As of 1 July 2022 the IND has a new policy regarding late submission of extension applications for residence permits. What this new policy entails, is explained using the following example.
Juliana is from Brazil. Since 1 August 2017, she has a temporary residence permit in the Netherlands to stay with her partner. Her residence permit is valid until 1 August 2022. Because Juliana still meets the conditions of her residence permit, it can be extended by 5 years. Juliana must submit an extension application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).
However, Juliana is very focused on completing her integration exams. After receiving her integration diploma, Juliana will meet the conditions for a permanent residence permit. Applying for a permanent residence permit fits in with Juliana's plans. She wants to settle in the Netherlands and is considering taking on Dutch nationality as soon as she is eligible.
Due to all the exam stress, Juliana forgets to submit her extension application before August 1, 2022. She only submits it on August 7, 2022. As a result, there is a 6 day gap between the expiry of her previous residence permit and the commencement date of her new residence permit. Article 26 of the Aliens Act stipulates that a residence permit does not start earlier than the date of application for extension, unless the delayed submission of an application cannot be attributed to the foreign national.
Under the old policy, the IND would grant Juliana's application for an extension of her residence permit, but only from August 7, 2022, the application date. The fact that she totally forgot to renew her residence permit in time can be attributed to her. As a result, a residence gap arises, which means that the period of 5 years after which Juliana would be eligible for a permanent residence permit, starts again. Juliana's plan to become a Dutch citizen is also jeopardized because now she has not had a residence permit for 5 consecutive years before submitting her application for Dutch citizenship. There is a gap of 6 days in which she did not have a residence permit. So the consequences of the residence gap are significant.
Under the new IND policy, the risk of getting a residence gap is reduced. The new policy stipulates that a residence permit extension will immediately follow on the expiration date of a residence permit, if the application is submitted no later than 4 weeks after the expiry date. It must be demonstrated within this period, that the foreign national meets the conditions for extending the residence permit. Because it is clear that Juliana still meets the conditions of her partner permit, and her extension application was submitted only 6 days after the expiry of her permit, the IND will, under the new policy, extend Juliana's residence permit with effect from 1 August 2022. A residence gap is prevented in this way and Juliana’s application for permanent residence or Dutch citizenship is not at risk.
What if Juliana has incurred a residence gap of 6 days in the past, under the old policy, but according to the new policy this should not have led to a residence gap? It is still unclear how the IND will deal with a situation like that and whether there will be a possibility, based on this new policy, to close the residence gap retroactively. Have you incurred a residence gap of less than 4 weeks in the past and do you believe that no residence gap would have arisen under the new policy? Please contact Nikki Vreede or Muhyadin Mohamud for further advice.