Family Visa Netherlands

The population of the Netherlands is on a constant rise, and although the locals greatly contribute to that, foreign citizens make up a huge part of the country’s population. There are an estimated 2.6 million expats in the Netherlands, with more than 400,000 people arriving there in 2022, including students and highly skilled migrants.

Family reunification is a very important part of Dutch culture. Because of that, the Dutch government took all the necessary steps to ensure you can join your family in the Netherlands as long as you comply with the migration rules. It’s no wonder there is high demand for family visa in the Netherlands. 

In the following words, we’ll look into who can move to the Netherlands to reunite with their families and under which circumstances.

Eligibility for a family visa 

family visa netherlands eligibility

A family visa is considered a Dutch residence permit that serves to reunite internationals with their families. However, it isn’t a requirement for all citizens. For example, if you’re a citizen of one of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you don’t need a family visa, and you can freely travel to the Netherlands. But, you’ll need a residence permit if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days.

On the other hand, you must submit an application for Verification against EU Law and obtain a certificate of lawful residence if you’re not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland but wish to join a family member who is from one of these countries in the Netherlands (proof of legal residence).

If neither you nor the member of your family is a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must apply for a Netherlands family visa.

To come to live in the Netherlands, you’ll often need a sponsor. To become a sponsor in the Netherlands, these are the criteria you need to fulfill:

  • the sponsors must be Dutch citizens;
  • sponsors are required to possess a Citizen Service Number (BSN);
  • sponsors must have a gross income of the minimum wage (excluding holiday allowance);
  • couples who are sponsors must both make the federal minimum wage (excluding holiday allowance);
  • a form for verification of sponsorship and/or private housing must also be completed.

Furthermore, the sponsor ensures that the person who will be joining them in the Netherlands fulfills the conditions for getting a residence permit. If the person, for any reason, can no longer stay in the Netherlands, the sponsor is responsible for departing that person.

The sponsor also has administrative obligations in the form of keeping all relative information about that family member. Those include their income information and proof that you’re relatives. The sponsor must have those for at least five years, as the IND can ask for those documents at any point.

Your relative or family member also has a duty to disclose information. He must inform the IND of significant changes. Changes to the residence address and a long-term move to a foreign country are involved.

The sponsor will keep his sponsor status until:

  • the residence permit for your family member or relative has been revoked; 
  • your family member or relative has obtained a residence permit to live with another family member or relative; 
  • your family member or relative has obtained a residence permit for another type of residence, such as work or study; 
  • your family member or relative has acquired Dutch nationality.

These are the general rules that apply to all sponsor situations. However, there are additional requirements that apply to different sponsorship types.

Requirements for a partner/spouse

family member

  • you and your spouse or registered partner must be married;
  • if not, you must demonstrate that you’re engaged in a committed, long-term partnership;
  • both of you must be older than 21;
  • you’ll reside with your partner in the Netherlands;
  • your companion must be a citizen of the Netherlands or have a current visa
  • your spouse or partner must be able to demonstrate that they can assist you financially for at least the first year;
  • your partner must be your sponsor.

Requirements for a child under 18

  • the child must be younger than 18;
  • they must be a family member and single (i.e., unmarried and without children). They are not capable of supporting themselves and living freely;
  • you must have had a valid residence permit for at least a year in the Netherlands;
  • when they arrive in the Netherlands, they must reside with you;
  • financial support for your child is available;
  • your child is in your custody;
  • the other parent who has custody of the child and is staying behind must sign a statement of permission;
  • you’re the sponsor of your child.

Requirements for a child born in the Netherlands

  • you and your child comply with the general criteria;
  • despite being born in the Netherlands, your child doesn’t yet hold a visa for permanent residency;
  • your family are the biological parents of your child;
  • you and the child have lived primarily in the Netherlands since the child’s birth;
  • you possess a current resident permit. Maybe you acquired Dutch citizenship after your child was born;
  • you certify that you’re the child’s sponsor. The youngster is brought to the Netherlands by the sponsor.

Requirements for an adopted child

residence permit

  • you and your adopted child comply with the universal requirements;
  • you hold a valid residence permit or are a citizen of the Netherlands or the community;
  • according to the Placement of Foreign Children for Adoption Act (Wobka), you fulfill each of the following requirements:
    • the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security’s Central Authority for International Children’s Affairs has granted you approval in principle (J&V). This is a declaration that you are qualified to adopt the foreign kid, in the opinion of the Ministry of J&V;
    • if you haven’t already adopted the child under the Convention, you have the Central Authority for International Children’s Affairs of the Ministry of J&V’s “registered approval in principle.” This is a declaration that the Minister of Migration has authorised you to bring your kid who was adopted abroad into your family. The document also includes a list of the child’s personal information;
    • your adopted child doesn’t suffer from a chronic or life-threatening medical or mental illness. A medical report from the child’s country of origin makes this clear;
    • the foreign child’s biological parents have given them up for adoption. Everything has been set up correctly;
    • the adoption of the kid into the nation of origin is permitted by the authorities there.
  • you can give proof that your adopted child is who they say they are. What if your adopted child lacks a legal travel document, like a passport, that would permit them to leave the nation they were born in? If you can prove the child’s identification differently, the IND won’t deny the application.

Requirements for a foster child

  • the child must be younger than 18;
  • a grandparent, (half) sibling, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, or aunt must be your relation to them;
  • either a valid residency permit or Dutch or EU citizenship is required;
  • a severe infectious condition, a persistent ailment, or a mental illness cannot affect the child;
  • you can provide them with the proper care;
  • you are the child’s legal guardian;
  • the child’s parents or legal guardians approve of the child moving in with you;
  • you can support them financially;
  • the child has you as their sponsor.

Required documents for a family visa

documents for family visa netherlands

To get a family visa in the Netherlands, you’ll need to obtain the following documents:

  • copies of the identity papers from the passport or ID card of a member of your family;
  • copies of the resident permit for your family member;
  • evidence of your relative’s income;
  • for spouses and partners: a copy of the marriage or partnership license; a signed statement indicating you’re not wed (if applicable);
  • a proclamation of single status;
  • proof of parental custody in the form of paperwork;
  • birth certificate for children moving in with parents;
  • verification of passing the civic integration exam;
  • a statement from the sponsor attesting to your relationship.

How do I get a family visa for the Netherlands?

family members

Once you have all the needed documents and confirmations, you can proceed with getting a family visa for the Netherlands. Depending on your country of residence, you may need an MVV visa (Regular Provisional Residence Permit). You won’t need the MVV visa if you are a resident of any of these countries:

  • Switzerland;
  • United States;
  • Australia;
  • Canada;
  • United Kingdom;
  • Vatican City;
  • South Korea;
  • New Zealand;
  • Monaco;
  • Japan;
  • an EU/EEA Member State.

If your family member doesn’t need an MVV, you can proceed with applying for the residence permit. The sponsor should apply for a residence permit while the family member is still abroad. Then, once the IND approves the application, the family member can come to the Netherlands and be sure that there are no complications involved. 

For example, the family member may have difficulties with finding some of the documents in the Netherlands. But, of course, you can obtain the residence permit while the family member is in the Netherlands if you wish to do so.

On the other hand, if your relative needs an MVV, you can apply for both of them together. This procedure is called “Access to Residence.” Once the IND approves the application, the relative can collect their MVV visa from a Dutch embassy in their country within three months. The relative has 90 days to travel to the Netherlands upon collecting it. He’ll have two additional weeks to pick up his residence permit when he arrives. The IND will inform him when and where to pick up the residence permit.

Regardless of the application type, all the needed documents must be translated into one of the official languages: Dutch, English, French, or German.

There is a fee for applying for the residence permit, which sums up to 210,00 euros. However, the costs can vary depending on your application type, and you can check them out on the official IND website.

Once you submit the documents and pay the fee, you enter the waiting period. The IND has to give you their final decision within 90 days. That period can be longer only in case of issues (like missing documents), but they will contact you if something like that happens.

What to do after receiving a family visa?

dutch residence permit

Upon arriving in the Netherlands, there are a couple of things you need to do. 

Register with the municipality

If you plan to stay in the Netherlands for longer than four months, you need to register as a resident in your municipality in the Personal Records Database. Doing so will give you your unique Citizen Service number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN).

To open a bank account, get health insurance, or find employment or an internship in the Netherlands, you need a BSN.

To successfully register and get your BSN, you’ll need your passport, birth certificate, lawful residence, and proof that you intend to stay in the Netherlands for more than four months.

Acquire a DigiD

Once you obtain your BSN number, the next step is acquiring your DigiD. DigD is a form of identification, so the government knows that you are the person you claim you are.

You can access websites for the Dutch government, care facilities, educational institutions, and pension funds using your DigiD.

Open a bank account

To open a bank account in the Netherlands, you need the following:

  • the BSN you use (Burgerservicenummer);
  • a legitimate ID (passport or identity card);
  • evidence of address;
  • if you are a non-EU citizen, you must have a residency permit.

Apart from the obvious reasons, having a credit card is mandatory in the Netherlands as some stores only accept credit cards as a form of payment.

Get health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands, so getting it upon arrival should be your priority. Once again, you must be registered with your municipality to proceed with this step.

When you have that covered, you are free to pick your health insurance company, as there are many to choose from.

Next, you need to prepare the required documentation:

  • social security number;
  • bank account number;
  • evidence of registration with a Dutch municipality.

Finally, once you’ve completed all the formalities, you can purchase your health insurance of choice.

Dutch dream

permanent residence permit

The Netherlands is truly a country of opportunities, and it’s not a surprise that so many people are interested in moving to the land of windmills. Of course, you have to follow specific procedures and rules, but that’s one of the many mechanisms to keep the country safe and functioning.

If you’re worried about missing out on important paperwork or unsure how to follow all the procedures, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll help you with all the documents, laws, and moving paperwork you might need to arrive in the Netherlands safely. Furthermore, we’ll guide you in the necessary registrations upon arrival and help you find an apartment matching your requirements.

Your only obligation will be enjoying the time with your loved ones and following the Dutch dream.

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