The Passport of Wageningen provides an overview of basic rights of undocumented migrants in Wageningen and the surrounding area. The Passport of Wageningen was first printed in October 2013. A current version is being prepared. The information that is now on the website is up to date. If you find information that is not up to date, please email us:

For more general information about basic rights, we would like to refer you to the website of the National Support Centre for Undocumented People (Landelijk Ongedocumenteerden Steunpunt), LOS.

Watch the video below to get an impression of the questions that are answered in the Passport of Wageningen:

Basic rights of undocumented migrants

People without residence permit, undocumented people, people without legal papers, illegals; each a way to describe people who, despite not being allowed to stay, live in The Netherlands, and still have needs and rights.

The Passport of Wageningen provides an overview of the basic rights of undocumented migrants and mentions addresses in Wageningen and the surrounding area where advice, help and support for these people is available. This guide also informs caregivers and service providers in Wageningen about the fact that people without legal residence can – and sometimes must – receive help.

This guide will inform you about:

  1. Living
  2. Medical care
  3. Livelihood and daytime activities
  4. Marriage and divorce
  5. Birth and nurturing
  6. Language, education and work
  7. Other rights
  8. Legal help
  9. Police and immigration detention
  10. Return


People without residence permit who need help may be too scared to be caught and evicted to actually seek that help, however much it may be needed. This concerns women, men, children and elderly people. People whose residence permit has expired, whose application for a permit has been denied, or people who never even applied for a permit.

Caregivers may wonder whether helping people without a residence permit is punishable by law, or which services and help can be provided. Even people who are not allowed to stay in The Netherlands by law, still have some basic rights anchored in international conventions. Helping the undocumented is not punishable by law.

This Passport of Wageningen has two goals:

– To inform people without a residence permit about their rights and where to go in Wageningen to receive advice and help.

– To inform all caregivers and service providers concerned, who work in Wageningen or the surrounding area, about the fact that people without a residence permit can – and sometimes must – receive help. Also consideration and understanding is requested for the vulnerable position of undocumented people.

We hope that the contents of this passport lead to clarity among people without a residence permit and caregivers alike, regarding the kind of care and services which may be requested and provided. This in order to protect the basic rights of people without a residence permit in Wageningen.

Vluchteling Onder Dak supports and guides people in Wageningen and its surroundings whose first residence application has been denied or whose temporary residence permit has been repealed. Vluchteling Onder Dak has the legal expertise to give and organize legal aid. Vluchteling Onder Dak also provides – in so far their means allow it – housing and a modest living allowance. Furthermore we mediate in cases such as access to care, education for children, and meaningful daytime activities.

Vluchteling Onder Dak
Markt 17 (walk-in consultation Wednesdays from 13.00 to 16.00 hours)
0317 – 450140 or 06-28224378 (also WhatsApp)

Vluchteling Onder Dak is an organization mostly run by volunteers. For legal and social guidance a part-time legal counselor and a part-time social coordinator are employed. Revenue comes from donations, gifts, contributions by funds and churches and financing by Wageningen City through Welsaam. Financial support is always welcome on account number NL82INGB007534668 in the name of Fonds Vluchteling Onder Dak in Wageningen.

We tried to make this guide as complete as possible. In next reprints criticism and additions from the targeted audience will be taken into account. Remarks, comments, additions and corrections are welcome any time. Please mail them to

On behalf of the initiators:
Vluchteling Onder Dak
VluchtelingenWerk Oost Nederland
Raad van Kerken

With thanks to the Initiatieffonds Wageningen Welsaam for financing the Passport’s updating.

December 2023



Accommodation at an asylum seekers’ residence center is sometimes possible if you are in an ongoing asylum procedure, or when you have been granted ‘delay of departure on medical grounds’. (article 64) This delay of departure can be requested from IND. It will only be granted if based on medical grounds you’re incapable of travel or if there’s a threat of serious medical issues arising within three months of your return to your home country.

Pregnant women are given a postponement of departure from six weeks before to six weeks after the birth. Families with children can often receive care in a family location (GL): a special asylum seekers’ center that you can only go to if you have children and have to leave the regular asylum seekers’ center. The family locations are in Gilze en Rijen, Katwijk, Amersfoort, Den Helder, Emmen, Burgum and Goes.

Vluchteling Onder Dak can check whether in your situation you are entitled to accommodation in an asylum seekers’ center or family location and whether you are eligible for postponement of departure.


In the Netherlands, undocumented migrants are usually excluded from care by regular organizations. They can only go to private organizations, which are often small and have limited space. But the right to shelter is enshrined in international treaties. A number of lawyers have specialized in this. The results are especially important for vulnerable people, such as children and people who are seriously ill.

In Wageningen, Vluchteling Onder Dak is aware of recent developments. There you will also find more detailed information on the topics below.

Stoelenproject De Duif
in Arnhem is open every night all year round. There is room for a maximum of twenty people per night. Shelter, warmth and something to eat are free. You can enter in the evening between 10.30 pm and 11 pm and you can wait in front of the door from 10.20 pm. On Sunday, the chair project makes a list of visitors who want to stay overnight in the coming week. You no longer sleep on a chair, but on a mattress.

The house rules: no alcohol, drugs, violence, weapons or discriminatory comments.

Stoelenproject De Duif
Spoorwegstraat 11, Arnhem
026 – 4434081

The Salvation Army
in Ede organizes ‘frost shelter’ when it freezes, also for undocumented homeless people. Always call first to ask if the frost shelter is open.

Maatschappelijke Opvang Valleiregio (Leger des Heils)
Reehorsterweg 88, Ede
Tel 0318 – 610 345

Sometimes there’s a possibility for emergency shelter in Wageningen.
In order to qualify you must:

  • be an asylum seeker who is not entitled to care by COA;
  • have a connection with Wageningen or its surroundings: Barneveld, Scherpenzeel, Ede, Rhenen, Renswoude;
  • collaborate to create realistic long term prospects for your future.

Vluchteling Onder Dak can tell you more about this.


Most foreign nationals without a residence permit find shelter for a short or longer period of time with family, friends and compatriots. This form of assistance to undocumented migrants is not punishable by law. But the people with whom you are staying may lose their right to rent allowance as a result. Only if you sublet a room, the landlord does not lose his right to housing benefit. In this case you must be registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie personen – BRP), at the same address as the landlord.


Even if you do not have a residence permit, you may rent accommodation. But you cannot rent accommodation that requires a housing permit. Such a permit is required in Wageningen, Rhenen, Ede and Veenendaal if the basic rent (i.e. the rent without additional service costs) is less than €763,47. Those who do not have a residence permit can therefore legally rent if the rent is higher than that amount. That limit can change, so before you start renting, ask the municipality where the limit is at that moment.

Undocumented migrants are not entitled to rent allowance. Rent allowance can only be applied for if someone has the Dutch nationality or a valid residence permit. If an undocumented migrant is registered at a specific home address in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP), no one in that home can receive rent allowance, unless he/she is registered as a subtenant.

If you already have a rental contract and only then become undocumented, that contract will remain valid. The landlord may not terminate the lease just because you are undocumented.


If you do not have a residence permit, you cannot rent from a housing association. In Wageningen you can therefore not rent a home from the Woningstichting or from student housing provider Idealis.

Renting without a residence permit is only possible with a private landlord: an owner who rents out his home. That is often expensive and there are few options in Wageningen and the surrounding area. Sometimes the landlord also lives in the house.

Be careful if you ‘sublet’. The person from whom you rent is not the owner of the house, but he himself rents the house from someone else. Usually this is not allowed without the owner’s permission. If the owner discovers subletting, you and the person you are renting from can be evicted. The person you are renting from may also get trouble with taxes.


If you rent a house (not sublet), you can register with the energy and cable company. No proof of identity is required for this, but a valid rental contract and a bank account are required. That bank account can be a problem for people without a residence permit.


If you rent legally, you are entitled to security of tenure, even if you do not have a residence permit. A rental contract is not necessary for this. However, you must be able to prove that you are a tenant, for example with receipts for the rent.

Rent protection means that you can litigate against unreasonable rent increases and termination of the rent. You can check whether a rent increase is reasonable on the website of the housing association.

If you want to object to a rent increase or cancellation of the tenancy, the social counselors can help you with this.

Sociaal Raadslieden Wageningen
Rooseveltweg 408a (2e verdieping)
6707 GX Wageningen
0317 – 468830


Rent allowance is a contribution from the Tax and Customs Administration for people who have to pay high rent while on a low income. People without a residence permit are not entitled to rent allowance.

Beware: other people living at the same address also lose their right to rent allowance if one of the residents is undocumented. Unless this person is registered as a subtenant with the Personal Records Database (BRP)


In the Netherlands, the court has ruled that children are always entitled to shelter. If children become homeless, for example because they are undocumented, the government must therefore ensure that shelter is provided. In addition, parents and children should not be separated from each other. Only when parents neglect or abuse their children can parents and children be separated from each other, in order to protect the child.

Those who do not have children can be thrown out of an asylum seekers’ center after the asylum procedure has ended. Families with children can then go to a family location (GL): a special asylum seekers’ center that you can only go to if you have children and have to leave the regular asylum seekers’ center.

The family locations are in Gilze en Rijen, Katwijk, Amersfoort, Den Helder, Emmen, Burgum and Goes. To find out whether you are eligible for a place in a family location, please contact Vluchteling Onder Dak.

If you are at risk of becoming homeless with your children, it is best to contact Defense for Children in Leiden. They can find you a specialized lawyer if necessary.

Defence for Children
Hooglandse Kerkgracht 17
2312 HS Leiden

Tel: 071 – 5160980

Medical Care


In the Netherlands, if you have health issues you first need to go to a General Practitioner (GP) (Dutch: “huisarts”). The GP can give a lot of care. However, if you need a specialist the GP will refer you to a hospital. To avoid high costs if you do not have health insurance, the hospital must have a contract with CAK (Centraal Administratie Kantoor). You can find the list of contracted hospitals on the CAK website.

Near Wageningen, there are two CAK associated hospitals: Ziekenhuis Gelderse Vallei in Ede and Ziekenhuis Rijnstate in Arnhem. However, if you need treatment that is not offered there, your GP must choose another hospital that is on the CAK list. This could be, for example, the Diakonessenhuis at Utrecht or the Radboud UMC at Nijmegen.

When you go to the hospital for the first time, Vluchteling Onder Dak (VOD) will provide a letter that is needed by the hospital. Therefore, before you visit a hospital, first visit Vluchteling Onder Dak (VOD).

Hospitals contracted by CAK can get (part of) your treatment costs refunded by CAK. However, they still have to send you a bill and a formal reminder. However if you do not have insurance, you do not have to pay these costs. If you are uncertain about this, ask VOD for help during the process.


In case of accidents or life-threatening situations, there is no time to go to the GP or VOD. Only in this case, you can go straight to the hospital.

Emergency number: 112 (free call) call only in live threatening situations

In case of serious symptoms at night or during the weekend contact:

Huisartsenpost Gelderse Vallei
Tel 0318-20 08 00
Willy Brandtlaan 10, Ede.

Tell them that your treatment is covered by the CAK scheme for “onverzekerbare vreemdelingen” (uninsured immigrant or stranger)


People without a valid residence permit cannot get a health insurance. But by Dutch law everyone who is located in The Netherlands has the right to necessary medical care, even if you are unable to pay. The healthcare provider can request a contribution from CAK for uninsured patients, provided that the care is included in the basic package of the Health Insurance Act.

  • The GP can recover 80% of the non-collectable costs.
  • Midwives can get all costs reimbursed
  • Pharmacies and Hospitals can only recover the costs if they have a contract with CAK. Gelderse Vallei Hospital has such a contract.
  • Dentists can recover the costs for children under the age of eighteen and for care included in the basic package of the Health Insurance Act.

Hospitals in the Netherlands are not always aware of the partnership with the CAK. You can find them on the website: Het CAK

Here, one can find information about CAK for all types of care providers, together with the different claim forms.

CAN I GO TO SEE THE DOCTOR? (General Practitioner = GP = Huisarts)

Every GP has a duty of care. They can’t refuse to treat people just because they are without residence permit or insurance. All GPs can get 80% of the non-collectable costs of uninsured patients reimbursed from CAK.

For quick one-time help, you can go to any GP in Wageningen. You will have to pay a passer-by fee.

However, to become a long-term patient, one needs to register at the General Practice. In Wageningen, there is a group of GPs that accept uninsured patients. Most GPs in Wageningen are familiar with the scheme for uninsurable patients.


Medication from the pharmacy (apotheek) is only available with a prescription from a GP (Huisarts). The pharmacy must have a contract with CAK as mentioned above. The CAK website shows which pharmacies are connected to CAK.

In Wageningen there are no pharmacies which have a contract with CAK. You will need to go to Apotheek Veldhuizen in Ede. If you have a prescription from a GP or a specialist from a hospital, you only need to mention at the pharmacy that you are uninsured. The pharmacist will ask you about your nationality. Then, you only pay a personal contribution per medicine. These costs can be reimbursed by VOD. This reduction of costs only applies for medicines included in the basic package of the Health Insurance Act. Self-medication such as paracetamol and vitamins are usually not covered.

Apotheek Veldhuizen
Bellestein 61D
6714DP Ede
Tel 0318 63 31 49


You can ask your General Practitioner (GP) for an appointment with the MHC nurse, in Dutch: Praktijkondersteuner (POH). He or she can examine in a few conversations what MHC you need and make a referral.

You can receive psychological care at institutions that are connected to the CAK via a referral from your GP.

In the Wageningen region these are:

Please note: the waiting times for treatment are very long.


Dentists can get 80% of their costs reimbursed from CAK for children under the age of 18. Before you make an appointment, tell the dentist reception employee that your child falls under the CAK’s scheme for uninsurable people.

It is difficult for adults to find a dentist.

In case of emergency, you can ask Vluchteling Onder DAK (VOD) to make an appointment with the dentists crisis service.

There are costs involved. In case of acute pain complaints, VOD can also make an appointment for you at the dentistry department of the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Patients from the province of Gelderland with acute symptoms can be treated for free, but you do need a special referral from a GP.

The Radboud University Medical Center will only treat you if you made an appointment through Vluchteling Onder Dak (VOD).


GGD Gelderland-Midden has a special consultation hour for HIV infection and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). You can be tested for HIV and STDs. However, that is only possible if you fall under a risk group determined by the government. The telephone employee will first ask you a few questions to assess whether you are eligible for a test at the GGD. The GGD does not need information from your general practitioner or your insurance company. You can be treated for STDs at the GGD, but not for HIV infection.

GGD Gelderland-Midden
088 – 3556600 (Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)


Starting at eight weeks of pregnancy an obstetrician (midwife) assists pregnant women. She checks whether the pregnancy is going well and whether the mother and child are healthy. If you cannot pay because you do not have insurance, she can declare the costs to CAK.

In Wageningen, you will find midwives at the midwifery practice, called the Bakermat.

De Bakermat
Boterstraat 4a
Tel 0317 – 411971

In principle, giving birth in the Netherlands takes place at home. If you would like to give birth in the hospital, you usually have to pay for it yourself. The hospital can only declare the costs to CAK if the obstetrician states that you have medical reasons to give birth in the hospital rather than at home. You do not have to choose a hospital that has a contract with CAK, because every hospital can declare the costs for a birth.

Maternity care helps mothers the first days after giving birth. If you are unable to pay for maternity care, this can also be reimbursed by CAK. You can ask the midwife which maternity care agency you should register with.

The Consultation Office (Consultatiebureau) gives children up to four years of age vaccinations and monitors their development. It also provides advice on the baby’s food and drinks, care, and upbringing. Care given by the Consultation Office is free, also for undocumented migrants who do not have health insurance.

Consultatiebureau Wageningen
Rooseveltweg 408e

Inquiry-line Youth Health Care GGD 0-4 years: 088-3556850
Walk-in consultation hours: Monday 13.00-14.00 and Thursday 13.00-14.00 or


If you became pregnant unintentionally, you have to make important decisions in a short time. There are specialized organizations that provide personal advice about your situation. You can ask VOD which options are available for you.

In case of unwanted pregnancy, abortion is possible up to twelve weeks gestation. Always consult a doctor first. The costs of abortion are not reimbursed. You can ask VOD which options are available for you.

Are you unsure about what to do? The GGD can assist you with your decision. You can reach the Sexual Health Department on workdays between 09.00 and 11.30 hrs. at 088 – 144 71 20. Or send an email to:


For contraceptives, you can go to your GP. If you do not have a general practitioner or if you prefer to go to another place for contraception, you can also go to the midwifery clinic De Bakermat in Wageningen.

De Bakermat
Boterstraat 4a
Tel 0317 – 411971


No. If you still have an old pass from COA, it is better not to use it if it is no longer valid. If you do use it, the care provider may think that you are insured. But later on they will discover that you’re not. You will then receive an invoice that you must pay. If the care provider does not have a contract with CAK, they will continue to send you invoices and reminders and you may get fined.

Therefore, it is important to communicate clearly about your uninsured status, and to check whether the healthcare provider is aware of the scheme for uninsured patients.


When you tell the medical provider in advance that you are uninsured and without residence permit, they can assist you better. Sometimes the provider will still send you an invoice and one or two reminders. Always call them or send a message and explain again that you cannot pay and that you are uninsured. Save the message and you can always ask VOD for help.

Livelihood and daytime activities


If you do not have a residence permit, you are not entitled to most social services. But there are exceptions, especially for families with children or for people who are in the process of obtaining a residence permit.

Regulations on Services for Special Groups of Aliens (Rvb)

What is Rvb?

The Regulations on Services for Special Groups of Aliens, in Dutch Regeling Voorzieningen Bijzondere groepen Vreemdelingen (Rvb) is a COA regulation. This scheme offers benefits and insurance for some foreign nationals in proceedings. You can find the text about this scheme here.

Who can apply for Rvb services?

1. Migrants and their children who apply for a residence permit for family formation/family reunification and who legally reside in the Netherlands;
2. Children (aged 0 to 18) who legally reside in the Netherlands;
3. Certain groups of victims and witnesses of human trafficking, in particular:

  • Presumed victims of human trafficking who are considering reporting. This applies to the so-called reflection period.
  • Witnesses/declarants who have reported human trafficking and whose presence in the Netherlands is deemed necessary in connection with the criminal investigation and prosecution;
  • Prezumed victims of human trafficking who do not report (outside the B8/3 procedure) and who stay in the women’s shelter

4. Certain groups of victims of domestic violence and honour-related violence, in particular:

  • Persons who have applied for a residence permit on the grounds of domestic violence and who are staying in the women’s shelter;
  • Persons who have applied for a residence permit on the grounds of honour-related violence and who are staying in the women’s shelter.
  • Persons who are staying in the women’s shelter because of human trafficking, honour-related violence or domestic violence and who have a residence status that would normally not entitle them to social benefits. This includes women with a particular privilege status and EU citizens.

How to apply for Rvb services?

You apply for Rvb with COA within two weeks after the entitlement arises. Keep in mind that you will then have to regularly resubmit a form to extend the benefit. You can only apply if you don’t have sufficient means to cover the necessary costs of living and don’t have any own funds.

Migrants who want to appeal to the Rvb can download an application form from the COA site. Find out in advance which form applies.

Each month, the Rvb pays benefits equal to the Dutch social security benefit. Minor children receive an amount per child equal to the youth norm. Benefits are paid in arrears for the past month. Adults are also insured against medical costs during the month for which they receive a benefit.

COA has a telephone helpdesk for questions about the Rvb, which can be reached on working days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tel 0800-2201051. Application forms can also be requested from the helpdesk.

For more information and the application form check the COA website.


If only your child is undocumented, but you do have a residence permit yourself, you can make use of child benefit. This is a contribution towards the care of a child, which is paid to the carer. The amount depends on the age of the child. You can apply for child benefit via the website of the Social Insurance Bank.

The Social Insurance Bank will inform the Tax Authorities if you apply for child benefit. The government will therefore become aware that your child is staying in the Netherlands while being undocumented.

Sometimes parents without a residence permit can also apply for child benefit for their child. In that case, the child must lawfully reside in the Netherlands, or have been here for a very long time and have once had lawful residence. To make use of this, parents must keep in mind that a legal procedure may be necessary. Vluchteling Onder Dak can advise you about this.

If you are a single and undocumented parent of a child with Dutch nationality, your child is entitled to social assistance benefits if the other parent is unable to contribute to the care of the child. The social affairs department of the municipality checks whether the other parent really cannot contribute. It is not often that a single undocumented parent has a Dutch child. As a result, many municipalities do not yet have this arrangement. It is already known in Wageningen. You apply for social assistance benefit by making an appointment at the social affairs counter of the municipality of Wageningen. This can be done by telephone. You will then be told what information to bring with you to the appointment. For more information, check the website of Wageningen municipality.

Gemeente Wageningen, Loket Sociale Zaken
Markt 22 (Stadhuis)
0317 – 492911


  • You can apply to make use of the food bank for a maximum of three years. You can then pick up a food package every Wednesday afternoon. The size and contents of the package depend on the food the food bank received that week and the size of the family. If you are a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, VOD can arrange the application for you. Usually it takes two weeks until you receive the pass with which you can collect the food packages. To start with your pass is valid for three months. It can then be extended for a longer period of time.

    Even if you are not a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, you are welcome at the food bank if another care provider completes the application form that you can find at the Food Bank’s website.
  • At Inloopcentrum Markt 17 they cook three times a week. Everyone can eat for five euros and volunteers who have cooked food eat for free. If this amount really is too high for you, you can discuss this with the Walk-in center. If you are a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, you can introduce yourself via VOD at Inloopcentrum Markt 17. During your first visit, a volunteer from Vluchteling Onder Dak will accompany you. You will then meet the volunteers of the Walk-in Center.

    Meals are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 18:00. If you want to go for a meal please register a day in advance, by telephone or by putting your name on the registration list or by email to

Inloopcentrum Markt 17
Markt 17
Tel 0317 356021

  • KomEet is a meal project of four churches in Wageningen, for people who have been caught between a rock and a hard place due to difficult circumstances. They cook every Monday evening in “Ons Huis” on Harnjesweg, for a maximum of sixty people. A meal costs 1,50 Euros. Walk-in with coffee and tea from 17:o0, the meal starts at 18:30. You can register through their website.

    Harnjesweg 84
  • Every last Friday of the month there is an intercultural meal in Stadsatelier Ons Huis. If you help clean up and do the dishes, you can eat for free. You must register well in advance, because only a small number of people are needed at a time to help. Ons Huis does not allow more people to help than is really necessary.
    ->Registration for people who want to help with tidying up and washing up: a week in advance.
    ->Sign up for people who eat for a fee: two days in advance.

    Stadsatelier Ons Huis
    Harnjesweg 84
    0317 – 413377
  • Every Wednesday at 12:30 pm there is a lunch café at Huis van de Wijk De Nude. You must register no later than Tuesday: by telephone or by visiting the community center.

    Huis van de Wijk De Nude
    Kortestraat 2
    0317 – 419171


  • You can apply to make use of the clothes bank. There you can get clothes and shoes for yourself and your children. The clothes from the clothing bank are usually second-hand and always in good condition. First make an appointment by phone or e-mail for your visit. If you are a client of Vluchtelingen Onder Dak, VOD can arrange a first visit for you and accompany you the first time.

    Even if you are not a client of Vluchtelingen Onder Dak, you are welcome at the clothing bank, if you have a pass from the food bank or a letter from another aid agency.

Kledingbank Wageningen
Industrieweg 3, 6702 DR Wageningen
06 – 22585449

  • De Ontmoetingswinkel is a second-hand clothing store of the Salvation Army. You can come here for good quality second-hand clothing, a chat and a cup of coffee.

Kameringh Onnesstraat 7
0317 – 413457
Opening hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 13:0015:00 and on Thursday also: 18:3020:00

  • If you have children you can get toys at the toy bank. The toys of the toy bank are usually second-hand and always in good condition. Always check the website for current opening times before you go to the toy bank. If you are a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, VOD can arrange the first visit for you and accompany you the first time.

    Even if you are not a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, you are welcome at the toy bank, if you have a pass from the food bank or a letter from another aid agency.

Speelgoedbank Wageningen
Industrieweg 5b, 6702 DR Wageningen
06 – 46613270

  • Emmaus Regenboog is a thrift store for all kinds of second-hand goods. In some exceptional situations it is possible for clients of Vluchteling Onder Dak to obtain an exemption from payment. You will then receive a letter from an employee of Vluchteling Onder Dak, which you give to Emmaus Regenboog. The thrift shop will then decide whether you can make use of this arrangement.

Emmaus Regenboog
Heerenstraat 9 en Vijzelstraat 1

Open: Wednesday 10:00-14:00
Saturday 12:00-16:00

  • Terre des Hommes shop has high-quality second-hand clothing, household goods, books and toys.

Terre des Hommes
Kapelstraat 15
06 – 14535150

Open: di t/m za van 10.00-16.00 uur


In the Netherlands everyone is free to profess their own faith. You can also discuss important life questions with the pastor, preacher or imam. They have a duty of confidentiality and your right of residence in the Netherlands does not matter to them.

Wageningen has an Islamic center and several churches. You can go there for celebration and prayer, and in many places also for a cup of coffee after the service, a good conversation or advice and referral to care providers. There are also sometimes joint activities.

Stichting Internationaal Islamitisch Centrum (Moskee Wageningen), Schaepmanstraat 165

Protestant congregation Wageningen, Markt 17, 0317 – 412207

Roman Catholic Faith Community, Bergstraat 17, 0317 – 474111

Arboretumchurch – vrijzinnig op weg, August Faliseweg 22, Wageningen, 0317 – 313046

Reformed Liberated Church, Kastanjeweg 2, Wageningen, 0317 – 414765

Dutch Reformed Church, Ons Huis, Harnjesweg 84, Wageningen

Vineyard Congregation, Ritzema Bosweg 18, Wageningen

Evangelical Church Salem (Alliance of Baptists and CAMA Congregations), Hendrikweg 14A, Wageningen, 0317 – 794513

Reformed Congregation, Van Uvenweg 13, Wageningen

Restored Apostolic Mission Church, Churchillweg 138, Wageningen

Amazing Grace Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Tarthorst 1 (Vredehorst), Wageningen 06-5515704

Baptist Church, De Ontmoeting, Wijkcentrum De Pomhorst, Pomona 562, Wageningen

International Christian Fellowship, Kastanjeweg 2 (sometimes Dolderstraat 88), Wageningen

Salvation Army, Kamerlingh Onnesstraat 7, Wageningen, 0317-413457

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Spelstraat 3, Wageningen, 0317 – 421464


  • Inloopcentrum Markt 17 is a meeting place in the center of Wageningen. At the bar you can chat with the other guests. You can also retire to a seating area with a cup of coffee or tea to read a newspaper or magazine. There is a computer, which is free to use. You can also eat hot food three days a week. Read more about this under “Where can I eat?” in this chapter.

Inloopcentrum Markt 17
Markt 17
0317 – 356021

  • Inloop Jeugd en Gezin, Walk-in Youth and Family, can be visited every Friday morning in ’t Palet. Here you can ask all your questions about parenting and growing up in Wageningen. This consultation is for educators and children/young people.

’t Palet
Rooseveltweg 408a

  • Huis van de Wijk De Pomhorst is a meeting place, a common living room for the neighborhood but also for residents of other neighborhoods. You can go there for information, advice and guidance. You can organize, or participate in activities. You can drink a cup of coffee, read a newspaper, meet others, use the internet, borrow a book or learn new things. For walk-in mornings, free billiards and other activities, look at the website.

Huis van de Wijk De Pomhorst
Pomona 562
0317 – 416014

  • Shout Wageningen is an association for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and transvestites. There are parties, activities, discussion groups and various opportunities to meet each other. A good way to get acquainted with Shout are the parties every first Saturday of the month from 10 p.m. in the Wilde Wereld. Entrance is free.

Shout Wageningen
Burgtstraat 1

  • In the bblthk (the library of Wageningen) you can read newspapers and books from different countries and in different languages. There are also computers which you can use to access the internet and for word processing. If you are in the bblthk you can use everything, you do not need to be a member. If you want to borrow books, CDs and other materials to take home, you must be a member of the bblthk.
    If you are a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, you can become a member for one year free of charge. You need the VOD ID card for this. You will be given a tour together with your supervisor so that you know where everything is and how to borrow books. An instruction for the language computer is also possible.

De bblthk
Stationsstraat 2

  • Welfare organization Solidez has three Neighborhood Houses in Wageningen. You can go there for meeting activities, courses, information and advice for different age groups. Some of these activities are free to attend. You are always welcome to walk in and inquire about the program of the moment.

Stadsatelier Ons Huis
Harnjesweg 84
0317 – 413377

Huis van de Wijk De Nude
Kortestraat 2
0317 – 419171

Huis van de Wijk De Pomhorst
Pomona 562
0317 – 416014

  • Young people aged 13 to 27 can meet each other in youth center ’t Oude Bijenhuis. You can play pool, table football or games. You can also use the internet and there are workplaces where you can do your homework.

Jongerencentrum ’t Oude Bijenhuis
Churchillweg 3
6707 JA Wageningen


You can find all outdoor play areas, water taps and much more on the digital map of Wageningen. You can zoom in for details.

This map of all outdoor play areas is also available on paper. You can get the map at various places in the city. For example at the bblthk and at the town hall.

Marriage and Divorce


If you do not have a residence permit, you can sometimes still marry a partner who is legally in the Netherlands. For this, both partners must have three documents:

  1. A passport;
  2. A legalized birth certificate;
  3. A certificate of being unmarried.

These documents often have to be ‘legalized’ first, because a document that is official and legal abroad is not automatically recognized in the Netherlands. The authorities in the country where the document comes from must certify that it is genuine, and not forged, with stamps and signatures on the document. After that, the same document must also be legalized by the Dutch embassy or consulate in that country.

If the document is written in a language other than Dutch, English, French or German, it must be translated by a sworn translator. You must then have both the translation and the original document legalized.

Different rules apply for the legalization of documents for each country of origin. They are all on

You need to bring these three documents to the municipality where the legal partner is registered. At the registry office, you agree when and how the marriage will be concluded. Keep in mind that marriage is not always free.

In the Netherlands it is also possible for two men or two women to marry. The same rules apply to such a marriage as to a marriage between a man and a woman. But the marriage is not always valid outside the Netherlands.

Before the marriage is concluded, the aliens police must check whether the partners do not want to enter into a ‘marriage of convenience’. This is a marriage that is only concluded because one of the partners hopes to obtain a residence permit as a result. By requesting a marriage from the municipality, the aliens police will find out where the undocumented partner is staying. Consider this if you want to get married.

In the Netherlands, you can only get married in church if you are married at the municipality first.


Sometimes it is not possible to obtain all the documents, for example because they do not exist in the country of origin.

If a birth certificate is not available, a certificate of notoriety, issued by the court, is an alternative. Four witnesses must then be brought to court: people who already knew the person who wants to get married while they still lived in the country of origin. Usually these are close relatives. The local court determines whether this is possible.

Another alternative is an affidavit from the witnesses who will be present at the wedding or by the person who wants to get married at the registry office. The official determines whether this is possible. If the civil servant refuses to do so, a statement may be requested from the court.


Marriage with a Dutch partner does not automatically entitle you to a residence permit. In order to be able to apply for a residence permit, the Dutch partner must meet a number of requirements. The most important of these is that he or she must have sufficient income.

If the Dutch partner meets all the requirements, you can apply for a residence permit. You can do this at the Dutch embassy in your own country, or in another country where you lawfully reside.

You must first take the civic integration exam there. On the website of the IND you will find all the requirements you must meet to get a residence permit if you marry a Dutch partner.

If you are not staying lawfully in the Netherlands, you can sometimes get an ‘entry ban’. You may then no longer come to the Netherlands for a certain period. Therefore, always first ask your lawyer or Vluchteling Onder Dak for advice if you are considering applying for a residence permit on the basis of your marriage and if you want to leave the Netherlands temporarily for that permit.

If you marry a Dutch person in another country of the European Union, or if you marry someone from another country of the European Union in the Netherlands, different rules apply. As a result, it can sometimes be easier to temporarily move to Belgium or Germany, get married there and then return to the Netherlands. The rules differ per country of the European Union. Therefore you should always first ask advice from your lawyer or from Vluchteling Onder Dak.


Divorce is possible if:

  • both spouses have Dutch nationality
  • or when both spouses live in the Netherlands
  • or when one of the partners lives in the Netherlands and they make the request jointly
  • or when the applicant who does not have Dutch nationality has lived in The Netherlands for more than a year.
  • or when an applicant who does have Dutch nationality has lived in the Netherlands for at least 6 months
  • or when the defendant lives in the Netherlands

You can find more about this on the website

This also applies to people without a residence permit and to marriages that were not concluded in the Netherlands. A number of legalized documents are required for this and the partner must always be informed, even if he or she does not reside in the Netherlands and even if the marriage was not concluded in the Netherlands. More about this can be found on the website of the LOS foundation

Do you have a residence permit because your partner lives in the Netherlands? And are you getting a divorce? Then you must apply for a different residence permit from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. You can find more information about this on the website of IND.

Even if the marriage was concluded abroad, you can divorce in the Netherlands under the above conditions, but the divorce is not always valid in countries outside the European Union. It is therefore conceivable that you have been divorced under Dutch law, but not yet under the law of your own country. Ask for more information about this at the embassy of the country where the marriage took place.

A lawyer who is well aware of family law is always required for a divorce. The lawyer who helps you with your asylum application is not always acquainted with family law. For a first advice you can contact the Social Counselors:

Sociaal Raadslieden Wageningen
Rooseveltweg 408 h
0317 – 468830

Birth and Upbringing


Every child born in the Netherlands must be registered with the municipality in which it was born, even if one or both parents are undocumented. This ‘birth registration’ must be done within three working days after the day on which the child was born. The municipality will then issue a birth certificate. This is important during all of the child’s life. Therefore always keep the birth certificate safe and make sure you don’t lose it.

Because birth registration is important for the future of the child, the municipality in which your child was born may not refuse to register it. Moreover, you are punishable if you do not register a birth.

The declaration must be made by someone who was present during birth and who can identify themselves. This may also be the obstetrician or the director of the hospital where you gave birth, a neighbor or a friend. If no one can be found who can make the declaration, you can ask the mayor to make the declaration. Vluchteling Onder Dak can assist you with this.

The person making the declaration must bring a number of documents. More about this can be found on the LOS foundation website.

In Wageningen, you register a birth at the public affairs desk (loket publiekszaken) of the municipality.

Gemeente Wageningen
0317 – 492911
Call to make an appointment


The child is the heir of the legal parents and can bear their surname. The mother is always automatically the legal mother of the child. If the parents are married, the father is automatically the legal father.

If the parents are not married, the father must first acknowledge the child if he wants to become a legal father. This can be done at the public affairs desk of the municipality. Acknowledging a child can be done at the same time as the birth registration. But it can also be later or earlier, even before the child is born. If the parents are still documented during the pregnancy but could soon become undocumented, it is wise to acknowledge the child when both parents are still documented.

To acknowledge the child, the father must bring a number of documents to the public affairs desk:

  1. A valid proof of identity from both parents, possibly from the country of origin if they do not have a valid Dutch passport;
  2. (Legalized) birth certificates of father and mother
  3. (Legalized) proof of father and mother being unmarried
  4. The written consent of the mother if the child is younger than 16 years;
  5. The written consent of the child itself if the child is 12 years or older.
  6. The father has to be 16 or older

Acknowledgment of the child is free, but if you want a copy of the deed of recognition, you will have to pay a small fee.

If a child is born into a marriage between two women, the non-biological parent must adopt the child in order to become a legal parent and then gain custody. This also applies if two men take care of a child together and one of them is the legal father of the child. The adoption is not always recognized outside the Netherlands. You can inquire about the procedure and options if you are undocumented at Vluchteling Onder Dak or the Social Councillors.


The parent who has custody of the child can make decisions on behalf of the child, for example about education and medical care. The mother automatically gets custody of the child. If the parents are married, the father automatically gets custody of the child as well.

By acknowledging the child, the child acquires a legal father, but the father does not immediately have authority over the child. If the unmarried father wishes to have parental authority, he must apply for this separately at the clerk of the court after the acknowledgment. But that is not possible if one or both parents are undocumented. A valid foreign ID cannot be used.


A child born in the Netherlands does not automatically acquire Dutch nationality. The nationality that the child does acquire depends on the nationality legislation of the parents’ countries of origin.

Usually a child gets the nationality of the mother. If the parents are married or if the father recognizes the child, the child often also acquires the nationality of the father.

If only the father is Dutch, the child will acquire Dutch nationality if the father recognizes the child before the child is seven years old.


The child can obtain a residence permit if at least one of the legal parents has a residence permit. The permit must be applied for at the IND. Vluchteling Onder Dak can assist you with this.

If neither legal parent has a residence permit, the child will not receive one either.


Each municipality has a Center for Youth and Family (Centrum voor Jeugd en Gezin, in short CJG): a point of contact for parents and young people with questions about growing up and parenting. The Center for Youth and Family provides information, help, advice and support. There are (walk-in) consultation hours and moments where parents can meet. You can go there alone or together with others. Check the website for current information:

Startpunt Wageningen
Rooseveltweg 408a
0317 – 410160

The health center (consultatiebureau) gives children up to four years of age vaccinations and monitors their development. The consultation office is accessible free of charge through Youth Health Care (Jeugdgezondheidszorg). You can also go there for information and advice about your baby’s food and drink and about the care, upbringing and development of your child(ren).

Jeugdgezondheidszorg (JGZ) Wageningen
Rooseveltweg 408e
088 – 3556500
Kijk op voor meer informatie

For reliable information about parenting, growing up and health, you can also visit . Here you will find general information for parents and educators of children of all ages, but also for (future) parents with questions about parenting.


The Youth Protection Agency Gelderland (Bureau Jeugdzorg) protects children and young people whose development is under serious threat, for example because of addiction, domestic violence and debts in the family. Families can ask for help themselves, but others close to the child can also do so. Youth protection is also accessible to undocumented children and young people.

Bureau Jeugdzorg Gelderland
Delta 1B
6825 ML Arnhem
088- 712 12 12
Urgent care, available 24 hours a day: 0800 – 99 555 99

For young people with questions they would rather not discuss with parents, friends or teachers, there is the Youth Information Point (Jongeren Informatie Punt, in short JIP). You can go there with questions about, for example, friendship and sexuality, money problems, alcohol and drugs. At various places in Wageningen (school, library, youth center Entree) there are cupboards with information, where you can pick up folders to read through at your leisure. For more personal advice, you can send an email. Check the website for current contact information.

On this website you can also find opening hours for questions and help, and for free walk-in.

Jongerencentrum Entree
Churchillweg 3

Language, education and work


At the playgroup, children can play while learning a lot in the meantime, such as playing together, taking other children into account, awaiting their turn and sharing fairly. They also learn to better understand and speak the Dutch language.

In Wageningen, the playgroups and childcare have been merged into Spelenderwijs, where children with and children without a need for extra support meet in one facility. Children who need extra support receive a ‘VVE indication‘ (a referral for Pre- and Early School Education) from the consultation office (see chapter 3: birth and upbringing). You must take into account a personal contribution. There is no scheme for remission of this contribution for undocumented children. Inquire at VOD about assistance opportunities.

Children are registered via this registration point.


All children aged 5 to 18 are required to attend school in the Netherlands, including undocumented children. Schools do not cooperate in tracing undocumented children.

Schooling is mandatory for children starting at the age of five, and they are welcome at primary school from their fourth birthday onward. You can register your child at a school as early as three years old. Sometimes your child can come by for an afternoon to get used to it.

You can choose from different types of schools:

  • Confessional special schools teach from a philosophical or religious conviction. In Wageningen these are Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian schools. Children with a different conviction are also welcome at these schools.
  • Public schools do not operate from a philosophical or religious conviction.
  • General special schools are based on an educational vision.

To register your child, please contact the school. Register early, because the school can be full and may work with waiting lists.

On the website you will find an up-to-date overview of schools in Wageningen.

The consultation office can help you find a suitable primary school.


Schools for special primary education (sbo) and special secondary education (svo) are intended for children who have learning difficulties or children who have behavioral problems. This is also accessible to undocumented children who need this form of education.

Schools in The Netherlands work with appropriate education. This means that regular schools and schools for special education work together to give all children a suitable place. The school has a duty of care: if you register your child, the school will help you find a place for your child. Even if the school itself cannot offer the right support and another school has to be found.

Special education (so) is for children with a disability, disorder or chronic illness. These schools are also accessible to undocumented children.

Check for more information.

You can go to for mediation and advice in finding suitable education for your child.


Most children leave primary school when they are 12 years old. They then move on to secondary education: high school. All children in the Netherlands are obliged to go to school until they are 18 years old. Undocumented children can therefore also go to secondary school.

The choice of a secondary school is closely related to the capabilities of your child. Your child’s primary school can advise you on this. If your child attends a primary school in the Netherlands, you can register your child for secondary school through that school. If your child did not attend primary school in the Netherlands, please contact the secondary school directly to register your child.

The secondary school in Wageningen is the Pantarijn comprehensive school. You can also choose a school outside Wageningen. Please then take travel costs into account, which will not be reimbursed. Many young people in Wageningen go to school by bicycle also if they go to school outside Wageningen.

Pantarijn: division mavo, havo en vwo
Hollandseweg 11
0317 – 465855

Pantarijn: division vmbo
Hollandseweg 9
0317 – 466599

Pantarijn: division practical education
Hollandseweg 9
0317 – 466590


Most schools recognize the right to education of undocumented children. If your child is refused entry, have the school read this booklet or contact Vluchteling Onder Dak to assist you.


There are no costs associated with the education itself, not even for textbooks. At primary school, the students usually also receive their notebooks, pens and other materials from the school. In high school, students have to buy these themselves.

Most schools ask a voluntary contribution for extra activities, such as excursions, working weeks and the Sinterklaas celebration. The amount of the voluntary contribution is determined by the school itself and therefore differs per school. Parents receive an invoice from the school. It does not always state that the contribution is voluntary. But if you cannot pay, most schools have a remission or discount scheme or an emergency fund for undocumented pupils. To prevent problems, always discuss this with the school.


Secondary school students often have a mentor, guidance counselor, dean or tutor at school with whom they can discuss the problems they encounter during their education. That person can tell your child which homework possibilities are available at school.

In the bblthk (Wageningen’s library) there are work tables where everyone is welcome to study or read. You do not have to be a member of the bblthk to use the work tables.

de bblthk
Stationsstraat 2
Tel 0317-413352

Youth center Entree has workplaces where young people between the ages of 14 and 24 can do their homework if they cannot do it at home. There are also computers with internet connection. For contact details, check the

On this website you will also find the opening hours for questions and help, and for free walk-in.

Jongerencentrum Entree
Churchillweg 3


This is often risky. Secondary schools sometimes organize field trips abroad for classes or groups of students. This can cause problems for undocumented children. A passport control has greater consequences for them than for a Dutch child who does not have his passport with him. You must take into account the possibility of detention of foreign nationals (possibly outside the Netherlands) and the consequences for the course of an asylum procedure that you may have pending. You should therefore always consult with your lawyer or with Vluchteling Onder Dak whether it is wise for your child to travel abroad with school.


If your child has successfully completed secondary school, it is entitled to a diploma, even if your child is undocumented. The diploma is important for your child’s future, in the Netherlands or elsewhere. A secondary school can issue a diploma to your child without any problems.

A diploma is often only valid if it has been certified. By legalizing your diploma, you obtain legal proof that your Dutch diploma has been recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. A stamp on the original diploma proves that the diploma is genuine and legally recognized. Foreign employers and schools and universities can thus obtain clarity about the legal status of your diploma in the Netherlands. If you want to have a diploma certified, you can request a legalization stamp from the Education Executive Agency (DUO). No proof of identity needs to be shown for this.


By law, a child is allowed to finish the secondary school they attend when they turn 18. If you move, your child can also go to another school with the same education. But undocumented migrants may be refused if they want to start a new course after their 18th birthday.

Students under the age of 18 can, if they have legal residence, use the ‘remission of tuition fees’ (buiteninvorderingstelling) for full-time further education at MBO, HBO and university. They do not have to pay tuition fees until they turn 18. The application form can be found at

If you still have ‘lawful residence’ after your 18th birthday, for example because of an admission procedure for a permit, you may start a new course. You may complete this course, even if you lose your lawful residence in the meantime. But following an education cannot prevent deportation.


In principle, refugees and asylum seekers are always allowed to follow training and education in the Netherlands. A condition is that the refugee or asylum seeker has legal resident status in the Netherlands. Besides, there may be additional requirements for admission per type of study program. Read all about laws and regulations about the training of refugees and asylum seekers on the website of SER.

If you are 18 or older, you need legal residence to be able to register at a MBO, HBO or university. If you don’t have legal residence, you can’t register and training is not possible. Funded institutions are acting against the law when they let you register.

However, it is possible to enter into an agreement with an undocumented person for participation in non-funded, recognized education, which is also offered by the school. The financing of this training must then be provided by means other than government funding. Whether and to what extent the school in question actually wants to realize this possibility is highly dependent on humanitarian considerations and compassion.

If you only become undocumented while you are in training, the educational institution will usually let you follow the course until the end (provided that your study results remain sufficient).

For full-time courses at MBO, you can use the ‘remission of tuition fee’ (‘buiteninvorderingstelling lesgeld’) as long as you have lawful residence in the Netherlands. You do not have to pay any tuition fees. The application form can be found on

Courses at a MBO, HBO or university are expensive. The Foundation for Refugee Students UAF in Utrecht helps refugees and asylum seekers to study at a university, college or ROC. They provide advice and financial support. But it is not possible to get this help if you are undocumented. On are the criteria that you must meet.


People who do not have a residence permit are not allowed to work in the Netherlands. Undocumented students at MBO are allowed to do an internship if this is mandatory in order to follow the training, provided that the training is full-time, that the training started before the apprentice turned 18 and that the apprentice does not receive a salary or other compensation for the internship.

This does not apply to internships for higher professional education and for the university because internships in these programmes are not a legally required part of the educational program. Undocumented students on these programs can sometimes still find an internship, with the help of the study and internship supervisors of the program.

For more information check:


Integration courses are not accessible to people without a residence permit. In Wageningen you can follow other courses.

At Gilde Samenspraak, non-native speakers can improve their Dutch with the help of volunteers. In principle, it is only accessible to people with a residence permit. Undocumented migrants can only go there in exceptional cases. This is always done in consultation with Vluchteling Onder Dak.

Digitaalhuis in the Bblthk (Library)Wageningen is a place where you can go with questions about better reading, writing and speaking Dutch. They offer language cafes and language buddies on request. Make an appointment in consultation with VOD.
The Taalcafé (language cafe) takes place every Monday morning from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. In the classroom, on the first floor of the bblthk.

At the bblthk (the library of Wageningen) you can use and borrow study materials. While you are in the bblthk you can use anything, you do not have to be a member. If you want to borrow study materials to use at home, you must be a member of the bblthk. If you are a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, you can become a member for one year, free of charge. You will need the VOD ID card for this, and an introduction by someone from VOD. You will be given a tour so that you know where everything is and how borrowing books works. An instruction for the language computer is also possible.

de bblthk
Stationsstraat 2
Tel 0317-413352

Thuis Wageningen is a meeting place / the living room of the Wageningen city center. You can come here for a chat, a cup of coffee or tea, there is a giveaway clothing corner and all kinds of fun and supportive activities. Every Wednesday from 19:30 – 21:00 you can attend Dutch Language Café: Practice conversations in Dutch together. Every level is welcome. Guidance by Dutch-speaking volunteers.

Stationsstraat 32

The folk university offers language courses at different levels. Prices vary by course and there is no discount scheme for people with no or low income. When you register as a student, the volksuniversiteit will ask you for your bank account, but you can also pay the course fee in cash. The full range of courses with the different prices can be found on


People without a residence permit are not allowed to work in the Netherlands and employers are not allowed to employ people who do not have a residence permit. As a result, undocumented migrants often struggle to earn a living. Sometimes they find illegal (‘black’) work, with which they still earn something. That is illegal and therefore prone to abuse and exploitation.

If your asylum procedure has been going on for at least six months, you are allowed to work legally for 24 weeks a year. You are not allowed to work for the first 6 months of the asylum procedure.

In order to work legally you must request a declaration from the COA. The employer must apply for a work permit from the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV). A care provider from the asylum seekers’ centre where you are staying, the Dutch Council for Refugees and Vluchteling Onder Dak can help you with this. You can find more information on


If you work illegally, you are also subject to the law and the ‘Collective Labour Agreement’ (CAO: the employment conditions that apply in that sector). For example, the law regulates the minimum wage and minimum vacation days. The ‘Collective Labour Agreement’ regulates working hours and the level of wages. If you provide services with private individuals, such as cleaning work, you are in any case entitled to the minimum wage, four weeks’ holiday and six weeks’ continued payment in the event of illness.

To get your employment rights, you need an employment contract. This does not have to be a paper contract: other proof, such as work slips or statements from colleagues, are also valid. If you can show that you have worked for the same employer every week for three months, or at least 20 hours per month, that counts as a permanent employment contract. If you have been caught by the government in illegal work and therefore have to stop, you always have the right to claim back wages if you have not yet been paid everything. If an employment contract is proven, it is assumed that at least six months have been worked. You can therefore also claim six months’ back wages.

If you do not have a residence permit, you can still join the union. FNV Bondgenoten has a special department for cleaners without a residence permit, the ‘domestic workers’. This department knows how to deal with practical problems, such as the fact that many people without a residence permit do not have a bank account.


You are a victim of human trafficking if you are forced to work under very poor conditions. You get little or no pay and you can’t escape that situation because you’re dependent on your boss. You may even be literally held captive. Exploitation in prostitution is the best known form of human trafficking. But it occurs in all conceivable sectors such as construction, horticulture and the cleaning and temporary employment sector.

Victims of human trafficking always have the right to report to the police. This is also possible if you do not have a residence permit or passport. You will not be immediately returned to your home country. So don’t let the police turn you away and tell the officers clearly that you are the victim of a serious crime. The police are then obliged to record your report.

If you are forced to work in prostitution, you can report this to the human trafficking team of the Gelderland-Midden police. You do not have to go to the police station, but you can file a report elsewhere. The employees of Vluchteling Onder Dak can make an appointment for you with the human trafficking team.

If you report to the police or to the human trafficking team as a victim of human trafficking, you will have three months to consider whether you really want to report it. This reflection period starts at the first interview with the police. During this conversation, the police will ask for your story, but not yet for all the details. The police ask these questions to determine whether you could be a victim of human trafficking and therefore entitled to the reflection period.

During the first interview you will also receive information about your rights. Sometimes it is possible to get (protected) care afterwards. When the three-month cooling-off period is over, you need to know whether you really want to file a report. If you want to file a report, you are eligible for protection through the ‘residence scheme for human trafficking’.

The residence scheme for human trafficking protects victims of human trafficking who have filed a report. You are entitled to a reception place (sometimes at a secret location) and to medical and legal assistance. You will receive a temporary residence permit with which you can work and go to school. If you cannot work, you will receive benefits and you are entitled to student finance. You can also rent an independent house. The residence permit ends if the perpetrators are convicted, if the investigation has been completed and leads to nothing, or if the justice system decides to put the case to rest. The IND decides on residence permits

There are organizations that are specifically committed to victims of exploitation and that offer specific help:

Fairwork assists and advises victims of human trafficking in legal and social matters:

FairWork, Amsterdam
020 – 7600809
WhatsApp 06 51771249

Coördinatiecentrum Mensenhandel (CoMensha) supports and informs organizations and aid workers who help victims of human trafficking.

CoMensha, Amersfoort
033 – 4481186


Volunteers are not allowed to do unpaid work that is usually done by paid employees. This applies to all volunteers, whether or not they are legally in the Netherlands. If you want to volunteer, choose work that is always done only by volunteers and never by paid staff.

As a rule, undocumented migrants are not allowed to volunteer and an organization that offers such a person volunteer work can be fined. Only asylum seekers in possession of a Refugee Document are allowed to volunteer. But you can do voluntary work in the context of “meaningful daytime activities”.

You can seek volunteer work by contacting the organization where you would like to work. For personal advice about volunteer work in Wageningen you can make an appointment with Volunteer Centre Wageningen. Make sure you tell them that you are undocumented, so that the employees can search with you for a vacancy that suits your situation. They have a nice website with various vacancies for volunteer work in Wageningen. You can find all vacancies on this website.

Always discuss with an employee of Vluchteling Onder Dak whether the work is suitable for undocumented people, if you find a vacancy on the website or if you contact an organization directly.

Vrijwilligerscentrum Wageningen
1st floor of the library Bblthk)
Stationsstraat 2
0317 – 413088

Other Rights


For many facilities in the Netherlands you must be registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (GBA). This is the municipality’s registration record of all the people who live there. Registration in the GBA is mandatory if you will be staying in the Netherlands for two-thirds of the next six months. But registration is impossible for undocumented migrants, because proof of identity and proof of residence permit is required.

You can only register with the GBA if you are still undergoing a procedure that you are legally allowed to await in the Netherlands. You can do this at the public affairs department of the municipality. In that case, you must bring proof that you live in the municipality (for example, a rental contract or a statement of consent from the person with whom you live, together with proof of identity from that person). If you are legally residing in the Netherlands but still encounter problems with your registration, you can ask Vluchteling Onder Dak to help you.

Gemeente Wageningen, Loket Publiekszaken
Markt 22 (Stadhuis)
0317 – 492911 verhuizen


Sometimes you need a Certificate of Good Behavior (VOG) for a visa, emigration or voluntary work. This certificate states that your past behavior does not constitute an obstacle to fulfilling a specific task or function in society, or to the issuance of the visa.

If you are registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database, you can request the statement from the public affairs department of the municipality. You will then need a valid proof of identity. But that does not have to be a Dutch ID, a valid ID from your country of origin is also acceptable. If you are not registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database, you can request a statement from the Central Body for the Declaration of Behavior (COVOG), via If you are undocumented, this can be difficult, because you need a citizen service number. (BSN)

The application form asks for information about your future employer. If you need the statement for a visa or for emigration, you can skip those questions.


Yes. Victims of a criminal offense such as theft or violence can report this to the police, including undocumented migrants. Since 2016, the police has had a national policy to also include the declaration of undocumented migrants, without acting upon the information about illegal stay.

How does it work in practice?

In practice, not all police stations are familiar yet with the ‘safe reporting’ policy. That’s why it’s recommended to call the police first, or ask if someone wants to help making contact with the police first.
More information can be found at:


Have you lost something? First look at iLost this is a search engine for found items.
You can also ask the municipality whether the object has been found.

Municipality of Wageningen, Public Affairs Office
0317- 49 29 11

If your object has been found you will need to prove that it belongs to you.

If an item you have lost is brought to the municipality by someone else, you must show  proof of identity to get the item back. This may also be proof of identity from your country of origin, written in a language that the civil servant at the public affairs department can read.

Did you find something? Then you are obliged to report this to the municipality. You can also register this on the website of iLost.

You do not need to identify yourself to report a loss or find.


Domestic violence is violence committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle. In Gelderland, Moviera helps victims of domestic violence. Moviera is available for information, advice and a personal conversation. If you are not safe at home, Moviera can sometimes also help you find a shelter. The help always depends on your personal situation.

088-3744744 (available 24 hours a day, free of charge)

Are you a victim or witness of domestic violence?

Call Veilig Thuis 24 hours a day, free of charge: 0800-2000


If you are undocumented, you can open a bank account if you have a valid ID. This can be a foreign passport or a COA W-document. If you had a bank account before you became undocumented, you can continue to use it. This is only possible if it is your personal bank account. You can no longer use a bank account that you received through the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) if you can no longer stay in the asylum seekers’ center. That account number is often given to someone else after a while.

Sometimes banks ask all their customers to identify themselves again. If you fail to do so, the bank will close your account. That doesn’t happen suddenly, you’ll get several warnings first.


If you have a valid driver’s license from a country outside the European Union, you can use it up to 185 days after you come to the Netherlands. After that you may only drive with a Dutch driving license. Usually a driving license from outside the European Union cannot be converted into a Dutch driving license.

If you do not have a residence permit, it is better not to take driving lessons, even though you could and though you could even take the driving test. Because although someone who is undocumented in the Netherlands can pass the driving test, he or she still cannot get a driver’s license. If you pay the tuition, many driving schools will teach you without asking for your ID. You take the exam at the Central Office for Driving Skills (CBR). Your driving instructor will ensure that you are registered or explain how you can do this yourself. At that time you will need a valid Dutch ID, which may also be a w-document. But if you pass your driving test, you must apply for the driver’s license at the public affairs department of the municipality, and you will not receive the driver’s license if you do not have a valid Dutch ID. The w-document is then no longer sufficient.


You do not need a passport or residence permit to use public transport. You do need an OV chip card to travel by bus, tram and metro. There are costs involved. An anonymous card costs 7.50. A discount rate can be put on a personal OV chip card for travel by train.

You can also get paper bus tickets on the bus lines that run through Wageningen. These are more expensive than traveling with the OV chip card. Please be aware that in most cases you can no longer pay cash to the driver. Paper tickets are also still available for travel by train. At the ticket office at NS Stations you can still pay with cash, also to top up your ov-chipkaart.

Anyone traveling on public transport without a valid ticket must show their ID if they are caught. For undocumented migrants, the problems can then become bigger than just a fine for driving without a ticket, because a suspicion of illegal residence can arise. The result may be that you are taken into immigration detention.


Holding a rally or demonstration is in principle allowed. But you must notify the mayor in writing at least 48 hours in advance that you are going to organize a demonstration. There is a form on that you can use to do this (under ‘more’→ ‘permits’ → ‘Report a rally or demonstration’). This can be done by undocumented migrants, but if the demonstration is also organized by people with a residence permit, it is easier if they inform the mayor. The mayor can only refuse to give permission in very exceptional situations. Illegal residence of the participants cannot be a reason to refuse permission.

Legal help


Sometimes undocumented migrants are eligible for legal residence in the Netherlands. For example, there may be new facts or circumstances about your old asylum application, or there may be new asylum policy in the Netherlands. There may also be new circumstances opening the prospect of a regular residence permit, such as a permit on medical grounds. Vluchteling Onder Dak can investigate your legal situation and advise you on your legal prospects for a residence permit.


In Wageningen, the Sociaal Raadslieden (Social Counselors) can assist you with questions about laws, regulations and facilities. They can assist and advise you about filling in forms, writing letters and they can mediate on your behalf if you get into a legal conflict. The services provided by the social counselors are confidential and free for residents of Wageningen.

Sociaal Raadslieden Wageningen
Rooseveltweg 408 h
0317 – 468830


Every European country must ensure that its citizens have access to legal aid. Even if you are undocumented, you are therefore entitled to the assistance of a lawyer. People who cannot afford a lawyer can get part of the costs reimbursed. This is called an ‘addition’: you then pay a personal contribution that depends on your income. Your spouse’s income is included in this. You do not have to apply for this addition yourself, but your lawyer will do that for you. You can find a lawyer through Vluchteling Onder Dak or through the social counselors.


If you are unable to pay the personal contribution, you have to explain this in a letter to the Legal Aid Board. In that letter you explain why it is not possible for you to pay a personal contribution. You also explain why you do not have a citizen service number. So you explain that you are undocumented. You should also state your V-number in your letter: the aliens number stated on your papers from the IND. If you have applied for a residence permit in the past, you will have received a V-number.

Vluchteling Onder Dak can help you write this letter. Your lawyer can then send it to the Legal Aid Board on your behalf.

Police and immigration detention


There is an identification requirement in the Netherlands: everyone aged 14 and older must show a valid proof of identity if requested by the police. If you are undocumented, you cannot. But the police are not always allowed to ask for identification.

The police and other authorities may only ask for proof of identity if this is necessary for the performance of their work. If you are just walking down the street, a police officer may not simply ask you for your ID. But they are allowed to do so if you commit an offense or a crime. The police may also ask for your ID in the event of violations that are frequently committed (such as cycling without lights in the dark, running a red light or cycling through the Hoogstraat while the shops are open). An everyday violation can therefore have major consequences if you are undocumented. The police may also ask for your ID if you witness a crime or offense. That is when you have seen it happen, even though you have not done it yourself.

In the big cities there are sometimes general checks at major events and in busy entertainment areas, for example on Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein in Amsterdam. More checks can also be carried out in areas where there is temporarily a lot of (drug) nuisance. In addition, there are regular traffic checks in the big cities at random places in the city. Even in smaller cities such as Wageningen, where checks are less common, it is best to make sure that your bike has working front and rear lights to avoid problems.

If you cannot identify yourself with a valid ID, you may be fined. There may also be a ‘reasonable suspicion of illegal residence’ and then you will be taken to the police station for questioning about your identity. You are not under any obligation to answer the police’s questions.


The police must obtain permission from the resident to enter a home. The police can only request authorization from the Public Prosecutor if there is ‘reasonable suspicion of illegal residence’. This allows the police to enter your home without your permission. If the police cannot show a warrant, you do not have to allow the police to enter your home.

There is a ‘reasonable suspicion of illegal residence’ if the police received information from, for example, government services, the traffic police, the labor inspectorate or from citizens. The police may also investigate places where undocumented migrants have previously been found. If one of the people present in a house, room or car is undocumented, the other people present may also be examined.

If the police have authorization from the Public Prosecutor, the police may also search your personal belongings in order to obtain information about your identity and your country of origin. The police may search your belongings, but you are under no obligation to answer questions from the police.

Sometimes the police also question your acquaintances, for example about your nationality. They do not have to answer, even if they are in your home.


If the police check you and you cannot show a valid ID, the police can detain you for six hours. This is only possible if the check was lawful. The night does not count towards those six hours. So you may have to stay at the police station for an entire night, plus six hours during the day. If your identity cannot be established during this time, it can be extended by 6 hours. You may then be transferred to an aliens detention center or you may be required to report to the aliens police.

If you are arrested, the police will confiscate all your personal belongings, including your telephone. You do have the right to call someone, but you must do so with a police telephone. Therefore, make sure that you always know the telephone number of someone who is important to you, so that you can always warn that person (for example, your lawyer, Vluchteling Onder Dak, a good acquaintance or a family member).


Different rules apply to adults and minors. You will find all rules on the website of the Public Prosecution Service.

In any case, you always have the right to speak to a lawyer before the police question you. The police must tell you this before the interrogation begins.

If you already have a lawyer, it is wise to always have the contact details of your lawyer with you. Immediately give the name and contact details of your lawyer to the police. If you do not have a lawyer, you can get one through the ‘on-call service’: a collaboration of lawyers who take turns on duty and are called upon when someone is being questioned by the police and needs legal assistance. You do not have to arrange your ‘on call’ lawyer yourself, but you will be assigned one automatically if you do not have your own lawyer.

If you have health problems and if you are taking medication, it is important that you tell the police immediately. You can always ask for a doctor. If you are being treated by a doctor, always carry the contact details with you.

If you are a client of Vluchteling Onder Dak, you will receive a VOD pass. Carry that card with you at all times. It is not proof of identity, but you can use the card if you need the contact details of Vluchteling Onder Dak. Always give this information to the police immediately if you are arrested.


If you are undocumented and do not reside legally in the Netherlands, you may be taken into alien detention if the police suspect that you will not return to your own country independently. This is a last resort: it may not be used if forced departure is not possible, if you have a known fixed place of residence or if reliable private individuals act as guarantors. Sometimes a court case is needed to determine whether detention of foreign nationals is allowed or not. The judge then has the last word.

If you are legally residing in the Netherlands, you may not be taken into alien detention, even if you cannot identify yourself.


Alien detention takes place in two detention centers in the Netherlands. Adult men are staying in the detention centre in Rotterdam. The detention centre in Zeist has a Closed Family Facility (GGv) for families and (unaccompanied) minors.


Immigration detention may last up to 18 months. For children, it may not take longer than two weeks, even if children are in immigration detention with their parents. Children should not be separated from their parents.

After six months, the IND must be able to demonstrate that it is actually working to return you to your country of origin. If this is not the case, it is usually concluded that eviction is not possible. Alien detention must then stop. However, if you have been declared undesirable or if you yourself do not cooperate in returning to your country of origin, the detention may last longer. Sometimes a court case is needed to determine whether eviction is possible and whether you have cooperated sufficiently.

If you have a passport and buy a ticket, alien detention can be lifted because you then cooperate with your deportation.


If you are in alien detention, you are entitled to free assistance from a lawyer. That can be your own asylum lawyer. If you don’t have one, you will be assigned one through the ‘on-call service’: a collaboration of lawyers who take turns on duty and are called upon when someone is in immigration detention and needs legal assistance. You do not have to arrange your ‘on call’ lawyer yourself, but you will be assigned one automatically if you do not have your own lawyer.

If you do not agree with your detention, the lawyer can file a complaint against the alien detention with the court. Even if your lawyer does not do so, the court will check within 28 days whether the detention is justified.



If you want to return to your own country independently but don’t know where to start, Vluchteling Onder Dak can assist you. You can make a plan for your return with an employee and he or she will put you in touch with specialized organizations that can help you in your situation. If you no longer have a valid travel document for your own country, Vluchteling Onder Dak will also advise you.


You may have lost your family and acquaintances during your flight or afterwards. The Red Cross tries to help you track down these missing persons. If you have enough concrete information about the persons who are missing, the Red Cross can search in many countries through a network of Red Cross and Red Crescent. Please note that this network is not yet active in all countries. If you want to trace someone, you can submit a request for help to Restoring Family Links of the Red Cross::

The Red Cross Website
Telefoon: 070 44 55 822
Whatsapp: 06 5781 3499


The government has a number of schemes that can help you financially if you want to leave the Netherlands independently. Often you can get a plane ticket and some pocket money for the first days after your arrival.

The schemes are implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This organization is independent of the government.

The IOM offers special guidance for vulnerable groups such as victims of human trafficking, people with a medical indication and unaccompanied minors.

A Prerequisite for help from IOM is that you need to have valid travel documents: a passport or a laissez passer. If you do not yet have a valid travel document, they can offer assistance with obtaining a temporary travel document. On IOM’s website you will find information about the different options in your situation.

During consultation hours you can speak to the IOM staff personally to receive advice. Consultation hours only take place by appointment. You make an appointment via the general telephone number of the IOM.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
088-7464466 (available on working days)


Asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal procedures and migrants without residence papers can obtain information about return and guidance from various organizations. Together with you, they will investigate what options you have in your country for housing, medical care and, for example, setting up a business.

Solid Road is a Dutch foundation that helps (former) asylum seekers and people without residence papers with voluntary return to their country of origin. Solid Road participants can follow free vocational training and/or business training from Solid Road’s training offering. In addition, upon voluntary return, they also receive financial support and support in the country of origin.

Bisschop Hamerstraat 11
6511 NA Nijmegen
+31 (0) 6 27 48 08 85

The DTNV website lists several organizations that can offer help with return, each with its own activities and with contacts in certain countries. On that website you can see which organizations can assist you in your situation.

About this Guide

This guide is a joint initiative of Vluchteling Onder Dak, VluchtelingenWerk Oost Nederland and Raad van Kerken.

Many organizations have been approached in advance, but not all. People without a residence permit are requested to use this guide. Reprints will take in account comments and additions by organizations and the target group itself. Remarks, additions and corrections are therefore very welcome at

The most current digital version of this passport can always be found at

Comparable publications were presented in 2012 in ten Dutch cities. These guides are published and distributed by aid organizations for asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal procedures and people without a residence permit in the Netherlands.

Colophon Thanks to:
Hettie van Nes (composition and editing)
Henk van Ruitenbeek (illustrations)
Stichting Landelijk Ongedocumenteerden Steunpunt
Grafisch Atelier Wageningen
Drukkerij Modern
Haëlla Stichting
Stichting Ons Pardon
Gemeente Wageningen

November 2013, Translated December 2023