Our website uses  cookies for statistical purposes.

  • Joop Geesinkweg 841, 1114 AB, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  • office[at]immigration-netherlands[dot]com
  • +31630863933
Our Articles

Family Reunification in the Netherlands

Family Reunification in the Netherlands

Individuals who have partners living in the Netherlands can submit a family reunification request. This procedure can be completed if the Dutch resident with whom you wish to live in the Netherlands is an EU national or a non-EU national. The application process will depend on the nationality of the applicant and that of the family member already living in the Netherlands.

Family reunification in the Netherlands is possible if the partner, spouse, and/or children comply with several eligibility criteria. One of our experts who offers Netherlands immigration services can give you personalized information based on a specific case and the existing family members. In case you need assistance in other immigration matters, such as citizenship by investment in Netherlands or expat services, our lawyers are at your disposal.

 Quick Facts  
Family reunification for spouses  Partners (married or unmarried), as well as those in a registered partnership or long-term relationship. The same applies to same-sex couples. 

 Family reunification for children

For children under the age of 18. 

Proof of relationship 

Through a legalized marriage certificate, or other documents proving a stable relationship. 

 Accommodation requirements The family member will be living with their partner in the Netherlands.  
Income requirements 

 As per the applicant partner’s type of income. The minimum amounts are adjusted periodically by the authorities.

Special rules for EU nationals 

 EU citizens can bring their partner and children under 21 years of age without the need to apply for a visa.

 Rules for highly skilled migrants in the Netherlands

They can apply for a residence permit for their partner through the employer. 

 Family reunification for the foreign parent of a Dutch child

The parent can join the Dutch child if the child is dependent on the parent. Our team can assist you. 

Provisional residence permits for family members 

 The Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND) issues a provisional residence permit for the family member who will arrive in the country.

Registration with the authorities  Upon arrival, the family member registers with the IND. 
 Online registration

As a first step, the family member will register through an online portal as soon as the trip is scheduled, so that the IND can start the appointment preparations. 

 Situations in which family reunification is prohibited

When the individual poses a threat to public order or national security. 

 Family reunification permit renewal

The permit is renewed as long as the holder continues to comply with the initial requirements. 

Family residence permit application fee 

 The first application is subject to a fee of EUR 210; please keep in mind that these fees can be subject to change.

 Assistance for family reunification visa applications  We can help you apply for the reunification permit once you are in the Netherlands and wish to bring your family members.

Eligibility criteria for family reunification in the Netherlands

A Dutch resident can apply for a residence permit for his or her family member but only under certain conditions:
– the applicant must have a Dutch residence permit or be a national;
– acknowledge the fact that he or she will have to provide accommodation for the family member who will come and live in the Netherlands;
– be able to financially support the family member coming to the Netherlands. 

Young individuals who are working in the Netherlands in an exchange youth program or those who are temporarily working as an au pair may not apply for a residence permit for their relatives.

The family member or relative who will come and live in the Netherlands following this process must also fulfill a number of conditions. These are the following: 

  • Documentation: the family member (spouse, parent, etc.) needs to have a valid passport when submitting the application;
  • Clean record: he or she was not found guilty of a criminal offence, was not involved in war crimes, terrorism, crimes against humanity; is not a risk to public order or national safety;
  • Tuberculosis test: the family member is required to undergo a tuberculosis test in the Netherlands within three months after the residence permit is issued; this test is not mandatory for all who apply for family reunification in Netherlands; our lawyers can provide you with a list of countries for which it applies;
  • Insurance: the one who will be joining needs to be insured in the Netherlands for healthcare costs;
  • Integration: the individual is expected to undergo the civic integration process;
  • Registration: he or she must also be registered with the Municipal Personal Records Database at the same address as the relative already established in the country.

The Netherlands law allows for marriage with only one person. This means that a male/female spouse or partner (registered or unmarried) can join an individual living in the country. Only one partner and his/her children can join the applicant for family reunification in Netherlands. When the marriage took place before one of the individuals received lawful Dutch residence then he/she and the partner must be at least 18 years of age.

It is important to note that the family member is required to prepare for this application while he or she is still abroad. We advise individuals who wish to apply for this to discuss the various requirements with our agents, before commencing the process.

Individuals who wish to move to Netherlands can find out more about the requirements and criteria for immigration if they talk to our immigration lawyerin Netherlands who specialize in immigration, naturalization, and civil law issues.

If you have questions about a different type of residence permit in Netherlands, our team will provide you with personalized answers. Knowing the main requirements for application is important for all types of permits, not only for those intended for family reunification. Our team can help you apply, as well as give you details about the renewal of the permit or how to change it.

If you want to relocate to the country to reunite with family and at the same time obtain a Netherlands startup visa, we can give you details about the process. We also invite you to watch a short video:

Documents required for family reunification in the Netherlands

As previously mentioned, the individual for whom a family reunification application is submitted must comply with the following requirements:
– have a valid passport;
– have a clean criminal record;
– be registered with the Municipal Records Database in the Netherlands;
– have healthcare insurance in the Netherlands;

In addition to these documents that are presented by the one who wishes to join a partner or relative in the Netherlands, the one who is already in the country will also need to submit a number of documents as evidence. These are briefly outlined below by our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands:

  • proof of income;
  • the marriage certificate or an unmarried status statement;
  • documents that prove parental custody, when applicable;
  • proof of passing the civic integration exam;
  • the birth certificate, legalized and translated;
  • the copy of the family member’s passport.

All of these documents need to be prepared before one applies for the permit for family reunification in Netherlands. Applicants who have a special family situation may be subject to apply for this permit under special facts and circumstances. These will only be taken into account when the application is evaluated if the individual is able to provide substantial evidence to sustain the claim for special procedures.

In some cases, applicants will also need to legalize a document at the Dutch Embassy or Consulate of their country of origin. This will involve additional costs, as established by the Embassy. In some cases, am apostille is enough. Our Dutch immigration lawyer can provide you with additional information on the officially recognized documents. These additional official means of evidence (legalization, apostille) may be required in case of birth certificates of marriage certificates as well as for other types of documents. It is important to keep in mind that while a document is legal in one country it may not be so in another, this is why official foreign documents are subject to legalization in the Netherlands. 

These are just some of the conditions that apply to those individuals who wish to reunite with a family member who already lives and works in the Netherlands. Our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can help answer any additional questions about these requirements.

Do you have Dutch parents? If so, you may qualify for Netherlands citizenship by descent. If you believe this situation applies to you, you can reach out to us for more details.

What rights does the family reunification holder have?

Once a family member has obtained the residence permit, he will be permitted to work. This depends on whether or not the individual who has applied for the permit is a Dutch or is allowed to work with a work permit. If the one who was joined by a relative has a work permit, then the family member or relative is also allowed to do so. In other cases, the employer will be the one who will apply for the work permit for the family member who arrived in the country.

It is important to note that the residence permit issued for the family member will contain the name of the one who was already living in the country (because the family member is living with that person). Another important fact is that if the family member applies for benefits in the country after family reunification in Netherlands, the residence permit issued under family reunification terms may be withdrawn.

According to Statistics Netherlands, the number of asylum seekers was lower in the first part of 2020 compared to other years. The data shows the following:

  • there were 125 applications for following a family member in the Netherlands in March 2020 compared to 230 submitted in the same month in 2019;
  • the number of applications was higher in February and January 2020, at 470 and 460;
  • a significant number of applications by individuals following family members was recorded in May 2018 when there were 815 submissions.

How to obtain a residence permit as a relative of a EEA citizen in Netherlands

If you intend to immigrate in the Netherlands and you want to obtain a permission of stay in the Netherlands you can do so, based on the fact that you are a relative of an EEA citizen, even if you are of different nationality. Not only you but also your family member, who has an EEA nationality, must perform certain steps. First, your relative who is settled in the Netherlands will need to apply for an IND registration for citizens of the Union. This procedure aims at proving the entitlement to residency status of your family member who lives in the Netherlands and who is an EEA/Swiss citizen. Secondly, you will have to apply yourself with the IND office in order to be verified against EU Law which is going to provide you a certificate of lawful residence. 

Our immigration lawyer in Netherlands will help you obtain the relevant information and forms from the IND.

More information concerning relatives of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, with different nationalities

After you have filled the form for the certification of lawful residence (verification against the EU Law), you need to submit this file with the IND. This procedure must take place at one of the IND desks and cannot be performed by online filing. Before you can go and leave the form at the official desk, you will need first to make an appointment. 

Our consultants in immigration in Netherlands can give you more information on the costs for the application procedure and processing of your data. When applying for the permission to stay in the Netherlands, you will need to prepare as well a set of additional documents to the application form, such as a valid passport and a clean record which can prove that you don’t represent a threat to the public order. A job offer from a sponsor could as well be a favorable element for your application.

You can contact our Netherlands immigration experts to find out more about the conditions for family reunification in the Netherlands

We can also give you information if you are interested in other options, such as the investor visa Netherlands.