Types of reception centres

There are different types of reception centres. It depends on the phase of the asylum procedure where an asylum seeker is staying. After all, the guidance of the asylum seekers is focused on that phase and therefore it differs per type of reception centre. Young people who came to the Netherlands without family members, receive intensive guidance in special reception centres for youth.

In some locations different types of reception centres are put together.

  • Central reception centre (col). A foreign national who applies for asylum in the Netherlands reports to an application centre of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). After this registration, the COA accommodates the asylum seeker in the central reception centre (col). He receives shelter here, access to medically required care and guidance in the preparation for his asylum application. Meals are provided centrally. There are col's in Ter Apel and Budel-Cranendonck.
  • Process reception centre (pol). The asylum seekers who are in the first phase of their asylum procedure (the General Asylum Procedure), receive accommodation in a pol. The pol's are always located near an office of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The main activities in the pol are meetings between asylum seekers and their lawyers, provision of information by the Dutch Council for Refugees, provision of information about the COA and medical advice.
  • Asylum seekers' centre (azc). Asylum seekers' centres offer accommodation both for the persons entitled to a residence permit who are waiting for a home and for the asylum seekers who are in the extended procedure. Most asylum seekers stay in an azc. That’s where they spend the longest period of their stay. The residents of azc's have to cook their own meals. They also do their own shopping. To do so they get living allowance. They usually share a kitchen with 5-8 others.
  • Freedom-restricting centre (vbl). Asylum seekers, who have exhausted all legal remedies and are no longer entitled to reception in an asylum seekers' centre, stay in a freedom-restricting centre. They can stay here for a maximum of 12 weeks, provided there is a prospect of return within that period. The house rules in a vbl are stricter than in an azc. For example, the residents must report 5 days a week. The residents may leave the site, but they are obliged to stay within the boundaries of the municipality where the vbl is located. There is a vbl in Ter Apel.
  • Family centre. Children under the age of 18 retain the right to shelter even after the asylum application has been rejected. For this reason, the families who have exhausted their legal remedies get transferred to a family reception centre after the statutory departure period has expired. These centres have a moderate level of facilities where the adults only receive money to buy food. In addition, freedom-restricting measures apply to the adults. For example, they are obliged to stay within the municipal boundaries and they have a duty to report 5 times a week. For the children there are the same facilities as in other reception centres. They go to school as usual. The guidance in these centres is focused on departure from the Netherlands. From the moment the child becomes of age, the right to shelter ends. Normally, families depart from the Netherlands before the child becomes of age.
  • Reception centre with intensive guidance (ibo). In the ibo, we receive residents who are insufficiently able to function independently in a regular reception centre. Their behaviour leads to problems for employees and/or fellow residents. These residents temporarily move to a special reception centre where they receive intensive guidance. They learn skills and behaviour with which their self-reliance increases so that they can function better in a regular shelter. Return to a regular reception centre will always be our goal.
  • Reception centre with additional guidance and supervision (ebtl). In the ebtl, there is place for about 50 asylum seekers who cause nuisance in an asylum seekers centre, but are entitled to reception. In principle, a person who causes nuisance is placed in the ebtl for 3 months. The house rules in an ebtl are stricter than in an azc. The residents are obliged to follow an intensive day programme and they must report when they leave the site and come back. They do not receive financial benefits such as in a regular reception centre. There is an ebtl in Hoogeveen.
  • Small housing facility (kwv). It is a small-scale shelter (16-20 places) for unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (amv). In addition, there are special process reception centres for these young people (pol-amv).

Unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (amv) are asylum seekers under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian when they enter the Netherlands. They come to the Netherlands alone or together with other children and/or 'strange' adults to apply for asylum.