• Home
  • Turkish citizens and their family members

Turkish citizens and their family members

Here, you can read what special rules apply for Turkish employees and their family members.

In 1963, the European Union and Turkey signed an Association Treaty. The objective of this treaty is to strengthen the ties between Turkey and the EU. This is done by gradually bringing about the free movement of Turkish nationals. Restrictions are thus lifted for living in the EU and the freedom to provide services.

The lifting of restrictions applies to Turkish nationals who have the right to work in the Netherlands and their family members. These family members do not themselves have to have Turkish nationality. Family members include:

  • You are the spouse or registered partner of a Turkish employee.
  • You are the child or grandchild of a Turkish employee or of the spouse/registered partner of a Turkish employee. You are under the age of 21 or you are being supported by the Turkish employee.
  • You are the parent or grandparent of a Turkish employee or of the spouse/registered partner of a Turkish employee. You are being supported by the Turkish employee.

The treaty only applies to application for continuation of the residence in the Netherlands and not to first applications. A first application for a residence permit to stay with a family member can thus only be submitted for a spouse or (registered) partner, or a child under 18 years old. And for children born in the Netherlands.

Costs of an application (fees)

Turkish nationals pay a lower fee for applications for the following residence permits:

  • Work on a self-employed basis
  • Paid employment
  • Work experience
  • Seasonal work
  • Research under Directive (EU) 2016/801
  • Highly skilled migrant
  • Looking for a job after study, promotion or scientific research
  • Au pair
  • Residence as a family member of a Turkish citizen (also if you do not have Turkish nationality yourself). The low fee does not apply in the case that the Turkish citizen has a residence permit for medical treatment or for spending leave in the Netherlands.

The low fee applies to a first application as well as an application for a change of residence permit. Also for an application for extension or a permanent residence permit you pay a lower fee. You can find the costs for these applications on the pages extension and application for a permanent residence permit. 

The low fees also apply if you have another nationality in addition to Turkish nationality, for example Dutch nationality. Are you applying to stay with a Turkish citizen in Netherlands and does this person also have Dutch nationality? With the application, please then also send a copy of a valid Turkish passport or ID card. State in an explanation that you are doing this in order to qualify for the low fee rate.

Turkish nationals who can derive rights under the Association Treaty, and their family members, pay the following costs for an application:

Application for a residence permit with mvv: € 65
Application for a residence permit without mvv: € 51
Application for an extension of a residence permit: € 51
Application for a permanent residence permit or residence permit for long-term residents EC: € 51
Replacement of document due to loss, incorrect personal details, damage or theft: € 51

Under-aged Turkish nationals who can derive rights under the Association Treaty pay the following costs for an application:

Application for a residence permit with mvv: € 51
Application for a residence permit without mvv: € 29
Application for an extension of a residence permit: € 29
Application for a permanent residence permit or residence permit for long-term residents EC: € 29
Replacement of document due to loss, incorrect personal details, damage or theft: € 29

Do you need a return visa to travel? If you have paid the low rate for your residence permit then you will pay € 44 for the return visa.

Stay with spouse or registered partner

Are you going to stay with your Turkish spouse or registered partner in the Netherlands? And may your spouse or registered partner work in the Netherlands? Then a lower age requirement applies to you. You both have to be 18 or older. 

If you are going to live with your Turkish partner as an unmarried couple in the Netherlands, you must both be 21 or older.

The Association Treaty only applies to continuation of residence and not to first application. It is therefore only possible to bring your spouse or (registered) partner, or child under 18 to the Netherlands. You can also apply for a residence permit for your child born in the Netherlands (you yourself have a residence permit in the Netherlands). You cannot submit an application to bring your child older than 18 years old, parent(s) or grandparents, or grandchild to the Netherlands.

Does your child older than 18, parent, grandparent or grandchild already have a residence permit? They can stay in the Netherlands. And they may submit an application for continuation of their residence on the grounds of the Association Treaty.

Civic integration examination

Turkish nationals and their family members are not required to take a civic integration course or examination. 

You do not need to take the civic integration examination abroad if you have Turkish nationality or are a family member of someone with Turkish nationality.

You also do not need to have passed the civic integration examination if you apply for a humanitarian non-temporary residence permit after a 5-year stay with spouse or partner. This is also the case if you are applying for a permanent residence permit.

Sponsorship

The IND cannot require that you have a (recognised) sponsor if you want to come to the Netherlands for the following purposes of stay:

  • Paid employment.
  • Highly skilled migrant.
  • Researcher under Directive (EU) 2016/801.
  • Spiritual counsellor.

This means that you yourself can submit an application. The IND does recommend that you let the employer act as sponsor. When a recognised sponsor submits an application, the application is completed sooner.

If you do choose to submit the application yourself, you can use the "Application for a residence permit in connection with the Convention between the European Union and Turkey." You can find this form at the bottom of this page or on the page of the purpose of stay that you want to apply for.

Residence permit for work on a self-employed basis

To apply for a residence permit to work on a self-employed basis, the IND asks advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) on the business activities to be carried out. RVO uses a points system for this. On 29 September 2010 (200908205/1/V2), the Administrative Law Division of the Council of State ruled that the points system, especially the knowledge and innovation components, is contrary to the standstill provision of the Turkish Association Agreement. This means that the IND is not allowed to use the points system as an assessment framework for Turkish nationals who want to work in the Netherlands as self-employed persons.

Are you a Turkish citizen and are you applying for a residence permit to work on a self-employed basis? You must demonstrate the essential Dutch interest of your company in the business plan that you submit with your application. The business plan must show that your company is viable. Your company must be able to compete in the free market economy. Your company must respond to a need in the Netherlands and make a positive contribution to the Dutch economy. Your company may not, for example, interfere with the free market economy and the labour market. Your business plan must be substantiated with figures. 

The IND checks if your business plan is complete and fully substantiated. Then, the IND sends your business plan to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The RVO assesses, on behalf of the Minister of Economic Affairs, whether your company serves an essential Dutch interest. The RVO may require additional documents. This then goes through the IND. You thus have no contact with the RVO.

Employment rights

Do you have Turkish citizenship and do you work in paid employment or are you a self-employed person? After 3 years, you are free on the Dutch labour market. This means that after 3 years of working in the Netherlands, you no longer need a work permit (TWV) if you want to work in paid employment.

Purposes of stay for nationals of Turkey and family members of Turkish nationals

Under the Association Treaty, Turkish nationals and/or their families may apply for the following permits:

Paid employment on the basis of the Association Treaty between the European Union and Turkey

You can get a residence permit for paid employment under the Association Treaty if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have already worked a minimum of 1 year for a Dutch employer.
  • You have had a valid residence permit during the entire period that you worked for this employer.
  • You will continue to work for the same employer.

If you get this residence permit, you do not need a work permit (TWV) to work for this Dutch employer. Are you going to work for another employer? Your employer must have a work permit (TWV) to allow you to work as an employee if you have not yet worked for at least 3 years in the Netherlands.

Continued residence after a stay with a family member

You can get a residence permit for continued residence after a stay with a family member if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have been living in the Netherlands for a minimum of 3 years with a residence permit to stay with a family member with a non-temporary right of residence or who has Dutch citizenship.
  • You meet the conditions for extending the period of validity of the original residence permit.

Job-seeking year after termination of marriage of 3 years (the last year of which in the Netherlands)

You can obtain a residence permit for looking for and carrying out work, whether or not as a paid employee (job-seeking year) if you meet the following conditions:

  • You were married for a minimum of 3 years or you had a registered partnership for a minimum of 3 years with a person with a non-temporary right of residence.
  • You had, for at least 1 year immediately before the termination of your marriage or registered partnership, lived in the Netherlands with a residence permit to stay with your spouse or registered partner.

Continued residence after job-seeking year after termination of marriage of 3 years

You can get a residence permit for continued residence after a job-seeking year if you meet the following conditions:

  • You now have a temporary residence permit for looking for and carrying out work, whether or not as a paid employee (job-seeking year).
  • You have found paid employment or have started work on a self-employed basis during the validity of this residence permit.
  • You will have that work for at least 1 more year.
  • You have an independent sufficient long-term income.

3-year policy

You can get a residence permit under the 3-year policy if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are a Turkish national.
  • You have been in the procedure to obtain a residence permit with the purpose of stay to work on a self-employed basis for more than 3 years.
  • You are still in the procedure for a residence permit with the purpose of stay to work on a self-employed basis.
  • You have had lawful residence for the whole time you were in procedure for this residence permit.

Application forms

Use the following form for the following applications:

  • Paid employment on the basis of the Association Treaty EU-Turkey
  • Job-seeking year after termination of marriage
  • Continued residence after job-seeking year
  • Three-year policy
  • Work as a highly skilled migrant if you do not want the sponsor (employer) submitting the application
  • Researcher Directive (EU) 2016/801 if you do not want the sponsor (employer) submitting the application

The application forms for all other purposes of stay can be found on the page of that purpose of stay.

Checklist for documents

The application form lists the documents that you have to enclose with the application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

How to send documents to the IND:

  • You only send copies of your documents, single-sided and on A4 paper.
  • The copies must be complete and legible.
  • Write down your V-number or client number on each copy. If you do not know these numbers, then please write your name and date of birth on each copy.
  • Do not send USB sticks, CDs or DVDs.
  • You keep the original documents yourself.​

Being supported by

​A family member is being supported by a Turkish national and/or his spouse (or registered partner) if this Turkish national and/or his spouse (or registered partner) pay for the life support of this family member. The reason for this is that the family member does not have (enough) money to support himself and is also not able to earn his own money.