How to bring your non-EU partner to the Netherlands

How to bring your non-EU partner to the Netherlands

Paid partnership

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

There are different routes to bring non-EU partners to the Netherlands, depending on whether the partner’s application will be filed under Dutch law or via EU regulations.

Applying under Dutch or EU law

An application may be filed under EU law if the sponsoring partner is a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland living in the Netherlands.

A Dutch national may also take advantage of EU regulations if he or she has previously asserted rights as an EU citizen.

For example, a Dutch national who has resided and worked in another EU country with their partner could then file an application in the Netherlands via EU law.

If this is not the case, citizens of the Netherlands will need to sponsor their non-EU partner under the Dutch national scheme (Dutch law), which also applies to non-Dutch sponsors who are not citizens of the EU/EER or Switzerland.

Differences between Dutch and EU law

A significant difference between the Dutch national scheme and EU partner regulation lies in the nature of the right being asserted by the sponsoring partner.

Under the Dutch scheme, a partner requests that his or her non-EU partner be granted the right to reside in the Netherlands as a dependent.

Under EU law, that right already exists and rather needs to be verified by the authorities. For this reason, an application under EU law is referred to as "Verification against EU Law".

Requirements for qualifying partnerships

Dutch law provides that both married and unmarried partners, including same-sex partners, may qualify for partner permits.

Unmarried partners will need to establish that they are not married to other third parties. A so-called "certificate of unmarried status" from the partner’s home country is required in most cases and partners should provide a copy of their divorce decree if married in the past.

Verification against EU Law requires that the unmarried partnership’s "exclusive" and "durable" nature be verified by showing that the partners have been sharing a household for at least six months prior to filing the application.

However, there are court decisions holding that is possible to prove exclusivity and durability by other means than proof of cohabitation. De Vreede Advocaten prevailed at the Court of Amsterdam in a case with substantial proof of an exclusive and durable relationship, but no cohabitation history whatsoever.

Under the Dutch national scheme, there is no requirement to prove that the partnership has existed in the past. However in both cases, a questionnaire included in the application provides information about the partnership and questions could be asked on the basis of that questionnaire.

Application process

When applying with the Dutch Immigration Department (IND) the sponsoring partner will need to establish that he or she has sufficient income to support the non-EU partner financially.

Under the Dutch scheme, the 2015 income requirements for married and unmarried partners living together are 1621,95 euros per month, plus an eight per cent holiday allowance. Proof of income requirements under EU law are far more relaxed.

The Dutch scheme requires an MVV Visa for partners of applicable nationality. Partners applying under EU-law are exempt from the MVV visa requirement.

Depending on the residency right of the sponsor, a non-EU partner may be required to pass the Dutch language test before coming to the Netherlands. This does not apply to non-MVV visa nationals. For example, the American partner of a Dutch national will not be required to take the language test.

Regardless of the basis of the partnership application, once your application is submitted with IND it will typically take three to six months before a decision is made.

For more information, or if you require legal advice on the application for your non-EU partner, contact De Vreede Advocaten.

This article was co-authored by Christine Sullivan, specialist in residence permits for USA nationals, and Reinier Wolters, head of the employment practice at De Vreede Advocaten.

De Vreede Advocaten

Christine  Sullivan


Christine Sullivan

Christine is an Attorney and Manager based in the Brussels office of Fragomen Worldwide. Christine acts as key point-of-contact for individuals who wish to be employed, work as self-employed or...

Read more



Leave a comment

Christiaan Boer 10:41 | 7 September 2017


Jenny Medeiros 18:29 | 31 March 2018

Very useful info! Would you happen to know how it would work if I (an EU national) am in a long-term partnership with a British citizen and we want to move to the Netherlands after March 2019 (post-brexit)? We had planned to move there for ages and right when we were getting ready to, Brexit happened! Looking for other ways we can both get there (we're self-employed).

Godwin K. Dwuma... 18:09 | 19 July 2018

Hi,this is very important information. I'm in Ghana and I have been dating one pretty Netherlands lady which we have planned to get married probably this year. The problem is I haven't been to Netherlands before and my partner wants me to come over so we can get married. What's the way forward to get visa to the Netherlands since I'm not a member ofor the EU.this is my email godwingyasi82@Gmail. Com.would be glad if you contact me. Thank you

Lucky Ayushman 10:25 | 19 November 2018

Hi. I am a student living in the netherlands. I am from Nepal and i am married two years ago with a girl from my country. I want to bring here in Netherlands and don't know anything how it works. Can you please help me with that.

Rio 10:36 | 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

NikhilC 16:00 | 9 February 2019

Hello, Thank you for the article its very informative. I'm in India and I have been in a relationship with Polish girl who is currently working in Netherlands. We have planning to get married probably this year. The problem is I haven't been to Netherlands before and my partner wants me to come over so we can get married. What's the way forward to get a partner visa to the Netherlands since I'm not a member of the EU. Looking forward for your reply. Thank you

rida 23:19 | 15 May 2019

Hey good evening please, i just need some help with this question please, my girlfriend she’s from netherlands and i from Morocco, i visit her a lot with my visit visa, and now we planning to get married but she’s not working but she have income from her parents monthly, my question is : if we get married i can live in netherlands with her, or she must be working first, thanks in advance. My email : [email protected]

Anienke Karsten 19:28 | 20 January 2020

Good day thank you very much for the informative information, i am an Namibian citizen, currently Au pairing in France. Before i cam i met my now boyfriend who has Dutch citizenship in Namibia. I want to move to him after my year in France. My question is, is there a a specific time how long you and your partner must be in a relationship before we can apply for the partner visa? Thank you in advance

KateBrookie2 21:02 | 5 May 2022

Is the income threshold shared income? My partner is Dutch and I am a New Zealander - planning on moving to Amsterdam shortly. I have a job offer (but it is under the highly skilled migrants income threshold for over 30 year olds). My partner is Dutch but has been accepted into a Masters programme at University of Amsterdam. Would he still be able to sponsor me for a partner visa if he doesn't have an income (due to university study). If I already have a job at the time of application would that income be considered?