voor de opvang van asielzoekers, 12 November 2019, available at:

[6] Letter of the State Secretary, Parliamentary Documents 19637, no. 2642, 1 July 2020, available in Dutch at:

[7] Regional Court Den Bosch, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:10832, 27 September 2021, available in Dutch at:

[8] Regional Court Utrecht, Decision No AWB 22/9208, 29 December 2022, not published on a publicly available website.

[9] Article 1(n) RVA.

[10] Article 5 Reception Act.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation