Asylum for refugees

Millions of people are displaced globally. For instance, because of war. Or because of persecution because they belong to a certain minority group. A large portion of them ask another country for protection on the basis of the Refugee Convention of the United Nations. They ask for 'asylum'. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) investigates who are eligible for  an asylum residence permit in the Netherlands.

Right to reception

Asylum seekers from outside the European Union are entitled to reception in the Netherlands: accommodation, guidance and support, necessary means of subsistence, and access to medical care. The COA is responsible for carrying out this reception.


Asylum seekers have to deal with different organisations in the Netherlands. Every organisation has a specific role. We are working together with these supply chain and collaborative partners, and make sure that asylum seekers know where they have to go in which phase of the asylum process. Our international contacts are aimed at cooperation and sharing knowledge and experience.

The municipalities: important partners

Reception centres in the municipality

When opening a reception centre, we work together intensively with the municipality. For example, we support municipalities in the communication to all stakeholders.

Housing of status holders

Asylum seekers with a residence permit become part of Dutch society. The COA allocates these status holders to municipalities. When we do this, we look at where they have the best opportunities for integration and participation. Municipalities provide housing for status holders.

Medical care for asylum seekers

Just like everyone, asylum seekers can go to the GP, a midwife, or the hospital. In every reception centre, a GP has a consultation hour. Furthermore, asylum seekers can call a special medical contact centre 24/7 for questions about their health.


Some of the COA buildings are property of the COA. Others we rent from both private parties and municipalities. Sometimes we also rent grounds to put up temporary units. Sustainability is a prerequisit the development or redevelopment of property.