Residence permit for your partner: procedure

You would like your non-EU family member to come and live with you in the Netherlands. Your family member needs a residence permit for this. On this page you can find out how to apply for a residence permit.

Watch the video 'How do I apply for a residence permit for a family member?'


You will now read how to apply for the residence permit.

Provisional residence permit (visa)

In order to travel to the Netherlands, your family member needs a special visa, a provisional residence permit (mvv). You must apply for the mvv and residence permit at the same time. Sometimes your family member does not need an mvv.

Your partner does not need an mvv? Then your partner may travel to the Netherlands before the application

But the IND advises that you first apply and wait for the decision. After a positive decision your partner travels to the Netherlands.

You do not live in the Netherlands

Then the procedure is a little bit different than describe in Steps application procedure.

Your partner needs an mvv

You submit the application at the Dutch embassy in the country where you live (or a neighbouring country). The embassy sends the application to the IND. Is the decision positive? Then your partner collects the mvv at the embassy. After collecting the mvv you both travel to the Netherlands within 3 months. Other than this the procedure is the same as describe in Steps application procedure. 

Your partner does not need an mvv

You travel to the Netherlands together. Here you start the application. For this you follow the procedure described in Steps application procedure.

Steps application procedure

In order to apply for (an mvv and) a regular residence permit you will have to make a lot of arrangements. Good preparation is therefore important. Here we help explain what you need to do in several steps.

  • 1. Check whether you meet the conditions

    ​Under Conditions you check whether you and your partner meet the conditions. Your partner must often first take the foreign basic civil integration examination. You can also find out whether your partner has to take this exam under Conditions. Another condition is that the sponsor has independent, sufficient and sustainable income. Find out if your income meets the conditions under Income.

  • 2. Collect all documents

    ​In your application you must show that you meet the conditions. You do this with documents. See the checklist for which documents these are. You can make a personal checklist on the results page of the conditions checker. Collect the documents on your checklist before you submit the application. Start on time, because this sometimes takes a long time, for example because you need to have documents from abroad. You often need to have foreign documents legalised and translated.

  • 3. Fill in the form

    ​Have you collected all documents? Then you can fill in the form. You can usually submit the application online on our website. We guide you step-by-step through the online form with the help of questions. This is often easier and faster than filling in a paper form. You have to print out and fill in the paper form yourself.

  • 4. Check the form and submit your application

    ​Before submitting the form, check whether you have filled in everything correctly and that you have attached all the documents. In this way you prevent your application from taking longer because we have to ask you for additional documents.

    When applying online you scan the documents and then upload them in the online application. You send the application via

    Are you using the paper form? Then send the form with the requested documents by post.

  • 5. Waiting for a decision

    ​Now there is a waiting period. This can be a long and tense time. The IND will assess your application. You can see the status of your application in My IND.

    You receive an acknowledgment of receipt of your application. This letter also states when you will receive an answer to your application. This is the decision period.

    Did you send your application by post? Then you will receive a letter to pay for the application.

    Sometimes you also receive a letter with a request to send additional information.

    Expected duration: 90 days
  • 6. You receive the decision from IND

    ​The IND has decided on your application. Your application has been approved or rejected. You will also find the decision in My IND.

    Negative decision

    You have received a negative decision from the IND. This means that your partner will not obtain a (mvv and) residence permit. You can apply for review of this decision.

    Positive decision

    Your decision is approved. Your partner will receive a (mvv and) residence permit.

  • 7. Travel to the Netherlands

    ​Your partner can now travel to the Netherlands. Did you apply for an mvv for your partner? Then your partner first collects the mvv at the Dutch representation.

    In the Netherlands you and your partner have to arrange a few things.

    Your partner should travel to the Netherlands within 3 months
  • 8. Civic integration in the Netherlands

    ​Generally your partner is obliged to integrate in the Netherlands. If this is the case, your partner will receive a letter from the municipality.

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).


​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 .