For fifteen years now, the Migration Law research programme of VU Amsterdam has been one of the most prominent programmes in the field. It aims at tracking the multiplicity of complex developments in migration law that take place at the global, European and national levels. Research topics include asylum and refugee law, and family reunion law. This extends to research into the human costs of border control, the intersection between the family and migration law, the role of the judiciary, the relation between (irregular) migration and the welfare state, the EU principle of mutual trust and the role of time in migration law. Methods are varied, focusing on legal doctrinal, sociological, philosophical questions as well as more practice-oriented matters.


The excellent quality of the programme is reflected in the scholars’ numerous publications and in two VICI grants from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) in 2010 (Van Walsum) and 2013 (Spijkerboer), a NWO VENI grant in 2010 (Brouwer), a NWO Research Talent grant in 2012 (Battjes and Stronks), an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2017 (De Hart) and a NIAS Fellowship 2018 (Slingenberg). Members have conducted research for the European Commission, the European Parliament, UNHCR, WODC and Vluchtelingenwerk.


The research group is very visible in the public debate, and its scholars are active in advisory committees to the government and non-governmental organizations and publish frequently on, where topical migration law issues are explained for a broader public.