|Restrictions on family reunification partly reversed|
The State Secretary for Security and Justice sent a letter to Parliament on the 21st of December 2012 in which he announced that he would partly reverse the restrictions on family reunification which took effect on 1 October 2012.
The unmarried partner who is in a sustainable and exclusive relationship with a resident of the Netherlands will become eligible for family reunification. In other words: a return to the rules as they were before 1 October 2012.
The new law will probably enter into force in the first half of April 2013. Unmarried partners who have submitted an application or a request for advice for family reunification after 1 October 2012 but before April 2013 are also eligible for a permit. They do not have to wait until the new law takes effect.
The other restrictions which were introduced per 1 October 2012 (no more family reunification for children above 18 years old and dependent, single parents above 65 years old) will remain in place unless there is a positive obligation under article 8 (right to family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. This will only be the case in the most exceptional of circumstances. The extension of the period after which one is eligible for a permit for ‘continued residency’ from 3 to 5 years also remains unchanged, as well as the introduction of a waiting period of 1 year for family reunification.
This means that only members of the nuclear family unit (spouse or unmarried partner, children below 18 years old) are eligible for a residence permit for family reunification.
Click here for the letter from the Ministry (in Dutch).