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FAQ journey in connection with family reunification with an asylum seeker

You would like your family members to join you in the Netherlands. To travel to the Netherlands they need a special visa. You can apply for for this visa for them. The visa is called a Regular Provisional Residence Permit (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or mvv). The IND decides whether the Dutch diplomatic or consular representation will issue an mvv. On arrival in the Netherlands, your family member(s) may receive a temporary residence permit valid for 5 years.

How long do you have to wait for a decision on your mvv application for family reunification?

The IND processes applications in the order in which they have been submitted. Dutch law provides that the decision period for family reunification is three months. Legally, the IND can extend this term by three months. When the IND receives your application, we send you a letter. This indicates the decision period of three months, or an (extended) period of six months. You can help the IND to process your application quickly, for example by completing the application carefully and in full. A decision can be taken more quickly on applications from family members who have the necessary documents. These are original, official documents from the authorities of the country of origin regarding your family member's identity, nationality and family relationship to you. You can also provide non-official, supporting documents. These can be all sorts of documents which you think will support your application. Therefore, send all these documents directly together with the application.

When will you receive a decision on an application for review?

The IND processes applications for review in the order in which they have been submitted. The legal decision period for the review procedure is 19 weeks. The IND can extend this period by 6 weeks.

What happens if you submit an asylum application for an mvv without all the required documents/data? For example, you send some documents later after submitting the application form.

You have to send the correct documents and data together with the application form. This form states clearly what kind of documents these are: official documents from the authorities of the country of origin and non-official, indicative documents. Would you like to first complete the application form and then send additional documents or data afterwards? Make sure you send the additional documents and information as soon as possible after submitting the application. Do not wait until the IND starts processing your application. Have you sent in your application with all the requested documents and data? Then the IND may be able to take a decision regarding your application sooner. Does the IND need to investigate something regarding your application? For example to conduct DNA research or an interview? This can be done more quickly when you have already sent in all necessary documents. Has the IND started to process your application? And are any of the required documents or data missing? Then the IND cannot continue to process your application. The IND will send you a letter to rectify the omission. This takes extra time. If you cannot supply the required documents or data on time, the IND can reject your application.

How long do the various investigations take for an asylum application for an mvv for family reunification?

The IND tries to keep the duration of the investigations as short as possible. Sometimes you have to wait longer for a decision on your application. This is because of fluctuations in the number of applications and flexible placement of IND staff. Furthermore the IND depends for several investigations on others. Mostly these are Dutch representatives abroad like embassies. Dutch representatives also have a fluctuating work schedule. They can investigate more quickly when they have the right documents and contact details, in particular identification and documents for crossing borders like passports. Or the right contact details for your family members.

You wish to submit an asylum application for an mvv for your family member for family reunification. How can you ensure that the procedure is not delayed?

Use the proper application form. And fill this in carefully and in full. Send the completed form in good time to the IND. And make sure you send it together with all requested attachments and translations. Translations must be made by a sworn translator who is registered in the Netherlands.

Can the IND prioritise the processing of an mvv application for family reunification?

Prioritising an application is only possible in highly exceptional cases. For example for urgent, life-threatening, medical reasons. Is an asylum application pending for an mvv for family reunification involving a medical emergency? Then this must be reported to the IND. The IND has made arrangements for this with the Dutch Council for Refugees (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland or VWN). Please therefore first report medical emergency cases to VWN. VWN employees know how to pass on medical emergencies to the IND. When the IND receives an emergency case it decides whether the application needs to be processed more quickly.

Another IND employee was previously handling your mvv application. This employee has indicated that they are no longer dealing with your case. What does this mean for your application?

The IND places its employees where they are needed the most. This means that an employee's responsibilities sometimes change. The application procedure will not take longer because the employee responsible changes. Do you have any questions about your application? Then you have to contact the employee who is handling your application.

The IND has declined the first mvv application in consultation with you. But the initial mvv application was submitted within three months after you received a temporary asylum residence permit (the reunification period). Your family members have now submitted a new mvv application. Does IND deal with these applications as a priority?

No. The IND deals with all mvv applications for family reunification in the order  in which they arrive. This also applies to new applications from family members with similar previous applications. The IND can decide on new applications faster when they are complete. This means that you have sent all requested official and supporting documents and data together with the application. For example, about their identity, nationality and family relationship to you.

An mvv application is not yet being processed by an IND employee. Can you call the IND about the status of an application?

You can phone the IND yourself for enquiries on the status of your application (088-0430430). VWN employees can call the General IND Chain Service. The same applies for lawyers and partners in the asylum chain. Is your application still not being processed by an IND employee? Then it is not yet known when the IND will start processing your application. This is because of the large volume of applications and the flexible placement of staff. The IND will process the oldest applications first. Is your application still waiting to be dealt with? Then, the IND advises you not to call the IND everyday. This will not lead to a faster handling of your application.

Your mvv application is not yet being processed by the IND. Can you still send in documents, additional information and data?

Yes. You should have sent all the required documents and data together with the application. This is not always possible. In that case  you can send these to the IND later. The IND will place the supporting documents and data in your file. It is in your interests that the IND has all required documents and data. Has the IND started handling your application and is all information complete? Then an IND employee can decide on the application more quickly.  

You have applied for an independent asylum residence permit. Is it already possible for your family members to join you from abroad?

You must first have an independent asylum residence permit. You can only submit an mvv application for your family afterwards. You must do this on time. On time means within three months after receiving your asylum permit. It is not certain beforehand whether your family can join you. It can take a long time before you will know whether your family can actually come to the Netherlands.

The IND has agreed to issue a regular provisional residence permit. Who pays for your family members to travel to the Netherlands?

Certain requirements apply to regular applications for family reunification. These are rules which the application must meet. For example the means requirement. However, these requirements do not apply to family reunification with an admitted asylum seeker. As a result of this, temporarily separated families of admitted asylum seekers can be quickly reunited. You or your family members pay for their travel. Is VWN assisting you? Then it is possible to ask for partial compensation. Part of the travel fees can be paid from of the Refugees Fund. Ask your contact at VWN regarding options.

You are an independent minor asylum seeker with an asylum residence permit. You wish to be reunited with your parent(s) and brother(s) or sister(s). Which application form should you use for this purpose?

For an application for your parent(s) use the Dutch or English form: Application for a Regular Provisional Residence Permit – persons making a journey in connection with family reunification with an asylum seeker(647). For an application for your brother(s) and sister(s) use the Dutch or English form: Application for the purpose of residence of family members and relatives (sponsor).