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22

family reunification

  • Litigation about the refusal to issue a visa to the unmarried partner of an EU citizen because they have not yet lived together

    Andrea and Eli get to know each other in June 2017 through a dating site. Andrea is Bulgarian and lives and works in the Netherlands; Eli is Pakistani and lives in Dubai. They have daily contact via Whatsapp, telephone and Skype and they have been in Dubai together several times. After a long-distance relationship of 10 months, they want to live together in the Netherlands. Andrea has a good job in the Netherlands and does not wish to live in Pakistan or Dubai. Eli applies for a visa in May 2018 to travel to Andrea in the Netherlands. With the application, they include tickets and hotel reservations for Andrea’s trips to Dubai, a summary of their many Whatsapp and telephone conversations, and photos and statements about their relationship from family members and friends. The application is rejected on the basis that Andrea and Eli have not been living together for 6 months and therefore the IND does not consider their relationship to be sufficiently durable. How can that be?

    EU citizens and their family members have the right to live and work in the Netherlands. Directive 2004/38/EC, the Citizens’ Rights Directive, stipulates that non-European spouses and registered partners of EU citizens have the right to come to the Netherlands if their EU spouse or registered partner works in the Netherlands or otherwise has sufficient means of subsistence. Because no distinction is made in the Netherlands between married and unmarried persons, the directive also applies in the Netherlands to unmarried partners of EU citizens. In that situation, there must be a properly established durable relationship.

    The Citizens’ Rights Directive does not include a definition of when there is a durable relationship. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service of the Netherlands (IND) assumes that a relationship is durable if unmarried partners can prove that they have been living together for at least 6 months or if they have a child together. In practice, this means that the application for a visa for the unmarried partner of an EU citizen will be rejected if the couple has no child and has not lived together before. Also, unmarried partners of EU citizens that are already in the Netherlands and apply for a EU-residence document at the IND, are not allowed to work in the Netherlands during the 6-month decision period.

    This practice is contrary to (European) law and justice. After all, a durable relationship can also exist in the situation of a long distance relationship or a LAT relationship (Living Apart Together) of at least 6 months, as long as the relationship is well substantiated with supporting documents.

    In March 2019, the District Court of The Hague confirmed this definition of a durable relationship within the meaning of the EU law in the case of Andrea and Eli. About a year after their application and many visits from Andrea to Dubai, phone calls, and Whatsapp messages later, Eli is finally allowed to travel to the Netherlands to live with Andrea.


    Are you an EU citizen and do you want to live with your unmarried partner in the Netherlands? Do you have problems or questions about the procedure for EU verification? Please contact me.

    Elles Besselsen
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • The EU Court of Justice has delivered an important ruling on the residence rights of parents without a residence permit who are primary caregivers of Dutch children on 10 May 2017. The verdict is named after one of the parents who had brought the case to the Court of Justice: Chavez Vilchez. 

  • 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.

  • Until 2012 it was possible to let your (grand-) parent come to the Netherlands from outside the EU under the so called “elderly policy”. In order to be accepted the following conditions had to be met: it had to concern the single parent of a Dutch child/children (or holders of a permanent residence permit in the Netherlands), who is more than 65 years old. All children should reside in the Netherlands and (jointly) they should meet the income requirement

  • The same sex spouse of an EU citizen is entitled to reside with his or her partner throughout the European Union. On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union replied to questions referred for preliminary rulings by the Romanian Constitutional Court.

  • Elles Besselsen was a speaker at this year's Loving Day, June 12th. Together with Betty de Hart, she spoke about the legal hurdles Dutch women encounter when they want to bring their foreign partner to the Netherlands.

  • Family members of self-employed have the right to work as self-employed, themselves. The State Secretary of Justice and Security has amended the Aliens Regulations and the Aliens Circular accordingly.

  • Dutch citizens or holders of a Dutch residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of residence (except for study) may bring their foreign partner (whether married or unmarried) to the Netherlands.

  • On 24 January 2020 Hans Jager said a festive farewell to his 39 year practice as an immigration attorney. At this occasion he received the St. Andrew's medal of the City of Amsterdam by vice-mayor Rutger Groot Wassink.

  • For Dutch expats who wish to return to the Netherlands with family members requiring an entry clearance visa (MVV), the income requirement proves to be an obstacle.

  • Today, 4 April 2019, the Dutch Government Gazette published an amendment on the Handbook for the Dutch Citizenship Act 2003.

  • The Council of State has announced a different method to assess whether the income of someone who is applying for family reunification is sufficient. The situation of flex workers is now taken into account as well.

  • On 10 May 2017 the EU Court of Justice delivered an important ruling on the residence rights of parents without a residence permit who take care of Dutch children. The verdict is named after one of the parents who brought the case to the Court of Justice: Chavez Vilchez.

  • The income amounts, considered by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) as adequate financial resources for applications for family reunification, are revised every 6 months. You will find the new standard means requirements as of 1 January 2020 below.

  • The income amounts, considered by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) as adequate financial resources for applications for family reunification, are revised every 6 months. You will find the new standard means requirements as of 1 July 2019 below.

  •  2017年5月10日, 欧洲法院针对Chavez Vilchez的案件作出判决,这项判决对于那些并不持有荷兰居留却身在荷兰的荷兰未成年人的父母或主要看护人来讲可谓是一个好消息。