Promising match with municipality

Every half year, the central government determines the number of status holders a municipality must house: the municipal task. The COA matches status holders to a municipality. When we do this, we look at where they have the best opportunities to build a new life and contribute to society.

Screening interview

In the process reception centre and asylum seekers' centre, we have a screening interview with the refugee. During this interview we inquire after their education and work experience in the country of origin, ambitions, and social network. These are also called the 'soft criteria'. In addition, we look at hard criteria, such as first-degree relatives, medical particulars and current work and education in the Netherlands.

Placement in a suitable region for work

After the screening interview, we select the best reception centre to place the status holder. We try to accommodate him close to the place where he will be living and working later. This improves their integration and participation. Next, the supervisor matches the status holder within 2 weeks to the municipality which is best for him to go and live in.

Early screening for asylum seekers with good prospects

Are asylum seekers likely to be granted a residence permit? Then they will have the screening interview earlier, namely before their permit is granted.

Digital client profile

During the Preparation for Civic Integration Programme, status holders, together with their case manager, compose a personal information file which contains information which includes training and education, work experience and a network.

In addition, we make a client profile for all status holders which includes information on training and education, work experience, ambitions and the participation in programs and voluntary work. We place such a profile in the Task Monitoring System (TVS) for municipalities.

Via TVS, the muncipalities have access to the client profiles of status holders for whom they will provide housing. They use the client profile to continue the integration and participation of asylum permit holders from the asylum seekers' centre into the municipality.  

Cooperation COA and municipalities

A good cooperation and the proper transfer of information between the COA and the municipalities are important for the continuing civic integration line from the reception centre to the municipality. The transfer of information from the COA to the municipality occurs via the client profile in the Task Monitoring System (TVS).

On the initiative of the municipality, a conversation between the three parties can take place i.e., the status holder, the COA client manager and the municipality client manager. The municipality client manager will contact the case manager (see contact details in the client profile) for such purposes.

The municipality will find suitable housing

Status holders do not choose the municipality where they're going to live themselves. On the basis of data in the Task Monitoring System (TVS), municipalities find suitable housing. This is almost always housing via a housing association. Families are usually allocated a single-family house. Young unaccompanied status holders are often allocated a home with other people searching housing, like students and employed young people. It is compulsory for status holders to accept the accommodation offered by a municipality.

Because of the shortage in housing, municipalities don't always have a home available. In those cases, status holders will remain in the reception centre longer, or make use of the COA's hosting scheme


Asielzoeker Bha Alsabag logeert bij Marja Hamhuis
© Kick Smeets

Hosting scheme: shelter with friends, family or a host family

Status holders can make use of the hosting scheme if they would like to stay with friends, family, or a host family in the Netherlands. Participants in this scheme retain their right to basic facilities of the COA during their stay.

More about the hosting scheme

Unaccompanied minors with a residence permit

Unaccompanied minors up to the age of 14 will keep living in a foster family when they are granted a residence permit. Are young people 15 years and over when they are granted a residence permit? Then they move from the process reception centre to a small-scale reception facility of Nidos.

As soon as these young people turn 18, the municipality must make suitable subsequent accommodation available. It is important that they can remain living in the area they have grown accustomed to and they have social contacts.

Housing in case of family reunification 

In case of family reunification, we match the family as much as possible to the municipality where the sponsor with whom they are reunited lives or will be living. If the sponsor already has accommodation, the COA contacts the municipality for an accommodation check. This is how we determine whether family members can go to the accommodation in the municipality immediately. If not, they will be offered a place for reception with the COA and family reunification will take place there. Next, we match the entire family to a municipality.

Is family reunification with an unaccompanied minor concerned? Then it is even more important that we place the entire family in the municipality where the young person is, or was staying earlier, because of their vulnerable position. Or in a municipality in the vicinity. This allows him or her to retain their network in the Netherlands.