Family member of refugee

You wish to travel to the Netherlands to live with your family member.

Your family member has been granted a temporary asylum residence permit for the Netherlands. You are the spouse or partner, the parent of (foster) child of your family member. You wish to be considered for a dependent asylum residence permit.

Conditions

You and your family member have to meet the following conditions:

  • You belong to your family member's family. Your family member is holder of a temporary asylum residence permit in the Netherlands. You are:
    • The legally married or unmarried partner with whom your family member has a durable, exclusive relationship. Only 1 partner can come over to the Netherlands.
    • The minor child of your family member or partner of your family member. The child must belong to the family member's family. This applies to biological, adoptive and foster children. Only the children of the partner who is coming to the Netherlands or already is in the Netherlands can come over. Children of other partners do not get a residence permit.
    • The young adult child up to around 25 years old that indeed belongs to your family member's family. The family bond with its family member has not been broken. This applies to biological, adoptive and foster children. For children over 25 years old more than normal emotional ties must also exist. 
    • The biological father or mother of the unaccompanied, minor and unmarried family member.
  • You travelled to the Netherlands at the same time with your family member or you had arrived earlier. Or you submit your own application for a temporary asylum residence permit on time. On time means within a period of 3 months after your family member has been given his temporary asylum residence permit. The 3-month term is called the journey in connection with family reunification period. This period starts the day after your family member has received the asylum residence permit. An application for a provisional residence permit (mvv) journey in connection with family reunification within 3 months is a timely application. 
  • You were already part of your family member's family abroad. And you still are during your family member's journey to the Netherlands.
  • Your family member has an independent asylum residence permit.
  • Your family member has mentioned you during the asylum procedure.
  • You and your partner are both 18 years or older.
  • You do not have a criminal record. As of 12 years of age you sign an antecedents certificate for this with your application. 
  • As of 15 years of age you sign a certificate of non-impediment with your application.
  • If you are a child of the family member in the Netherlands: your biological (custodial) parent who is staying behind, has given permission for your departure to the Netherlands.
  • Your partner, parent or child declares that he or she is your sponsor.
  • You have to prove your identity and your family ties with your family member as much as is possible with documents. These are official documents from the government in your country. Or unofficial and supporting documents if there are no official ones.

Can you not submit an application within 3 months? You will then have to follow the regular procedure for stay with a family member

Costs

You do not have to pay for this application.  

Checklist documents

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

More information can be found in the answers to these frequently asked questions.

 

Steps in the application procedure

1. Submit application

To travel to the Netherlands, you need a special visa. This visa is called a provisional residence permit (mvv). The mvv is placed as a sticker in your passport. 

There are 2 ways to start the application.

  • Your family member applies to the IND in the Netherlands.
    Use the application form. The form is at the bottom of this page. Your  family member sends the application form together with the required documents to the IND by post. Make sure to have your passport photo enclosed with the form. This must be a photo that resembles you well. An antecedents certificate that is signed by you must also be enclosed. With this you state not to have a criminal past.
  • You apply to the Dutch representation in your own country or the country of continuous residence.
    You submit the application to the Dutch Representation (embassy or consulate). For the application form and to submit the application, please first contact the Dutch representation. You can do this by telephone or by email. When you submit the application, a staff member of the embassy will take your biometric data. This means having your fingerprints taken. And writing your signature. You must bring your own passport photo with you. The Dutch representation forwards your application to the IND.

The IND recommends your family member to start the application. This helps save unnecessary travel costs should the IND reject your application.

2. Receipt and check application

​Your family member will get a letter once the IND has received your application. This is called a confirmation letter. This letter states the date the IND has received your application and within which period the IND makes a decision.

3. Check completeness application

The IND will check whether your application is complete. An application is complete when you have filled in all the information. And you have enclosed the correct documents.

Is the application not complete? Or is the IND missing requested documents? Then, the procedure takes more time. Your family member will get a letter (to rectify the omission). This letter explains how you can complete the application. And before which date you have to do this. Do you need more time? Please then call the staff member who is handling your application. The staff member's telephone number is mentioned in the letter. Staff members from the Dutch Council for Refugees (Vluchtelingenwerk) can also help you.

4. Document research

Documents have to show who you are. And what your relationship is with your family member in the Netherlands. The IND will investigate if your documents are authentic. 

Don't you have official documents? Then you have to clarify the reasons for this to the IND. In addition it is important to support your identity and relationship with non-official documents.

5. DNA test

​Can you clarify why you do not have the documents that were asked for? And you are the biological parent or biological child of your family member? The IND will then ask you to cooperate in taking a DNA test. This can prove that you are the parent or child of your family member in the Netherlands.

6. Interview at the Dutch representation

​Sometimes the documents you submit are not enough. Or, you can explain the reasons why you do not have the documents that were asked for. It may also be that a DNA test is not possible. The IND can then invite you to participate in an interview. This takes place in an office of the Dutch representation abroad. You can explain who you are during that interview. And what your relationship is with your family member. The IND can also invite your family member for an interview in the Netherlands.

7. Decision

​The IND waits until the results of all the investigations are known. The IND then checks whether you meet all the conditions. You will receive a decision on your application. Your family member will get this decision.

  • Negative decision
    If you do not meet all the conditions, the IND will reject your application. You can apply for a review of this decision.
  • Positive decision
    If you meet all the conditions, your application will be approved. The IND sends this decision to your family member. Your family member will tell you what decision the IND has made. The IND also sends the decision to the Dutch representation.

8. Collect mvv

You can now collect the mvv from the Dutch representation that you have filled in on the application form, or where you have submitted the application. You must do this within 3 months after the positive decision. Please make an appointment for this with the representation.

If your partner has applied in the Netherlands, you give your biometric information when you collect the residence permit. This means having your fingerprints taken. And writing your signature. You must bring your own passport photo with you. The passport photo has to meet certain conditions.

A staff member of the Dutch representation places the mvv-sticker in your passport. And explains to you what an mvv is. Do you not have a passport? You can usually get a Dutch laissez-passer.

9. Travel to the Netherlands

Once you have collected your mvv, you can travel to the Netherlands. The mvv is valid for 90 days. The validity is shown on the mvv sticker. The mvv sticker shows 2 dates:

  • Effective date: as of this date the mvv is valid.
  • End date: as of this date the mvv is no longer valid.

The mvv allows you to travel within the Schengen Area.

 

10. Asylum procedure following family members of refugee

​The mvv is valid for 90 days. Within these 90 days, you have to travel to the Netherlands and report to the IND in Ter Apel. You must report to the IND within 3 days after your arrival. However, the IND advises you to do so on the same day you enter the Netherlands. You do not have to make an appointment.

The asylum procedure in the reception centre in Ter Apel usually takes 4 days. You stay the night at the reception centre. So, take clothes and toiletries with you. A couple of things will take place during your appointment at your reception centre:

  • An IND staff member will check your identity and biometric information (i.e. passport photo, fingerprints, signature). Is there no biometric information available? Then the IND will take these now.
  • You will undergo a TB test. Asylum seekers from certain countries are not tested for TB.
  • You will be informed about the procedure by the Dutch Council for Refugees (VluchtelingenWerk).
  • You will have a (short) interview with the IND. The IND gives you a letter stating that you receive an asylum residence permit. And hands over your residence permit. If this is not possible, the IND will further explain the procedure.
  • Sometimes more research is required. Then, the procedure will take longer.
  • You will have a short interview with a staff member from the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). This organisation arranges the reception.
  • The procedure takes usually 4 days. In some cases the IND refers you to a longer procedure.
  • You will have an interview with a staff member from the municipality. The municipality registers your personal details in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).
  • On the last day you will leave the reception centre. You will go to your family member’s house. If that is not possible yet, both the COA and the council will arrange your reception.

Submit an independent asylum application

In the Netherlands you will get a contingent (dependent) asylum residence permit as a family member travelling in connection with family reunification. The IND may withdraw your residence permit if the family tie between you and your family member ends. For example, when you are no longer in a relationship. Or, when your child is going to move out and live independently within a year.

Do you wish to apply for an independent asylum residence permit? You can inform the IND during your interview. In that case, you then follow a full asylum procedure in the Netherlands. The IND will then assess if you need protection from the Dutch Government. If so, you will get a temporary asylum residence permit. If the outcome is negative, you will still be granted an asylum residence, but than as a dependant.

The procedure for an independent asylum residence permit takes more time. This means that you have to stay in the reception centre for a longer period of time.

If you get an independent asylum residence permit later on you can not be a sponsor yourself for future family members.

Application forms and costs

Application for a 'Regular Provisional Residence Permit - persons making a journey in connection with family reunification with an asylum seeker'7539

​Use this form if you have a temporary asylum residence permit and you want to apply for your spouse, partner, or (foster) child who is still abroad.

Checklist 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 (clear enough to be read).
  • 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. You have to show these documents to the Dutch representation abroad.

Costs application

You do not have to pay for this application. 

Download  

After the application

If you get a temporary asylum residence permit

With a temporary asylum residence permit you may stay in the Netherlands. Also, you may work in the Netherlands. You do not need a work permit for this. Other family members that have stayed behind cannot get an asylum residence permit based on your asylum residence permit as a dependant. The staff of the Dutch Council for Refugees (VWN) can give you more information.

Residence Permit

During the procedure for persons making a journey in connection with family reunification, you will get your residence permit within 4 days. If this is not possible, the IND will further explain the procedure. In that case, you will later on receive a letter from the IND. This letter tells you where and when you can collect the residence permit. This will be at one of the IND desks in the Netherlands. The letter tells you which IND Desk you have to go to collect your permit. This is usually near your place of residence. Your residence permit is valid for 5 years.

Every citizen in the Netherlands, from the age of 14, has to carry identification. During checks by the Government everyone has to be able to show an identity document. Therefore, always carry your residence permit with you.

As a family member you cannot be a sponsor

You came to The Netherlands as a family member of a holder of an asylum residence permit. In most cases a family member belongs to only one family. A young adult for instance cannot belong to the family of his parents on one hand and having his own family with a (marital) partner on the other. In this and other cases you cannot be the sponsor for other family members. Not even when you have an indepent asylum residence permit yourself.

Rights and obligations

Registration with the municipality

You must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) of the municipality where you live. Generally, this has already been done during the procedure. If not, you must still do this. In that case, take the positive decision with you to the municipality where you are staying. Also, bring along your personal documents from the authorities of your own country, if possible. For example, birth certificate, marriage certificate and identity document.

Registration in the BRP is important. Many organisations in the Netherlands can only help you if you are registered in the BRP.  

Check that the municipality has registered your name and date of birth correctly. Also check the data of your children. It is difficult to change that data at a later date. 

If you move, you must have that municipality change your address in the BRP.

Housing

If you are given an asylum residence permit, you have the right to a house in a municipality. Staff members of the Dutch Council for Refugees can help you further in taking care of important matters. For example, finding work or an education. 

Take out health insurance

It is required by law in the Netherlands to have health insurance This allows you to get medical help. You must arrange health insurance yourself when leaving the COA reception centre. With health insurance, you can register with a general practitioner (doctor) or dentist.  

Civic integration in the Netherlands

If you have a temporary asylum residence permit, you must take a civic integration courseYou need to learn Dutch this way. You will receive a letter from the Education Executive Agency (DUO) on the obligation to integrate.

Further applications

Replace residence permit

Is your residence permit damaged, lost or stolen? In that case, have the residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit due to expire soon? Apply for an extension.

Permanent stay

After having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Becoming a Dutch citizen

After having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for Dutch citizenship.

Dependent asylum residence permit

​A temporary asylum residence permit to live with your family member in the Netherlands.

Provisional residence permit (mvv)

​The provisional residence permit (mvv) is a visa you need if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days.

Independent asylum residence permit

​The residence permit for asylum was given because there was a personal need for protection.

Sponsor

​A sponsor is a person, employer or organisation that has an interest in the arrival of the foreign national in the Netherlands. A sponsor has rights, but also obligations with regard to the foreign national. The sponsor can start the application for the foreign national from the Netherlands .

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

Country of continuous residence

​A country of continuous residence is a country (other than the country of origin) where you may lawfully live for more than 3 months. This means you have a valid residence permit for that country. Or that you are waiting for your application for a residence permit to be aproved.

Are you in a country in your free term? Of with a visa for short stay (maximum of 3 months)? This is not continuous residence.

Laissez-passer

​This is a temporary travel document.