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

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


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Ester de Vreede


Ester de Vreede

Ester combines an extensive knowledge of employment law and immigration law, which proves to be an asset and of specific interest for highly skilled expats and companies that employ them....

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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 it possible to go back with him? Or I have to wait do my exams then wait for the whole process while in kenya

Don la Flaire 17:06 | 18 November 2019

hi did you ever get married to your boyfriend? theres a visa too many people don't know about and its much easier than the visa people are telling you to apply for. Your husband is an Eu citizen working in a different country there are special visas for family members of EU citizens call visa facility. If you're not in the Netherlands by now and still interested in going you can write me and I can show you on their dutch website where to apply for such a visa. I am also in Nairobi Kenya

Don la Flaire 17:03 | 18 November 2019

hi did you ever get married to your boyfriend? theres a visa too many people don't know about and its much easier than the visa people are telling you to apply for. Your husband is an Eu citizen working in a different country there are special visas for family members of EU citizens call visa facility. If you're not in the Netherlands by now and still interested in going you can write me and I can show you on their dutch website where to apply for such a visa. I am also in Nairobi 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.

rimiokawashi 15:16 | 21 November 2018

Thank you so much for your reply. So how is your application going? I hope they made a positive response already!

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!

Rio 10:28 | 20 December 2018

Hey all, I am rio originally from Indonesia. Currently I am a kennismigrant until 12 Feb 2019. My situation is I want to change my permit into verblijf bij partner (unmarried). Me and my bf (dutch) already live together for more than 1 year and registered in the gemeentehuis. I read on the form from IND that i've to attach "ongehuwd verklaring" or declaration that I am unmarried from my origin country. This is my biggest obstacle because it will take more than 2 months to get it from Indonesia. Is there anyone here who has similar experience? and I am open for any suggestions. Thank you

Andrea Åberg 12:04 | 6 January 2019

Hello, I am a Swedish citizen currently living in the United Kingdom with my New Zealand citizen partner. I currently study and he has a high paying income. We wish to move to the Netherlands so I may continue studying. My boyfriend wishes to look for work opportunities on arrival. Would the unmarried partnership be something we can apply for if I do not hold a full-time work contract, or salary that meets the criteria, due to study - yet my partner has savings and has proof of long term high paid salary. We have proof of living together for two years in London. How might we submit sufficient information? Thank you in advance :) Andrea

Garth Francis 14:43 | 14 January 2019

Hi there. My partner holds an EU Passport. However, she doesn't live in the Netherlands. How long does she have to be living in the Netherlands, to be able to invite me as a sponsor to obtain my residency?

Sandeep Momi 22:48 | 25 January 2019

Hi! I have one question. I am married to polish citizen and i have a residence card from Poland on the basis of marriage. Now me and my wife want to move to Netherland i want to ask is it possible to work while we apply for residence card. Our marriage is already more than 3 years. Also my wife have been self employed in Poland so is it possible to show the funds for our stay in Netherland. I just want to make sure if we move there i wanted to start work and not wait until i receive residence permit which will take i guess 3 months or something. If my wife will have some short contract of worklike 3-6 months is it going to affect our case? Thank you

Johnnie Osei-Djan 06:53 | 29 March 2019

Good day - Esteemed Members: Please, I wanna humbly inquire whether it is indeed possible for my Dutch Citizen Long Distance girlfriend petition for a Long Stay Visa on my behalf before taking the mandatory required Civil Integration Exams?

Zain-Home 00:26 | 22 May 2019

my fiance is Romanian lives in Egypt. and I hold Egyptian passport. we are planing to marry officially by Nov this year. how can we move to Netherlands after getting married here in Egypt ?!!! . what do we need to do then, and what are the income requirements for me or her, what are the minimum amount we need to deposit. I have a family member who lives in Tilburg and I ve visited him once, and I would like to move to the Netherlands, I ve been in many European and Asian countries, but I admired Netherlands the most.

ghu19 14:56 | 8 June 2019

I am a student from Mexico currently studying in Germany. I have been dating my Dutch boyfriend for almost a year. He plans to move to Germany with me to study at a university. If we enter a registered partnership, will I be able to apply for a German residence permit so that I can extend my stay? If so, what are the requirements we must meet?

Robson Pereira 00:50 | 21 July 2019

Hello. My name is Robson, Brazilian, and am married to a Dutch lady since 1994. We got married in Utrecht and, in 1997, we moved to Brazil and have lived here all this time. Now, we are looking for ways to return to Holland (her father is I'll and we fear to lose him with her here in Brazil), but all I find concerning visa is 'Family Reunion' and that is not our case. We want to return together to the Netherlands. Can you help us? Thanks for the help.

hungariando 14:31 | 15 August 2019

I'm Hungarian living in the Netherlands, and my boyfriend is Persian studying in the Netherlands for a year now. We have been together for more than 6 months now. He's not getting his work permit (to work beside university) and I'm thinking whether can we already go to the IND to get his residence permit if we prove we have been together for more than half a year? Is that allowed since he's already been living here?

Jenifer C. Velasco 10:27 | 29 August 2019

hi i am a filipino and have long lasting relationship with my polish boyfriend who is working in Netherlands, he wants to get me to live with him in netherlands ,but still im an au pair here in Denmark and still have one year left in my visa and were not living together for now, but before i used to be an au pair in netherlands, i just want to ask if wat kind of application we can apply related to my situation? thanks

gayleblack 08:03 | 17 October 2019

Hi, my name is Barbara, I'm from Philippines. I am a single mum of a 14month old. I have been dating to a dutch man for less than 6 months. He already asked me to marry him and i said yes. So he will be visiting me this January or 1st week of February 2019 together with his father. He has autism and i accept him wholeheartedly, he is divorced and has 3 children. He is afraid of flying, he was never been on an airplane in his life, but he will do it for me, he said. And because of his autism, he is stressed that im far from him. Its his first time having a long distance relationship, and i dont want him to get stressed about it everyday. My question is that, what visa will i have to apply and how can we do it? Because he wants me to follow him to the Netherlands and live together after his visitation. He dont really like the 90days visitation coz he wanted me to be there as soon as possible, and also we wanted to save money, of course. We are planning to marry here in Philippines when he will arrive or marry in the Netherlands and stay there for good. My second question is that, about my son he wanted to adopt him, change the last name to his' last name and bring him to the Netherlands for maybe after a year if i will already have the job. I really do hope you can help us with it ma'am. I hope i will have response from you. Thank you.

GwenTolentino 19:40 | 11 November 2019

Hi i am a filipina with a permanent eu/eer visa, i have a partner that is non eu for a couple of months now and would just like to check if its possible for me to apply for a partner visa through eu rules even if i have a philippine passport

Edin 12:17 | 13 December 2019

hello i am an albanian citizen i have applied for a residence permit in holland for a year now. i live for several years with a european national who lives and works with a sufficient income in holland. but the application has been rejected because the foreigners' office thinks we are committing a fraud and not living as a couple. We were denied the first application even after I appealed the decision and were again denied the right to a residence permit. We have already brought the case to court but without knowing what will happen

SwissCheese 23:10 | 20 December 2019

Hi, I was wondering, does non-Eu also include Swiss, or are those still considered EU? I am swiss and plan to move to my bf in Holland (he's dutch) and am trying to navigate through waht and how I have to or should do.

raja1980 14:18 | 7 January 2020

Hello, I am Algerian national, living/working in Dubai and holding a master degree in international law. Looking forward to joining my Dutch partner the next coming months. Just passed the Dutch language exam and now proceeding with the application. We are in a long distance relationship since one year and 9 months, and meeting very frequently (almost every 3 months). My question is: after moving to the NL, do I have to wait for 6 months to get the authorization to work as mentioned in the website? if yes, are there any exceptions to that?

maksm9696 20:56 | 20 January 2020

Hey What about this 'Schengen visas' (a.k.a. the uniform schengen visa) are granted in the form of a sticker affixed by a Member State onto a passport, travel document or other valid document which authorises its holder to cross the borders of the Schengen Area - whether their voyage through Europe is just a journey, or an adventure. Is that true?

maksm9696 20:58 | 20 January 2020

he Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders and have a uniform visa policy. It functions almost as a single country for international travel purposes, which, while still allowing member countries to add spe

Guia 12:17 | 7 February 2020

Hi im a filipina i have a dutch boyfriend- is it possible to go netherlands to be with him and get married in netherland? Any visa or requirement that i need know please--itbwould be helpful thanks so much

CelineYoung2 19:34 | 29 June 2020

Hello. I am a US citizen and my partner is French. We have been living together in the UK for a year now, and have been together for 2 years. I was wondering how I would get a visa to move to the Netherlands? My partner is starting a BA programme in a university there. I intend to find work or an internship if possible. Thank you for any advise.