Currently, family reunification in the Netherlands is only possible for members of the nuclear family unit. The nuclear family unit are the partners/spouses and children under 18.
Adult children (age 18 and over) are not part of the nuclear family unit. They only qualify for family reunification if 'more than normal emotional ties' (in the sense of article 8 of the ECHR) exist between the parents and their adult child.
In order to comply with rulings from the European Court on Human Rights, the IND introduced the following policy rules for ‘young adults’ in late 2016:
It is not necessary to prove the existence of more than normal emotional ties if the adult child is:
- a young adult
- who has always belonged to the family of his/her parents
- and continues to do so.
According to the IND policy rules, the IND considers a young adult to be someone between 18-25 years old.
In order to determine whether the young adult has always belonged to the family of his/her parents and continues to do so, the IND will always examine the following factors:
- does the young adult live independently?
- is the young adult able to provide for him/herself?
- is the young adult married or in a serious relationship?
- does the young adult care for a child of his/her own?
Whether or not a young adult can be seen as living independently from his/her parents or as not being able to provide for him/herself, is a factual determination and is always dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case.