The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Centraal Orgaan opvang Asielzoekers – COA) is the authority responsible for the accommodation of asylum seekers and thus manages the reception centres. Asylum seekers who enter the Netherlands by land have to apply at the Central Reception Centre (Centraal Opvanglocatie, COL) in Ter Apel, where they should stay for a maximum of three days. The COL is not designed for a long stay. If applicants arrive during the weekend they will have access to night reception until registration on the first working day. After this stay at the COL, the asylum seeker is transferred to a Process Reception Centre (Proces Opvanglocatie, POL). There are four POL in the Netherlands: Ter Apel, Budel, Wageningen, and Gilze, totalling a capacity of 2,000 places.
An asylum seeker remains in the POL if the IND decides to examine the asylum application in the regular asylum procedure (within eight days). If protection is granted, the asylum seeker is transferred to a Centre for Asylum Seekers (Asielzoekerscentrum, AZC) before receiving housing in the Netherlands. If the IND decides to handle the application in the extended asylum procedure, the asylum seeker will also be transferred from the POL to an AZC.
During the procedure asylum seekers are housed in collective centres. There is no possibility of individual housing, provided by the state at this point.