Information on basic rights for undocumented migrants

Meet others
Without a residence permit you may depend in many things on others. It is therefore important to build a network and to go places where you can meet others safely. And that there are places where you can relax, take a shower or eat. On this page there are different types of organizations and places where you can do that. For example, meet people with the same background or religion. Or addresses of places where you can eat for free or cheap or to take a shower. Or self-help organizations where you and others can improve your situation. Reed more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

Medical care
People without a residence permit are entitled to essential medical care. A doctor will determine whether the medical care is necessary. If you do not have medical insurance you must pay for the medical care you receive. If you are unable to pay you should inform the doctor right at the start. A doctor is not allowed to refuse you treatment because you do not have any money. A doctor or a hospital will send you bills even if you have explained you cannot pay. Always reply to these bills and indicate why you cannot pay. Sometimes it is possible to make an arrangement to pay in instalments. If you have proved to the doctor that you really cannot pay he can recover the costs from the College voor Zorgverzekeringen (CVZ) (board of health insurance). Only medical care that that is covered by the regular basic insurance can be compensated by CVZ. Read more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

Work
Without a residence permit, people are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in the workplace. As an undocumented person, you have no legal right to work in the Netherlands. You cannot obtain a social security number (burgerservicenummer) or a work permit and your employer is legally obliged to verify this information. However, if you are working, you have certain rights. Read more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

Do my children have rights?
In the Netherlands all children are entitled to protection, good healthcare, education and other basic needs. This includes children without a residence permit. These rights are established in European and universal treaties and in various Dutch laws, including the Constitution. However, in everyday life, lack of knowledge about the rights and duties of undocumented children sometimes causes major problems. Read more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

Housing and shelter
In principle people without a residence permit have the right to rent accommodation in the Netherlands. However many undocumented people cannot afford to rent independent housing. They are dependent on help from others. They are often not eligible for housing and help from mainstream organisations. Under certain conditions people without a residence permit can be given accommodation by a few private organisations, but the capacity is very limited. Read more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

Detention
The same rules apply to undocumented people as to other suspects. You have the right to speak to a lawyer before you are interviewed by the police. The police are actually obliged to tell you about this before the hearing. If you have a lawyer it is advisable to always carry his contact details around with you. Give the name of your lawyer to the police immediately. If you do not have a lawyer you can be referred to the duty lawyer. Read more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

Repatriation
Since the introduction of the terugkeerrichtlijn (directive on repatriation) staying in the Netherlands without a residence permit is a penal offence. If the police discover you are illegal or your application for a residence permit is refused, you are legally obliged to return to your country of origin. If you do not do this you may receive a re-entry ban. By being in the Netherlands you violate this prohibition and may be punished with a fine of up to € 3.800 or six months’ imprisonment. If you have a re-entry ban you may not submit a new application for a residence permit. There are some exceptions to this rule. Read more on paspoortamsterdam.nl

More questions? 
Look for more information on paspoortamsterdam.nl.
Or download the brochure 'Basic rights for people without stay permit''(pdf).

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