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Can EU citizens bring their unmarried, non-EU partners to the Netherlands?

Can EU citizens bring their unmarried, non-EU partners to the Netherlands?

De Vreede Advocaten is a young and dynamic law firm specialised in immigration and international employment law for both businesses and individuals.

EU/EEA citizens and Swiss citizens are allowed to bring their non-EU partner to the Netherlands. Based on EU law, EU citizens and their non-EU spouses have the same right to move and reside freely within the territory of the EU. Most EU citizens don’t know, however, that this right also applies to unmarried couples.

In the Netherlands, marriage or registered partnership is not a requirement for couples applying for an EU residence permit.

Registration as an EU citizen

It is commonly known that EU citizens can live and work freely in other member states; they don’t need a residence card or work permit. Moreover, since 2014 they don’t even have to notify the Dutch Immigration Services (IND) when they move to the Netherlands and start working for a Dutch employer.

However, the IND does have to be notified when EU citizens want to bring their (non-EU) partner with them.

Sufficient financial means

An important requirement for EU citizens to be allowed to bring their non-EU partner is that they must work, or otherwise have sufficient financial means to support their family. The income requirement for EU citizens is much less stringent than the one for Dutch citizens who want to bring their non-EU partner to the Netherlands:

  • For Dutch citizens, an independent and long-term income of at least 1.565,40 euros gross per month, excluding holiday allowance, is required.
  • For EU citizens, no minimum income is required and even a small amount of savings can be sufficient.

Long-term and exclusive relationship

The most important thing for EU citizens who want to bring their unmarried, non-EU partners with them, is to show that they have been in an exclusive relationship for a considerable period of time. The IND assumes that such a relationship is present in case of a marriage, registered partnership, and when unmarried partners have shared a household for at least six months.

However, unmarried couples who haven't lived together before or couples in a long-distance relationship can apply as well. They must prove that they are in a lasting and exclusive relationship and (are going to) live together in the Netherlands. Such proof may include photos, emails, tickets for joint holidays and/or family visits.

Right to work

EU citizens and their non-EU partners must personally apply for a residence permit with the IND. When the IND is convinced of the relationship, the non-EU partner will immediately receive a sticker in their passport, allowing him or her to reside in the Netherlands during the application process.

In most cases, married partners and unmarried partners who have proven that they have lived together for at least six months can work immediately. Generally, unmarried partners who have not previously lived together have to wait until the end of a six-months decision period before they are free to work in the Netherlands.

De Vreede Advocaten can assist EU citizens bringing in their non-EU partners to the Netherlands. Their lawyers will guide you through the whole application process and prepare the application file for you.

De Vreede Advocaten

 

Elles

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Elles Besselsen

Previously an archaeologist, Elles now practices European and Dutch immigration law. She joined Everaert Advocaten as a lawyer in 2018. Elles assists private individuals with family migration and civic integration...

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COMMENTS

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Moraa Moke 01:19 | 23 April 2018

HI I am a Kenyan lady who has had a long term relationship with my Romanian boyfriend. He works in the Netherlands now..we have been planning to get married for a while now but honestly I don't know what visa to apply in order to join him in the Netherlands. Kindly help

Nikkiluma 14:43 | 30 May 2018

Hi moraa, I'm not sure if you have already been assisted but I would like to give some input. I would suggest first visiting him on a tourist visa especially if you have not lived together.. to test the waters and whatnot. If you have already been living together for a while during your relationship then you should check the IND page out to find out the requirements for an unmarried/married partner visa. If romania is a part of the EU then you should be allowed to register your marriage in the netherlands . Only thing you may need to do is learn some dutch to pass the integration exam. I hope this is helpful

Moraa Moke 20:48 | 8 July 2018

Thanks a lot nikkiluma. We have stayed together for more than one year and dated for three. I am trying to learn Dutch now to pass my civic integration exam. I hope to pass and join him soon.

Nikkiluma 20:26 | 13 August 2018

Then you are one of the lucky one's darling! Another option is he comes to Kenya, the both of you get hitched and then he registers your marriage in the Hague, Netherlands . Either way, enjoy the love the both of you have, the integration exam should not be a problem , and once you pass, he applies for the spouse/partnership visa with/for you. Don't rush anything, it'll all be worth it in the end.

Moraa Moke 15:39 | 19 August 2018

Thanks soo much .you are too kind and helpful. Be blessed

Moraa Moke 15:43 | 19 August 2018

If he comes to Kenya we get hitched...is it possible to go back with him? Or I have to wait do my exams then wait for the whole process while in kenya

sepidehj 13:34 | 22 July 2018

Hi, I am an Iranian graduated artist in The Netherlands, have had a long term relationship (more than a year and half) with my boyfriend who is Dutch. We have been living in the same address since 1st of May this year. My resident permit ends in November. Based on Dutch law, we have to register our partnership and he has to have a sufficient income with a one year job contract. Almost one of the requirements is or will be ready! Since we don't wanna register our partnership( because it almost equates a marriage) and he doesn't want to resign his job contract for another year. Which way do you suggest for us?! Does that help if we live in another European country for 6 months? In this way, I still need to find a way to extent my resident permit in Europe. Any little advice is very appreciated!

Nikkiluma 20:23 | 13 August 2018

Hi "sepidehj", I wish I read this a tad earlier. The whole unmarried/ registered partnership thing is scary because the Dutch government (as you said) basically sees it as a marriage, However I have read somewhere that you need to prove that you have been in a long term relationship with eachother (so pictures, tickets to visit, emails, sexts- I joke etc) . I don't think the 6 months spent together have to have been in the netherlands. As long as you have physical proof that you have lived under the same roof for 6 months. I think as long as the country has similar rules to the dutch government it shouldnt be a problem. So check with the government rules of the other european country you have been in. I hope this was a tad helpful.

ehrmantraut30 16:57 | 3 October 2018

hi sepidehj, you can just apply as an unmarried couple. it is different from a registered partnership. if you are applying as an unmarried couple you will not be "tied" to your partner civically which is otherwise in the registered partnership.

Michael Mason 12:51 | 7 August 2018

Hello, Does anyone here know if this applies to all EU member counties? Or if this applies solely for the Netherlands? Kindly, M.

Nikkiluma 20:38 | 13 August 2018

You can find this information on the different government websites. E.g the countries that recognise unmarried partnerships eg the netherlands pretty much have similar rules. And as per this article it mentions that you just need to be an EU national to have the rules apply to you.

pprasetya 13:26 | 24 August 2018

Hello there! I am an Indonesian, currently holding a residence permit Type V (long term EU resident) and residing in the Netherlands. I would like to bring my unmarried partner (who is Indian) to the Netherlands. I was wondering, what type of residence permit will she be getting? Will it be Type V too? Will she need to have a work permit in the Netherlands? Can someone help me with this? Thank you very much in advance!

ehrmantraut30 16:24 | 3 October 2018

as far as I understand she will have the exact right as you do meaning she will get the same type of permit as you do and will be allowed to work if you are allowed to work too (which i assume so!)

rimiokawashi 20:59 | 12 September 2018

Hi. I'm a Vietnamese girl studying a Master in Rome (second year) and my Spanish boyfriend has been working in Amsterdam for 7 months. We have been a couple for 2 years but have never lived together officially. We have met each other's family many times and he has sufficient income. Next year I am planning to move to Netherlands with him, getting an internship,, fiding a job and also taking the registered partner. So I would like to ask if it is ok to register our partnership without living together previously? And do I have to take the civic integration examination abroad (Dutch language test)? Thank you so much in advance :)

ehrmantraut30 16:53 | 3 October 2018

You can apply for the registered partnership visa even without having to live together. However you have to give proof that you have an exclusive and long term relationship and also show how you maintain your long distance relationship with pictures, emails, flight tickets etc. this will be a part of the questionnaire in the application form you will have to fill in. As for the civic integration exam, yes you have to have it as well. Unless you posses a diploma from a Dutch university. I hope it helps! I just submitted my application 3 weeks ago so I have been reading quite a lot.

falila 21:57 | 1 November 2018

Hello, I am a Hungarian national however, I have lived in the US my entire life. I just recently got married and my husband is a non-eu national (and not an American citizen). I am a student and he works as an auto-mechanic. We have no family in the Netherlands and have no idea how to start the process of moving. I would kindly take any suggestions any of you may have. Thank you !

Georgia McFarlane 21:19 | 16 November 2018

Hi everyone, My partner and I have been living in the Netherlands for about 2 months now we both have bsn numbers and registered to our apartment - I am here on my UK passport and my partner is on a working holiday visa from Australia but unfortunately they have changed working rights for Australians and you are only able to work at one place for 3 months. Which is why we are looking into the spouse visa. We have loved together in Australia for over 6 months but with my parents so not on a lease.... just wondering if we do have to wait that 6 month period before they make a final decision if my partner can continue working during this time? As he obviously doesn’t want to loose his job if we do end up getting approved. Thanks so much for any help or advice!