Partners and Family Members

During your stay in the South Netherlands, you might want your family members to join you. Just like you, they may need to apply for an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) and/or a resident permit. Before bringing them over you will need to choose the right procedure. As is the case with the residence permits and Authorisation for temporary stay (MVV), there are several grounds on which partners and family members of expats can get a residence permit or an MVV (authorisation for temporary stay). If you are an EU citizen, other rules apply and this information is not applicable.

Difference between partner reunification and establishing a family
If the marriage took place or the (registered) partnership was formed at a time when the principle applicant had his/her main residence in the Netherlands, this is classed as ‘establishing a family’. All other cases are classified as family reunification.    

The main difference in the procedure is the fact that for establishing a family, the required sufficient means of support are higher than in the case of family reunification. For more information, visit the IND website.  

Registering a foreign marriage and legalising foreign documents

An important factor in the procedure of bringing family members is the legalisation of documents. See for more information the paragraph Legalisation of Documents.

In this section, we will describe the family reunification or establishing a family of a highly skilled migrant or of a researcher and family reunification or establishing a family in general. Special rules apply or researchers in accordance with the EU regulation 2005/71/EC.

For more information about bringing your family, please check the Residence Wizard on the IND website. 

Procedure for Highly Skilled Migrant or Scientific Researcher

If a highly skilled migrant or a scientific researcher has a (marriage) partner and/or minor children who also wish to come to the Netherlands, it is possible that the employer submits an application on behalf of these family members and makes use of the accelerated procedure.

The employer who has an agreement with the IND to apply the highly skilled migrant procedure can use the forms on the internet to also submit an application on behalf of family members that wish to travel to the Netherlands with a highly skilled migrant (at the same time as submitting the application for the highly skilled migrant).

If the highly skilled migrant already holds a residence permit and his or her family members travel to the Netherlands at a later date, the employer can also submit the application on behalf of the highly skilled migrant using the form on the internet.

The employer will be responsible in the first instance for paying the applicable fees. If he/she is not able or willing to do so, the highly skilled migrant will be requested to pay the fees.

The advantage of bringing your family under the knowledge migrant procedure or researcher procedure is that it is much faster than the regular procedure. The IND aims to achieve advice on the MVV (which allows you to enter The Netherlands) in 2 weeks. However, you should bear in mind that the residence permit for family members cannot be issued until there is proof that the marriage is registered with the De Basisregistratie personen, BRP (Registration Municipal Personal Records database). Moreover, family members must be registered at the same address as the highly skilled migrant. Besides that, partners of knowledge migrants and researchers are free to work on the Dutch labour market during the period of the validity of the residence permit of their spouse.

Partners/spouses of highly skilled migrants and scientific researchers (following the directive) are not subjected to a civic integration examination abroad.

If you wish to stay in the Netherlands, you will need to meet the following requirements.

Conditions the partner/spouse must meet:

  • You are married to, or are the (registered) partner, of someone in the Netherlands who holds the status of a highly skilled migrant or a researcher under the EU directive 2005/71/EC.
  • You are both aged 21 or over.
  • You have a legalised marriage certificate, birth certificate(s) or a certificate of no-marriage.
  • Your husband or wife or (registered) partner has sufficient long-term means of support. Check the Residence Wizard on the IND website for more information.

A minor child must meet the following conditions (if the child wants to live with his parent(s) in the Netherlands):

  • He/she is not married, and has never been married.
  • He/she is an actual part of the family.
  • He/she has a family relationship with the parent(s) in the Netherlands with whom he/she wants to stay.
  • He/she poses no danger to the public order.
  • He/she will live with his/her parent(s) as soon as he/she arrives in the Netherlands.
  • He/she will register at the same address as his/her parent(s).
  • He/she has permission to come to the Netherlands from the parent who is staying behind in his/her country of origin.

 The parent(s) must meet the following conditions:

  • He/she has sufficient income in the Netherlands.

Family reunification or establishing a family if you are not a Highly Skilled Migrant or a Scientific Researcher following the directive 2005/71/EC

If you want to bring your family members and you are not a highly skilled migrant or a scientific researcher additional rules apply. Depending on your nationality, your family members may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, you (the sponsor in the Netherlands) or your family members can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).


If your children are over 18, they cannot come to the Netherlands for the purpose of staying with the relative but must have another reason, for example, they have a job, want to work as an au pair or are enrolled in study. 


To bring your spouse or partner to the Netherlands:


  • You and your spouse/partner must be 21 years or over.
  • You must be married or in a civil partnership; or if not, then you must be able to prove that you you are both single and in an exclusive, long-term relationship.
  • You must live together as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands, run a joint household, and be registered at the same address at the BRP.
  • Your partnership must also be registered in the Netherlands at the BRP.
  • You must prove that you have enough money for at least one year at the start of the application. Currently this is EUR 1621,95 per month for a couple. 
  • If you are a holder of a temporary permit with non-temporary purpose of stay, your partner can only join you if you have been living in the Netherlands for at least one year.

 If you have a minor joining, he/she must be: 


  • Your biological or legal child and you have a parental relationship with him/her;
  • Under 18 and single;
  • Going to live with you (you must have sufficient means to support your child).

How to apply


For an MVV/residence permit through the TEV procedure your relatives need to the Dutch embassy or consulate in their home country. The process can also be started by you, as the sponsor living in the Netherlands. In this case you need to fill in the application and send it to the IND together with all supporting documents. You will be probably also obliged to pass the Civic Integration Examination Abroad. In general, your family members must wait on the decision abroad. This might take up to 90 days.   





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