The story of Hatice

IND brings people together

Falling in love with someone living abroad often happens. Do you want to start living together in the Netherlands? Then you may have to apply to the IND for a residence permit. Decision staff member Hatice Acun processes these applications.
Hatice staat buiten voor een raam en lacht
Photo of Hatice
We are sensitive to the personal circumstances of customers

How does she determine whether someone is eligible for this residence permit? ‘Legislation forms the basis,’ says Hatice. ‘First, I check whether the requirements for a residence permit have been met. But we aren’t, nor should we be robots. Our decisions greatly influence people’s personal lives. That is why we are sensitive to the personal circumstances of customers. Looking at matters from their perspective is an important part of my job as decision staff member. Of course you must find a good balance, but the combination is what makes the job interesting for me. It’s meaningful work.’ 

Human dimension 

‘I have wanted to make efforts for people from a young age. The IND is the admission organisation and it brings people together. That’s why I wanted to work here. When I talk to clients on the phone, I try to explain as best as I can which documents they need for the application. Sometimes, I notice my helpfulness leaves the impression that a decision will be positive. But that’s not how it works. Therefore, I say that we reject an application if the requirements are not met. We don’t lose sight of the human dimension and we look for a different solution so that people can stay together. Every week, I discuss special situations with my colleagues in team consultations.’ 

Other options 

‘For example, I recently got an application from a Dutch man who wanted to have his Mexican wife come to the Netherlands. They could demonstrate their marriage by means of a translated and legalised marriage certificate and also met the other requirements, except the income requirement. The man had had his own business for only half a year. As a result, he didn’t have sustainable access to sufficient income. So the application for the residence permit was rejected. Still, I did see possibilities, so I discussed their situation in the team consultation. In the decision, I pointed out two other applications they could submit next.’

Section 64 Aliens Act and Chavez-Vilchez

‘His wife was with him in the Netherlands and heavily pregnant. She could stay here legally until 6 weeks after delivery because of her medical situation if she appealed to Section 64 of the Aliens Act. That’s what she did. By now, they have also submitted an application based on the Chavez-Vilchez ruling. In it, it will be assessed whether the mother can stay with her Dutch child. If this application is granted, she will have 5 years right of residence. In about a year they can apply for the residence permit they wanted originally. Then the husband will be able to demonstrate that he has sustainable access to sufficient income if he still has his company.’

Being together

‘I’ve done all I could. So I close this file with a good feeling. I understand that these are interim solutions for clients. They still don’t have what they want. For them, it may be a longer road than they had hoped for. But I have been able to do something for these people. They can be together as a family. And perhaps after a while, the woman will have the residence permit she wanted, even though they had to make a detour.’

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