This study focuses on the role of support networks in West African migration to the Netherlands. The authors examine the interactions of non-State support groups with West African newcomers and explore the nature, scope and function of support. What type of support networks do respondents rely on, under which circumstances, and for how long? What is the scope of support? Is it to be taken for granted? What alternatives are there for those left out of the loop? The findings suggest that support is mainly punctual, in response to a specific need, and for a limited period of time. It is not to be taken for granted, as support groups have limited capacities, and protect themselves from excessive demands. They play a significant role in providing assistance to migrants, yet this role should not be overestimated.