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.


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 family member. Determination of minor age: your family member's age while signing the asylum application. The minor status will remail valid until three months after granting the asylum residence permit.
  • 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


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.


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.


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 your residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

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

Change residence permit

Has something in your situation changed that has consequences for your residence permit? Notify the IND immediately. 

Permanent stay

After you have had a residence permit for 5 years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit.

Become a Dutch citizen

After you have had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you can 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. For more information, check Regular provisional residence permit (mvv).

Independent asylum residence permit

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


​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 approved.

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


​This is a temporary travel document.