If your spouse or partner already lives in the Netherlands or is a Dutch national, you can join them under certain conditions. In order to obtain a spouse visa for Netherlands, you will need to apply for the right type of permit with the Immigration and Naturalization Department.
An important distinction is made between EU and EEA nationals and other foreign citizens. The conditions that apply do depend on the applicant’s nationality but there are also certain criteria that apply in all cases.
Our Dutch immigration lawyer is ready to assist you if you are interested in coming to the country as a spouse or partner. Our team can help you check the needed documents and submit the application. We can also give you details on a joint application for citizenship.
As the spouse of a Dutch citizen, it will only be natural to wish to apply for citizenship in Netherlands yourself. One common question is how long you will have to wait for your application to be processed by ye authorities. Officially, the process takes less than one year, however, there can be cases in which it will last longer. Our team can guide you throughout the process.
Main conditions for obtaining the spouse visa for Netherlands
Joining a partner or spouse who is already living in the country with a residence permit in Netherlands or who is a Dutch national is subject to a set of conditions that apply irrespective of the applicant’s nationality. The following conditions apply for the spouse visa for Netherlands:
- Relationship: the applicant and the partner are married or entered into a registered partnership; alternatively, they are unmarried but have a long-term, exclusive relationship;
- Minimum age and accommodation: the applicant and partner are both at least 21 years of age and they are going to live together;
- The partner’s situation: the applicant’s partner is either a Dutch national or has a valid residence permit in Netherlands;
- Civic integration: the applicant needs to pass the civic integration examination abroad (note that this is only required in some cases).
- Income: the partner who the applicant will be joining in the Netherlands has independent and sufficient income or declares that he/she will be the sponsor.
Turkish nationals can be subject to different conditions when applying for the spouse visa for Netherlands.
Spouse visa application steps
The main steps for applying for the spouse visa for Netherlands will depend on whether or not the applicant required a temporary residence permit (MVV) or not. Many foreign nationals are not required to obtain this additional document. For example, Canadian nationals will not require the MVV while Chinese applicant will also need to apply for it.
Below, our team of Netherlands immigration specialists highlights the application steps when the MVV is required:
- Prepare for the civic integration examination: this step takes place before the MVV application and it is an important condition to obtain the document;
- Apply for the MVV: two options are available: you can apply for the MVV yourself with a Dutch representation in your country of origin or your partner in the Netherlands can apply for it with the Immigration and Naturalization Department;
- Collect the MVV: if the decision is a favorable one, you will be able to collect the MVV within 3 months from receiving the letter;
- Travel to the Netherlands: you can now book your flight and travel to the Netherlands; the MVV will be valid for 90 days.
Once you have arrived, you can collect the residence permit, register with the municipality, and take our health insurance.
The civic integration examination is required for those foreign nationals who arrive in the country based on a temporary residence permit. Below, our team of immigration lawyers in Netherlands presents some of the most important details about this exam:
- the examination takes place at the Dutch embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of origin;
- the questions test one’s knowledge about the Dutch language and society;
- a self-study pack is available;
- the results are issued within 8 weeks;
- you can submit the application for the MVV once you have passed this exam.
Some of the costs associated with applying for the spouse visa for Netherlands are the following:
- the spouse visa application costs 210 € (this is the visa issued by the authorities for the first application to stay with a family member, or a spouse – married or unmarried);
- lower fees are available for Turkish nationals (under the Association Treaty signed by the Republic of Turkey) of 70 €.
Individuals who already have a residence permit can change the reason for their stay so that it will be for the purpose of living with their spouse or partner.
When applying for the spouse visa for Netherlands, the applicant needs to enclose a set of documents in the application as well as translate and legalize all official documents that are not in Dutch, English, French, or German. One of our lawyers can provide more information about the needed documents so that you can make sure that your application for the spouse visa for Netherlands is submitted accordingly.
Under a DAFT visa, the spouse and children will not need a separate visa evaluation if they wish to join the holder of the visa concluded under the DAFT treaty. This visa is awarded to a US investor who is able to open a business in the Netherlands and maintain a minimum capital requirement at all times. Other categories of applicants may be eligible and you can contact us for details.
Post-arrival steps when you join your partner in the Netherlands
The decision to reunite with your partner who is already living in the Netherlands is an important one and, for all couples, it involves a series of mandatory steps. As previously mentioned, the conditions differ between EU citizens and non-EU citizens, as well as between citizens of different other countries (depending on whether or not their country of origin has signed a treaty with the Netherlands).
Obtaining the spouse visa for Netherlands is just a step among many that will be relevant upon the partner’s arrival. Below, our Netherlands immigration specialists summarize a set of other important conditions and relevant requirements:
- have your studies recognized: as a spouse who will be working in the Netherlands, you will not only need to apply for residency in the Netherlands, but also have your qualifications/credentials evaluated and recognized; this will allow you to seek employment according to the titles you have received following your completed studies;
- take up medical care: you will need to register with a health insurer, as a mandatory step, and register with a general medical practitioner (not as a mandatory step, but as a convenience);
- have your driver’s license recognized: initially, you will be permitted to drive in the Netherlands with the license issued in your country of origin, however, you will need to register your license (either through an exchange process, or by taking a theory and practical examination for driving – a choice depending on the country in which the license was issued, and its type);
- other essential steps: we can also mention the need to open a bank account, as well as meeting the ongoing requirements to pay your taxes.
If you relocate to the Netherlands from USA, these steps will take place under the provisions of the DAFT treaty.
As part of the steps you will need to handle concerning the Dutch authorities upon your arrival in the country when you join your spouse, you will not only need to register with the municipality in which you will be living, but also to apply for your digital identification used to file the tax return, and for other operations.
Foreign nationals should keep in mind that they will need to have certain documents legalized. Nearly all foreign-issued documents need to be translated into Dutch and legalized (translated by a sworn translator, and, in some cases, bearing an apostille when the document is issued by a country that has signed the Hague Convention on apostille legalizations). Our Dutch immigration lawyer can give you more information about this requirement.
Taxes and benefits for spouses who join their partner in the Netherlands
One of the most important issues you will need to observe as a spouse joining his or her partner in the Netherlands concerns your tax obligations. Additionally, you will wish to know if you can qualify for any benefits.
When living in the Netherlands you can receive healthcare benefits. This is possible when you have health insurance and if you comply with several other conditions:
- be 18 years of age or older;
- have income under the income threshold (both your income and your partner’s);
- you and your partner’s assets do not exceed a certain sum;
- you and your partner have a valid residence permit in Netherlands.
The amount of healthcare benefit depends on the combined income you and your partner have, and our team can give you details about the calculation method used for this purpose.
Additionally, when you become employed in the Netherlands, you will be subject to the following personal income tax rates:
- When your income is up to EUR 73,031 the tax rate is 36.93%;
- For income above EUR 73,031 the applicable tax is 49.5%;
- Capital gains are usually taxed according to the first rate.
Contact our immigration lawyer in Netherlands for more information on the conditions for obtaining the visa that allows the applicant to live with his or her spouse or partner. We also assist couples who wish to apply for Dutch citizenship.
You can obtain residency in the Netherlands for medium to long-term purposes even if you are not the spouse of a resident or Dutch citizen. For more information on how the IND assesses each application, and the requirements that apply in your case (depending on the type of residence permit you are applying for), please reach out to our team of immigration specialists.