Live, work, travel

With the residence permit your partner may live and work or study in the Netherlands. Your partner can of course also travel. However, there are a number of points to which your partner should pay attention.

Your partner must live in the Netherlands

This is called having your main residence in the Netherlands. Your partner may stay abroad for short periods with a Dutch residence permit, as long as your partner has their main residence in the Netherlands.

You and your partner must live together

This means that your partner lives at your address. Your partner must register with your address in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at your municipality.

On registration, the municipality will ask for a legalised and translated birth certificate. So have your partner bring this with them when they travel to the Netherlands.

Your partner must take out health insurance

Everyone who lives in the Netherlands is required to have health insurance (at least basic health insurance). Your partner must take out a health insurance policy with a health insurer within 4 months after arriving in the Netherlands.

What if your partner does not have health insurance after 4 months? They may get a fine. And they will have to pay for their own medical expenses.

Your partner is going to (continue to) integrate

Integration means that your partner learns Dutch, and learns about Dutch customs and how the Dutch live and work. After these civic integration classes, your partner takes the civic integration examination. Has your partner passed the examination? Then your partner is integrated.

Integration is required even if your partner has not taken the basic civic integration examination abroad

Integration in the Netherlands is always required if your partner has taken the basic civic integration examination abroad. But even if your partner has not taken the basic civic integration examination abroad, they must often integrate.

Your partner will receive a letter from the Education Executive Agency (DUO)

Does your partner have to integrate? Then they will then receive a letter from the Education Executive Agency (DUO). The letter explains how your partner can integrate.

The IND can revoke the residence permit if your partner does not integrate

The IND can do this if your partner has not passed the integration examination within 3 years, and does not have a good reason for this. Without a civic integration diploma, it is often also impossible for your partner to apply for a permanent residence permit.

The back of the residence permit states whether your partner may work


Whether your partner is permitted to work depends on your situation.

  • Are you Dutch? Then the back of your partner’s residence permit states ‘arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist’ (‘work permitted without restriction. Work permit not required.’). This means that your partner is free to work.
  • Do you have a residence permit? Then your partner usually has the same employment rights as you. For example, do you need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV) to be permitted to work? Then your partner also needs a work permit to be permitted to work.
    In the following cases your partner will not get the same employment rights:
      • Do you have a residence permit as a highly skilled worker, as the holder of a European blue card, as an intra corporate transferee or as a researcher under EU directive 2016/801? Then your partner’s residence permit states ‘arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist.’ This means that your partner may work.
      • Do you have a residence permit for work as a self-employed person? Then your partner’s residence permit states ‘arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist.’ This means your partner is entitled to work, also as a self-employed person.
      • Do you have a residence permit for study? Then your partner’s residence permit states ‘arbeid niet toegestaan’. This means that your partner is not allowed to work.
      • Do you have a combined permit for residence and work (single permit or GVVA)? Then your partner’s residence permit states ‘Arbeid toegestaan mits TWV is verleend’. This means that your partner may only work if the employer has obtained a work permit.

You and your partner may not apply for social assistance

You are responsible for your partner. Your partner may therefore not receive any social benefits. You may also not receive any social benefits. This is because you cannot actually care for your partner any more. If you or your partner receive social benefits, the IND can revoke your residence permit.

Benefits from the Tax and Customs Administration

You can sometimes receive benefits from the Tax and Customs Administration to help you to pay the costs of for example rent, health insurance and childcare. You and your partner may apply for these allowances:

  • Rent benefit;
  • Healthcare benefit;
  • Childcare benefit;
  • Supplementary childcare benefit.

Travel

The residence permit is not a travel document. Consequently, your partner will need a valid passport in order to travel abroad.

Visa

Are you going abroad? Always check before departure whether you and/or your partner needs a visa in order to visit the country. You must apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting.

With a valid Dutch residence permit and a valid passport, your partner can travel within the Schengen Area. Your partner does not need a visa for this. Your partner may stay for a maximum of 90 days out of 180 days in Schengen Area countries.

Return visa

A return visa is a visa with which you can return to the Netherlands. Your partner will need this visa if his/her residence permit is no longer valid and would still like to travel abroad. With the return visa your partner can demonstrate that he/she has a right to stay in the Netherlands. The return visa is valid for 3 months. A return visa can only be used to return to the Netherlands. Therefore, always check whether your partner needs a visa to visit the country of destination.

Is your partner already abroad? And has their residence permit been stolen or lost? Or is the residence permit no longer valid? Then go to the Netherlands Embassy or Consulate for a return visa.