Harder for unmarried couples to get Dutch permit

Contrary to European law, the Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND) scrutinize applications based on EU law for unmarried couples more strictly. Modern relationships very often start nowadays in the virtual space and due to increasing workforce mobility, couples do not always live together and are unable to provide official evidence from government authorities. In addition, in most countries it is not common to register on addresses so extracts from townhalls cannot be obtained neither is property shared in all instances. In some countries registration at the same address is even forbidden under national laws especially in cases of same-sex couples. These couples have an extremely hard time to prove a sustainable relationship for the last six months. 

The strict requirement imposed by the IND to prove a shared household and living together at the same address for at least six months prior to submitting an application seems outdated.


In practice, the Dutch Immigration Authorities appear to be more flexible to grant a residence permit to applicants who earn an extraordinarily salary or have huge savings. 


EU law does not define the concept of a sustainable relationship and a recent court ruling by a Dutch court has affirmed that also long-distance relationships and relationships in which the couple lives apart from each other need to be taken into account and cannot just be rejected on the grounds that the relationship is not sustainable. 


It will be interesting to be see how the IND will deal with future applications of unmarried couples of whom one partner is a non-EU national under the EU route given the recent ruling.


Are you a foreign national and consider applying for a residence permit with an EU citizen?

Expat Management Group has successfully assisted private individuals with appeal procedures and can assist you with initial applications and appeal procedures if needed.

Please contact our expert in EU verification cases, Anja Seling at seling@expatmanagementgroup.com

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