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family reunification

  • "Your relationship is not yet durable enough"

    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.

  • Breakthrough verdict from EU Court of Justice on the residence rights of parents who are primary caregivers of Dutch children (Chavez-Vilchez)

    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. 

  • Bringing your "young adult child" to the Netherlands

    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.

  • Bringing your parent from outside the EU to the Netherlands

    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

  • Can permanent residency or naturalization be acquired with a Chavez permit?

    Currently, holders of a Chavez permit do not qualify for permanent residence or Dutch citizenship. Such applications are rejected by default. Several regional courts and the Administrative Division of the Council of State, highest administrative court in the Netherlands, ruled that these rejections were lawful due to the temporary nature of the right of residence based on a Chavez permit.

  • Court: Same sex spouses entitled to residence rights throughout the European Union

    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 speaks at Loving Day

    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

    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.

  • Family reunification

    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.

  • Hans Jager receives City of Amsterdam decoration

    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.

  • Income requirement presents obstacle for Dutch expats

    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.

  • Naturalization, not with a Chavez-Vilchez residence permit?

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

  • New income check for family reunification

    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.

  • Residence rights of parents who are primary caregivers of Dutch children (Chavez-Vilchez)

    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.

  • Standard means amounts for family reunification as of 1 July 2020

    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 2020 below.

  • Update: family members of Dutch citizens may soon collect MVV visa

    On April 28, 2020 the IND announced that embassies will resume issuing MVV's (entry clearance visas) to family members of Dutch citizens with an MVV approval for the purpose of stay ‘family’, if local circumstances allow.

  • UPDATE: Is it possible to obtain Dutch citizenship with a Chavez residence permit?

    One year ago we informed you here about the amendment on the Handbook for the Dutch Citizenship Act 2003, which makes naturalization impossible for parents of Dutch children who derive their residence right from Article 20 of the TFEU on the basis of the rulings of the European Court of Justice in the Zambrano and Chavez-Vilchez cases.

  • 从Chavez Vilchez 案简析欧盟法院对荷兰儿童主要看护人居留权的重大裁决

     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。