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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

In 2012, this elderly policy was scrapped. From that moment on family reunification is only possible for members of the nuclear family unit. The nuclear family unit are the partners/spouses and children under 18/young adults. The (grand-) parents of adults are not part of the nuclear family unit. They can only come if more than normal emotional ties exist between the parents and their adult child. ‘Merely’ getting old and needing support unfortunately does not constitute more than normal emotional ties, as this is not considered abnormal. In practice it is really only possible to meet this condition if there is (extreme) dependency of the elderly parent on his adult child, e.g. because of severe health problems.

If the child/the children in the Netherlands are not permanent residents or Dutch citizens, it is virtually impossible to bring your parent/parents from outside the EU to the Netherlands.

Nb. If family members have the nationality of one of the other member states of the EU, or it concerns Dutch citizens who have recently lived in another member state of the EU, other rules (may) apply.

In 2016 it became clear that the immigration and naturalization department (IND) has a separate policy for parents from outside the EU who are ‘in their life’s’ final stages’. Such parents may be eligible for a residence permit in the Netherlands if the following circumstances apply:

  • Advanced age. In principle the IND will issue a permit to a parent who is 80 years or older. However, the pertinent issue is whether the parent is in the final stage of his/her life.
  • The parent requires care/assistance.
  • The parent is single.
  • The parent only has children in the Netherlands able to provide care/assistance.
  • The child in the Netherlands (or his partner/spouse) is a Dutch citizen or has a permanent residence permit.
  • The child in the Netherlands (or his partner/spouse) has sufficient means to provide for himself and his parent.

Please contact Nikki VreedeLotte van Diepen or Anne Wijffelman for more information.