There are plenty of great reasons to move to the Netherlands. We’ve got the best beers, the best cheeses and fried snacks. This country is home to world-famous masterpieces from history, and modern innovations in architecture. Throughout history, the country and people have always valued an openness between cultures (especially when there’s a lucrative business deal on the table!). As a result, it’s no surprise that the Netherlands attracts highly skilled talent to make the move across the globe – and to bring their families to enjoy this exciting adventure with them. 

 Most non-EU people that move to Holland do so via either a “Visa for Work” or a “Visa for Education.” This advice is only relevant for people who are moving to the Netherlands for work purposes. You can learn more about the process for all types of immigration situations on the IND website. 

 In this article, we will go over the essentials of the Dutch residence permit for a partner and children. If you need to continue your research, visit the IND website.  

Who can apply for a Dutch residence permit for partner and children? 

Any Dutch national, EU national, or non-EU person with a valid residence permit can apply to “sponsor” a non-EU partner as well as minor children. As a non-Dutch person, you must hold a valid residence permit for work in the Netherlands to apply. A resident permit that has a temporary purpose of stay (for example, seasonal labour, study purposes, au pair, etc) is not considered valid. 

EU nationals without a Dutch nationality can also apply for residence permits of non-EU people in the Netherlands. If they do not already live in the Netherlands, they must first apply for a residence permit as an EU citizen

You can also designate somebody to apply for the permits on your behalf. In fact, if you’re moving to the Netherlands for work, the IND recommends having your employer apply for these permits at the same time as they apply for yours. This makes it easier on the department to fully understand your case. 

*Note: Whoever applies for this visa  keep in mind that family members must prepare for residence in the Netherlands while they’re still abroad. Every foreign document you provide as evidence will only be considered if it’s been translated into either English, German, French, or Dutch and is notarized. 

Why do I have to “sponsor” my family to move them to the Netherlands? 

Any non-EU person that comes to the Netherlands usually needs a “sponsor.” This sponsor is responsible for – primarily – financial support of the non-EU person. They are usually the ones who request the non-EU person live in the country. If you were hired from abroad to work in the Netherlands, your employer will be your sponsor. 

In this case, you are the one making the request for your family to live in the Netherlands so you should be the one who is responsible for their stay.  

Aside from financial support, you will be obliged to provide information and retain the documents submitted for the application for your family member’s residence permit.  

In case there are any changes that could affect your family member’s right of residence, you need to notify IND. These changes could be: 

  • Your relationship has ended. 
  • You are no longer registered the same address with your family members. 
  • You are unemployed or unable to work. 
  • You or your family members have applied for social welfare benefits. 
  • Your family members left the Netherlands. 

 Who qualifies as a “Family member” “Partner” or “Relative”? 

The IND only considers people who are members of your “core family unit” to receive a residence permit. That means their focus is usually on: 

  • Spouses, registered partners, or unmarried partners 
  •  Children under the age of 18, who are in your legal custody. 

Moreover, polygamous marriage is not recognized by Dutch law and you will only be allowed to sponsor one partner.  

There are cases where different types of family members are able to join you in the Netherlands – but they are considered extraordinary cases. Above all, any family members you would like to bring to the Netherlands must meet the following criteria: 

  • Owns a valid passport. 
  • Has healthcare insurance for the Netherlands (this can be arranged up to 4 months after their move) 
  • Has not been found guilty of any criminal offenses. 
  • Completed a tuberculosis (TB) test within 3 months of the permit being issued (some countries are exempt from taking this test) 

Resident permit requirements for partners 

In the Netherlands, both unmarried and married couples, including same-sex couples, can apply for a partner permit. Depending on the status of your relationship, different evidence is required to support your application.  

Married and registered partners 

The requirements for married or registered partners are relatively straightforward: you only need to provide the marriage certificate or certificate of your registered partnership. If your certificate needs to be translated into either English, Dutch, German, or French, your translation must also be notarized. If these types of partnerships happen abroad before you reside in the Netherlands, you and your partner must be at least 18 years of age. In case you and your partner get married or entered a register partnership while you are legally residing in the Netherlands, both of you must be at least 21 years of age. 

Unmarried partners 

For unmarried couples, an unmarried status declaration needs to be provided. You would also need to prove that you are in a long-term and exclusive relationship by filling out Questionnaire for residence with partner. Both of you must be over the age of 21. 

Other conditions apply regardless of the nature of your relationship: 

For more detailed information on the application procedure, please check out IND’s website: Spouse, registered or unmarried partner | Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) 

Requirements for Dutch residence permit for children under 18 

If you want to bring your child to the Netherlands, you and your child must fulfil the following conditions: 

  • Your child is under the age of 18. 
  • Your child is unmarried. 
  • Your child must be a part of your household, which means they cannot be living on their own and financially providing for themselves. 
  • Your child must be registered at the same address with you when they arrive in the Netherlands. 
  • You, as the sponsor, have the Dutch nationality, are registered with the IND as an EU citizen, or have a valid non-temporary residence permit in the Netherlands (EU nationals need to additionally register at the IND to be a sponsor in the Netherlands) 
  • You, as the sponsor, have an independent sufficient and sustainable income to support your child. 
  • You have custody of your child. If the child’s other parent holds custody and is staying behind in the home country, a declaration of consent with their signature is required. 

For more detailed information on the application procedure, please check out IND’s website: Child under 18 | Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) 

What can Octagon do for you?

Are you planning to move your business or employees to the Netherlands? As a recognized sponsor of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), Octagon can help facilitate highly skilled migrants visa for your employees and residence permit for their loved ones on your business’s behalf. Get in touch with us, we can help.