Moving to the Netherlands with your non-EU partner

Moving to the Netherlands with your non-EU partner

Paid partnership

You are an unmarried EU citizen and you want to move to the Netherlands with your non-EU partner. How do you go about it? Everaert Advocaten, a respected leader in Dutch migration law, explains.

As a single EU citizen or a Swiss national, you do not need a residence permit to live and work in the Netherlands. You do not need to report to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), but you must register at the municipality where you live.

However, if you want to bring your non-EU partner to the Netherlands, you must report to the IND and prove that you have a job or other sufficient financial means to support yourself and your partner. Your partner must submit the application for verification according to EU law.

How much income do you need?

There is no standard income requirement for EU citizens. The condition is that you have sufficient resources for yourself and your family member so that you do not need any social benefits. The IND considers you an employee or self-employed person if you work at least 20 hours a week or earn at least 50% of the appropriate social benefits standard. You can also meet the condition if you have enough savings and health insurance.

Do you have to be married or registered partners?

On the basis of EU legislation, the Citizens’ Rights Directive, the non-EU spouse or registered partner has the same right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States. Because Dutch national law does not distinguish between married and unmarried persons, this right to free movement and residence also applies to unmarried non-European partners of EU citizens who live and work in the Netherlands.

In those cases, a properly confirmed, durable relationship must exist.

When is your relationship "durable"?

The Citizens’ Rights Directive contains no definition of a durable relationship. According to the IND, you must live together for at least 6 months or have a child together in order to be eligible for an EU-residence document as an unmarried partner.

This practice is contrary to (European) legislation and justice, which stipulates that a sustainable relationship can also exist as a long-distance relationship or a LAT relationship (Living Apart Together) of at least 6 months, as long as the relationship is well substantiated with supporting documents. In March 2019, the District Court of The Hague reaffirmed this interpretation of a sustainable relationship within EU law.

You and your partner must apply for an EU-residence document with the IND in person. During the appointment, a sticker will be placed in your partner’s passport. This sticker confirms the legal residence of your partner during the decision period of six months.

With this sticker, your partner must register with the municipality to receive a social security number, which is needed to open a bank account and take out health insurance.

Is your partner allowed to work?

If the IND does not doubt your relationship, the sticker in your partner's passport will state that he or she may work during the application process. This applies to married or unmarried partners who have lived together for at least six months or have a child together.

In general, unmarried non-EU persons who have not previously lived together with their partner must wait until the end of a six-months decision period before they are free to work in the Netherlands.

Are you an EU citizen and do you want to live with your unmarried non-EU partner in the Netherlands? Are you encountering any issues with or do you have questions about the procedure for EU verification? Please contact Elles Besselsen from Everaert Advocaten.

Elles Besselsen


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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