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You are here: Home Moving to Getting Started Family reunification residence permit to join...
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30/07/2013Family reunification residence permit to join non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

Family reunification residence permit to join non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals If neither you nor your partner or relative living in the Netherlands is an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you must fulfil specific conditions to qualify for a Dutch residence permit to join them.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals joining non-EU/EEA/Swiss relatives

Unless you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, or you're a relative of an EU/EEA/Swiss national already in the Netherlands, if you want to come to the Netherlands to be with family already there, you'll need to fulfil certain specific conditions.

Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, you or your relative (your sponsor in the Netherlands) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).

Find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit: Read 'Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits'.

Even if you are not from the EU/EEA/Switzerland yourself, but you have a family member who is an EU/EEA/Swiss national living in the Netherlands (including partners and spouses), different rules apply. See 'Family reunification residence permit for to join EU/EEA/Swiss nationals' for more information.


To join your spouse or partner in the Netherlands, you will also need to fulfil the following:

  • You and your spouse/partner must be 21 years or over;
  • You must be married or in a civil partnership; if not, then you must be able to prove that you you are both single and in an exclusive, long-term relationship;
  • You must live together as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands, run a joint household, and be registered at the same address at the Municipal Personal Records Database (GBA);
  • Your partnership must also be registered in the Netherlands at the GBA;
  • Your spouse or registered partner must prove he or she has enough money for at least one year at the start of your application. Currently this is EUR 1586,95 per month for a couple. For more information on income, click here;
  • If your spouse/registered partner holds a temporary permit with non-temporary purpose of stay, he or she must have been in the Netherlands for at least one year (this doesn't apply if the permit is for an employee, entrepreneur, highly skilled migrant, study or scientific researcher).

If you're a minor joining a parent, you must be: 

  • the biological or legal child of your parent(s) and have a parental relationship with them;
  • under 18 and single;
  • going to live with your parent(s), who must have sufficient means to support you.

How to apply

If you're applying for an MVV/residence permit through the TEV procedure, then you need to apply to your Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country.

If you only need to apply for a residence permit, then a sponsor (such as your family member in the Netherlands) can apply to the IND on your behalf while you're still in your home country, or you can wait until you arrive in the Netherlands and make an appointment at your regional IND desk. Do it as soon as possible as it can take 90 days to process your application and you will not be able to work until you have it. For IND addresses, click here

If you are applying for a residence permit yourself, you can download the form here.

If your sponsor is applying on your behalf, the form can be downloaded here.


These include: 

  • copies of the identification pages of your spouse/partner/parent's passport or ID card;
  • copies of your spouse/partner/parent's residence permit;
  • proof of your spouse/partner/parent's income (e.g. bank statements);
  • copy of your marriage/partnership certificate (or signed declaration of your unmarried status if you are not married or in a registered partnership), or your birth certificate if joining your parent(s);
  • a sponsor's declaration – for example, a letter confirming your relationship.

Any foreign documents must be authenticated or ‘legalised' by authorities in your originating country and be in Dutch, English, French or German. For more information on how to legalise or translate your documents, see 'Preparing supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications'.

How much your application costs will depend on your personal situation but it currently costs EUR 225 to apply to stay with a relative. For more information on fees, click here.

The fee is to process your application, so you won't get a refund if your application is rejected. There may be additional administrative fees payable to the Dutch embassy or consulate handling your application, for the civic integration exam and for legalising documents etc.


It can take the IND 90 days to process your application.

When you have your permit

If your spouse/registered partner is allowed to work, then you will usually be allowed to work too without the need for an additional work permit, from the moment your own residence permit has been issued.

How long does the permit last?

Your permit will be valid for the same time period as the relative/spouse you are joining, up to a maximum of five years, and can be extended. Find out how you can extend your permit.

If your situation changes

If you came to the Netherlands to be with your partner or spouse but you no longer live with them, you will have to apply for a new residence permit if you want to stay in the country.

Read 'The complete guide to Dutch visas and permits' to find out if you're eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

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i am not a tourist Expat Fair The "i am not a tourist" Expat Fair is an annual, one-day fair for internationals living in or moving to the Netherlands. Expatica's 2014 fair, held on 2 November, will have all the valuable resources from previous years, with extra attention given to lifestyle and community related resources. For more information, please check out the fair website.

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Order your FREE tickets for “i am not a tourist” 2014 here.


1 reaction to this article

SMZ posted: 2013-12-31 04:32:07

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

1 reaction to this article

SMZ posted: 2013-12-31 04:32:07

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

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