If you want to join a family member who is living in the Netherlands, you may need a Netherlands Family Visa.
However, the procedure on how you can join your family member depends on your nationality as well as theirs. Different procedures and rules apply depending on whether you/your family member are an EU/EEA/Swiss national or not.
In some cases, you will need a Dutch residence permit to stay in the Netherlands, while in others it is not necessary.
Who Needs a Netherlands Family Visa?
First of all, it must be made clear that a Netherlands family visa refers to a Dutch residence permit with the purpose of family reunification.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens
If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland and want to travel to the Netherlands to join a member of your family, you do not need a Dutch residence permit/Netherlands family visa.
If you want to stay with your family member for longer than 90 days, however, you will have to register with the Dutch authorities.
You can also choose to apply for Verification against EU Law (certificate of lawful residence), but that is not obligatory.
If you are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, but want to join a family member in the Netherlands who is from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will have to apply for Verification against EU law and secure a certificate of lawful residence (proof of legal residence).
And finally, you will need to apply for a Netherlands family visa (Dutch residence permit) if neither you nor your family member are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland.
You will also need a Netherlands family visa if your family member is a Dutch national (even though the Netherlands is part of the EU, Verification against EU law does not apply.)
What are the requirements for a Netherlands Family Visa?
When you apply for any type of Netherlands residence permit, there is a standard set of Netherlands visa requirements that you have to fill. Then, depending on the type of visa, there are additional conditions and requirements.
You will be asked to hand in several documents to support your application. They are usually stated on the application form or the Dutch/embassy consulate in your country will inform you further.
Documents you may be required to hand in with your Netherlands family visa application include:
- Copies of the identification pages of your family member’s passport or ID card.
- Copies of your family member’s residence permit.
- Proof of your family member’s income.
- For spouses/partners: copy of marriage/partnership certificate; signed declaration that you are not married (if applicable).
- For children joining parents: birth certificate.
- A declaration from the sponsor that confirms your relationship.
The requirements for a Netherlands family visa also differ based on who you will be joining in the Netherlands.
Requirements to join a spouse/partner (registered or unmarried)
- You and your partner must be married/into a registered partnership.
- If not, you must prove you are in a long-term and exclusive relationship.
- You must both be at least 21 years of age.
- You will be living with your partner in the Netherlands.
- Your partner must be a Dutch national or hold a valid residence permit.
- Your partner must be able to prove he/she can financially support you at least for your first year.
- Your partner must be your sponsor.
Requirements for children under 18 wanting to join a parent
If you are living in the Netherlands with either a residence permit or as a citizen, and want to take your minor child to live with you, they must fulfill these conditions.
- The child must be under 18
- They must be single (not married, not have a family of their own)
- They must be part of your family household. They cannot be living independently and providing for themselves.
- You must have been living in the Netherlands with a residence permit for at least one year. *
- They must live with you after they come to the Netherlands.
- You can financially support your child.
- You have custody of your child.
- If the child’s other parent also has custody and is staying behind, they have to sign a declaration of consent.
- You are your child’s sponsor.
*This does not apply if you have a temporary residence permit for: study; orientation year; intra corporate transferees; highly skilled migrant; paid employment; self-employment; temporary asylum; medical treatment; EU Blue Card; cross border service provider; employment with NATO; foreign investor; Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or the Dutch-Japanese Trade Agreement; scientific researcher; waiting on decision regarding Dutch citizenship; temporary humanitarian grounds
Requirements for a related foster child
To bring a related foster child to live with you in the Netherlands means bringing a child who is a family member and does not have someone to take care of them in their country. The child would be coming to live with a close family member, such as a grandparent, sibling, uncle/aunt.
The requirements to bring a related foster child to live with you include:
- The child must be under 18.
- You have to be their grandparent, (half) sibling, sister- in-law, brother- in-law, uncle or aunt.
- You must have a Dutch/EU citizenship or a valid residence permit.
- The child cannot have a highly infectious disease, a chronic illness or mental illness.
- You are capable of giving them proper care and education.
- You have custody of the child.
- The parents/legal representatives agree to the child coming to live with you.
- You can financially provide for them.
- You are the child’s sponsor.
Requirements for the parent of a minor Dutch child
If your child has Dutch citizenship but you do not, and you want to join them, you need to fulfill these requirements:
- You must be a biological parent, a step-parent, or a foster-parent.
- The child must be younger than 18.
- You cannot be an EU/EEA/Swiss national.
- You cannot be a resident of EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland.
- You have to be included in taking care/raising your child (with the other parent or alone).
- Your child is dependent on you. This means, if you cannot go to the Netherlands, they must also leave the EU.
How to apply for a Netherlands Family Visa?
As mentioned, a Netherlands family visa is the same as a residence permit, so the same rules apply.
When applying for a Netherlands family visa, you must also pay a non-refundable visa fee.
How Long is the Netherlands Family Visa valid?
If you obtain your Netherlands family visa, you will have the same conditions as your relative. This includes the validity of the residence permit. You can stay in the Netherlands with a family visa only as long as your family member will be staying.
A residence permit can last up to five years.
Can you work with a Netherlands Family Visa?
Having the same conditions as your family member apply in relation to work as well.
This means, if your family member needs a work permit to work, then so do you. If they are exempt and can work without a work permit, then the same applies to you.