Netherlands Family Reunion Visa - Requirements | Application Guideline

You may need a Netherlands Family Reunion Visa if you want to join a family member who is living in the Netherlands. Find out if you are eligible to join them with a family or partner visa.

Netherlands Family Reunion Visa - Requirements | Application Guideline

You may need a Netherlands Family visa to relocate to the Netherlands to be with your family. However, the process for joining your family member relies on both your and their nationality. Depending on whether you or a member of your family is an EU/EEA/Swiss national or not, different regulations and procedures apply. To stay in the Netherlands, you may occasionally need a Dutch residence permit, although not always.

Netherlands Family Reunion Visa

Many people relocate to the Netherlands yearly to be with partners and family. Authorities in the Netherlands awarded 32,460 visas for family reunions in 2020. This came in second place only to residence permits due to Brexit.

The Netherlands has a two-tier immigration system, just like other nations in the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA—Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). There are fewer limitations on family members accompanying visitors from other EU/EFTA members in the Netherlands. Outsiders of the EU/EFTA typically require a visa or residence permit.

Who Needs a Netherlands Family Reunion Visa?

First and foremost, it must be made clear that a Dutch family visa refers to a residence permit issued by the Netherlands for the exclusive purpose of a family reunion visa.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens

You do not require a Dutch residency permit or Netherlands family visa if you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland and intend to visit the Netherlands to be with a family member. However, if you want to stay with your relative for some time longer than 90 days, you must register with the Dutch authorities. You are not required to apply for a Verification against EU Law (certificate of lawful residence).

Non-EU/EEA citizens

You must apply for Verification against EU Law and obtain a certificate of lawful residence if you are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland but wish to join a family member from one of these countries in the Netherlands (proof of legal residence).

Finally, if neither you nor your family member is an EU/EEA or Switzerland citizen, you must apply for a Netherlands family visa (Dutch residence permit). Suppose a family member is a citizen of the Netherlands. In that case, you will also require a Netherlands family visa (even though the Netherlands is part of the EU, Verification against EU law does not apply.)

Requirements for a Netherlands Family Reunion Visa

There are standardized Netherlands visa requirements that you must meet when applying for any form of Netherlands residence permit. Then, there are different conditions and requirements based on the type of visa.


There are several documents that you must include with your application. They are typically listed on the application form, or you may find more information from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country.

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; a 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

  • You and your spouse or registered partner must be married.
    • If not, you must demonstrate that you are engaged in a committed, long-term partnership.
  • Both of you must be older than 21.
  • In the Netherlands, you and your partner will reside.
  • Your companion must be a citizen of the Netherlands or have a current visa.
  • Your spouse or partner must demonstrate that they can assist you financially for at least the first year.
  • Your sponsor must be your partner.

Requirements for children under 18 wanting to join a parent

If you have a residence permit or are a citizen of the Netherlands and want to bring your minor child to live with you, they must meet these requirements.

  • The child must be younger than 18
  • They must be a member of your family and single (i.e., not married and without children). They are not capable of supporting themselves and living freely.
  • You must have had a valid residence permit in the Netherlands for at least a year.
  • When they arrive in the Netherlands, they must reside with you.
  • Financial support for your child is available.
  • Your child is in your possession.
  • The other parent who has custody of the child and is staying behind must sign a statement of permission.
  • You are your child's sponsor

However, note that this does not apply if you have a temporary residence permit for the following reasons: study, orientation year, intra-corporate transfers, highly skilled migrants, paid employment, self-employment, temporary asylum, medical treatment, EU Blue Card, cross-border service provider, work with NATO, foreign investor, Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or Dutch-Japanese Trade Agreement, scientific researcher, awaiting a decision on Dutch citizenship, and temporary humanitarian grounds.

Requirements for a related foster child

A child who is a family member and does not have a caregiver in their native country is brought to life with her as a foster child if you are in the Netherlands. The youngster would be moving in with a member of their immediate family, like a grandparent, sibling, uncle, or aunt.

The requirements to bring a related foster child to live with you include:

  • The child must be under 18.
  • You must be their grandparent, (half) sibling, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, or aunt.
  • You must have Dutch/EU citizenship or a valid residence permit.
  • The child cannot have a highly infectious disease, a chronic illness, or a 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 you don't have Dutch citizenship, but your child does, and you wish to join them, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a foster parent, a stepparent, or a biological parent.
  • The minor must be under the age of 18.
  • You cannot be an EU/EEA/Swiss national.
  • You are not permitted to reside in Switzerland, an EEA, or an EU member state.
  • You must participate in caring for and nurturing your child (with the other parent or alone).
  • Your ward is reliant upon you. This implies that the Netherlands must quit the EU if you cannot travel there.

How to Apply for a Netherlands Family Reunion Visa

As previously stated, the requirements for a Netherlands family visa and residence permit are the same. You can check here to see if you require a temporary stay authorization (MVV visa). You must additionally pay a non-refundable visa cost when requesting a Netherlands family visa.

How Long is the Netherlands Family Visa Valid?

If granted a Netherlands family visa, you will be subject to the same restrictions as your relative. This includes the permit's remaining validity. With a family visa, you are only permitted to stay in the Netherlands for the duration your family member will be there. The maximum term of a residence permit is five years.

Working in the Netherlands with a Family Reunion Visa

The same rules apply to your family member and your place of employment. This implies that if a member of your family requires a work permit to work, so do you. The same rules apply if you are exempt and can work without a work permit.

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Final Thoughts

The IND decides on visas, permits, citizenship, and asylum applications. You have four weeks from the date you get the IND's decision to appeal the decision if you believe the decision to deny your request for a family visa in the Netherlands is invalid. You must submit a formal objection outlining the specific grounds for your appeal. Follow the link below for more detailed information on how to apply for a Netherlands Family Reunion Visa.

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