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Family formation and family reunification in the Netherlands (Holland)

The European Convention of Human Rights and other international treaties oblige countries to respect private life of their citizens. According to the convention the definition "private life” encompasses family life.

The European Convention of Human Rights and other international treaties oblige countries to respect private life of their citizens. According to the convention the definition "private life” encompasses family life.

The Netherlands (Holland) recognizes 2 possibilities to form a family:

  1. Family re-unification- is a marriage or other relationships (for example children) between family members who have already lived together for a certain period in a foreign country; family re-unification may be applicable to spouses, unmarried partners, couples of the same sex, children under the age of 18 who wish to join their parents in the Netherlands (Holland);
  2. Family formation- is a condition when one of the partners was living in the Netherlands (Holland) before the marriage or other relationships.

Depending on from the purpose of stay, a foreign partner may come for:

  1. working in the Netherlands (Holland): the partner has to find a job himself and to pay the living expenses himself; in this case partner’s Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit is not dependent on another partner;
  2. being with another partner: a coming partner is dependent on the residing partner; the Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit will stop in the case of living apart or divorce. After 3 years of living together, a foreign partner may apply for an independent Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit. The partner, residing in the Netherlands (Holland), has to satisfy a minimum salary criteria, described below.

For both possibilities the following conditions exist, which must be satisfied to be eligible for the residence permit:

  • Health insurance, covering all risks;
  • Valid passport;
  • Absence of criminal record;
  • Tuberculosis certificate;
  • Sponsor (inviting party) must satisfy a 1.424,40 euro brute per month criteria and has a working agreement for at least one year from the moment of application;
  • Foreign partner has to take a civic integration exam (inburgeringsexamen). Foreigners from MVV exempted countries (USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Island and EU countries) are excluded from this requirement; moreover, foreign partners (spouses), who came to the Netherlands (Holland) with a purpose of study or work are exempted from taking an integration exam regardless of their nationality; the price of the exam is 350 euro;
  • Both partners have to be 21 years old;
  • Marriage certificate in case of family re-unification and a document, which proves celibacy in case of family formation; these records must be no older than 6 months at the moment of filling an application for a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit in the IND and have a legalization or apostle stamps;
  • In the case when partners are already married, the marriage has to be registered in the Dutch Municipal Administration (Nederlandse gemeentelijke basisadministratie – GBA);
  • Both partners have to live together from the moment of coming to the Netherlands (Holland) and have to be registered at the same address.

The partner may bring his minor child (children) to the Netherlands (Holland) provided that:

  • Child is under the age of 18;
  • Child was never married;
  • Child is related to the family where he will stay and is an actual part of the family;
  • Child has no criminal records;
  • As soon as a child arrives to the Netherlands (Holland), he will live with his parents and will be registered at the same address as his parents;
  • Child has a permission from a parent from his country of origin.

The partner may bring his adult child (children) to the Netherlands (Holland) provided that:

  • Adult is older than 18;
  • Adult was not separated from his family for more than 1 year;
  • Adult is related to the family where he will stay;
  • Adult will live with his parents and will be registered at the same address as his parents;
  • Adult has no criminal records;
  • Adult took a civil integration exam in his country(this requirement depends on nationality).

Residence permit for parents of 65 years and older may be granted provided that:

  • Parent is single;
  • Parent is 65 or older;
  • Children are Dutch(Netherlands) nationals or possess a residence permit;
  • Children must have sufficient income in order to support their parent in the Netherlands (Holland);
  • There must be no children in the parent’s country of origin who can take care of parent.

Residence permit for other family members:

  • Family member is an actual member of the family and there are relationships under family law;
  • As soon as a family member arrives to the Netherlands (Holland), he has to live together with the family and to be registered at the same address with his family;
  • It would be very difficult to leave a family member in the country of origin;
  • The family member must have sufficient means of support.
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