The Netherlands has signed the Dublin Convention, which states that asylum seekers may only apply for asylum in one country. This rule does not apply to children.

Before evaluating the asylum application, the INS will determine which European Member State is responsible for the asylum application. For example, if an grown up asylum seeker has already applied for asylum in Italy before travelling to the Netherlands, the Netherlands will in this case hold Italy responsible for examining the asylum application of the asylum seeker. The Dublin Convention also applies, if the INS can prove that the asylum seeker traveled through another country which also singed the Dublin Convention before he or she came to the Netherlands. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, the Dublin Convention applies to situations in which another European Member State issued a visa. In all these situations, the INS will request the other Member State to take over the asylum application.

The Dublin procedure only deals with question whether the asylum seeker can return to the Member State responsible for the asylum application and if not, why not. During the interview most of the time only question will be asked about the ground of objection with regard to the transfer to the Member State responsible.

When will there be no transfer?

A transfer to the Member State responsible for the asylum application may not take place if there are serious concerns that the asylum procedure and shelter conditions for asylum seekers in that Member State show systemic flaws resulting in inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 ECHR and Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. These provisions are identical and prohibit deportation to a country where a person faces a real risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The INS can decide to deal with the asylum application anyway. According to the policy of the INS this happens in the following situations:

  • if there are concrete leads that the Member State responsible will not live up to the international obligations;
  • in case of special, individual circumstances which result in a situation that is disproportionately tough for the asylum seeker; or
  • if in the opinion of the INS there are reasons of efficiency. In particular when the foreign national comes from a safe country of origin, and return to the country of origin is guaranteed in the foreseeable future after the asylum application has been processed.

In most of the cases, however, the INS will not deal on substantive grounds with the asylum application if another Member State is responsible for the asylum claim. This means that in most of the Dublin cases no asylum permit will be granted.