Asylum seekers are allowed to submit more than one request for asylum. The numbers in this article refer to first requests. In fact, this means that the number of individuals is counted, not the number of asylum procedures. The number of first requests is not available for the years prior to 2008 (for the Netherlands prior to 2007). In these cases, the overall number of requests is presented. The status of the figures for the Netherlands for 2012 is still provisional because the Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND) embarked on a new data system.
The Dutch figures regarding asylum seekers have been adjusted to facilitate comparison with the other EU member states. As a result, there is a (temporary) gap with the figures currently presented on the CBS database StatLine.
Since the end of March 2014, the situation has changed. If asylum seekers submit a request for family reunification within 3 months after receipt of their residence permit, family members will be allowed to come to the Netherlands under the family reunification programme. In the past, these family members also had to submit a request for asylum and were included in the category asylum seekers, but since the end of March 2014, this is no longer the case.
The policy change causes a break in the time series presented on StatLine. As soon as possible, the figures on asylum seekers will be adjusted to ensure international comparability. Figures consistent with the new definition will be accessible on StatLine from 2008 onwards. People who came to the Netherlands to be reunited with their families will no longer be classified as asylum seekers, but will be counted separately.