Residence permit for partner

Last update: 12 January 2024

You would like your partner to come to the Netherlands. Your partner needs a residence permit to live with you in the Netherlands. Watch the video, find out what the requirements are and how to apply for the residence permit. 

EU law applies to some Dutch nationals

Dutch law applies to Dutch nationals who have their partners come to the Netherlands. Other requirements may apply to Dutch nationals who have derived rights from EU law. Read more about Dutch nationals and EU law.

Video: How do I apply for a residence permit for a family member?

Requirements

These requirements apply to you and your partner.

  • Your partner meets the general requirements that apply to everyone.
  • You have a long-term relationship with your partner. Or you are married or in a registered partnership.
  • Both of you are 21 years old or more. 
    Were you already married to your partner when both of you still lived abroad? And is your marriage valid under private international law? Then you can already submit an application if both of you are 18 years old or more. 
  • Your partner is going to live together with you in the Netherlands. Your partner will register at your address.
  • You have the Dutch nationality or you have a valid Dutch residence permit.
    ​Do you have a residence permit on non-temporary humanitarian grounds? Or a residence permit as an economically inactive long-term EU resident? Then you first need to live for at least 1 year in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit. This does not apply if you are now living abroad and are coming to the Netherlands together. Or if it is in the interest of your minor children that your partner already comes to the Netherlands now.
    Do you have a residence permit for exchange, seasonal work, or to gain work experience? Then you are only staying in the Netherlands for a short time. Your partner cannot come to join you in the Netherlands.

  • You meet the income requirements.
  • You declare that you are your partner’s sponsor. The sponsor is the person who has their partner come to the Netherlands. 
  • Your partner has passed the civic integration exam abroad. This is not needed if your partner does not have to take the exam. This requirement does not apply if your partner does not require a Provisional residence permit (MVV ).

Different requirements may apply to Turkish citizens and their family members

Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for the residence permit.

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Application forms

You can submit this application online. You must have DigiD with SMS verification and internet banking (iDEAL).

Sometimes you cannot submit this application online. For example, if you have a residence permit for a temporary residence purpose (more information at the end of this page under See also). Or if you receive benefits or supplementary benefits from public funds. Use the written application form.

Online application form for a residence permit to stay with a spouse, registered or unmarried partner

Written application forms

Download the right form if you prefer to fill in the application in writing and send it by post.

Online application form for a residence permit to stay with a spouse, registered or unmarried partner

I am the sponsor and I am applying for a first residence permit for my partner

Online application form to change to a residence permit to stay with a spouse, registered or unmarried partner

I already have a residence permit and want to change my residence purpose of stay to stay with partner.

Written application forms

Download the right form if you prefer to fill in the application in writing and send it by post.

I am the sponsor and I am applying for my partner. I have or my partner has the status of long-term EU resident:

The residence permit 

Find out what else you need to know about the residence permit:

TB test

Did you indicate at the time of the application that your partner will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment at the Public Health Service (in Dutch: Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD). Do this within 3 months after your partner has received their residence permit. Take  with you to the appointment: 

Working with the residence permit

It says on the back of your partner’s residence whether your partner is allowed to work. This depends on your employment rights.

You are a Dutch national

The back of your partner’s residence permit says ‘free to work, work permit not required’ (in Dutch: ‘arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist). The abbreviation TWV stands for tewerkstellingsvergunning, which means work permit in Dutch.

You have a residence permit

Your partner often has the same employment rights as you. In the following cases your partner will have different employment rights:

  • You have a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, as the holder of a European Blue Card, in the context of intra-corporate transfer or as a researcher within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801. Your partner is free to work.
  • You have a residence permit for ‘work as a self-employed person’ (in Dutch: arbeid als zelfstandige). Your partner is free to work, also as a self-employed person.
  • You have a residence permit for study. Your partner is not allowed to work.
  • You have a single permit (in Dutch: gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid or GVVA) for residence and work. Your partner is only allowed to work if the employer has a TWV.

Legal obligations

A sponsor has an obligation to provide information and an obligation to keep and retain records. Your partner has an obligation to provide information. Read more about the legal obligations of a foreign national and sponsor

The IND checks whether you meet your obligations. If you do not, you may get an administrative fine

Validity of residence permit

The period of validity of your partner’s residence permit depends on your situation. Do you have a temporary residence permit? Then the end date of your partner’s residence permit is the same as the end date of your residence permit. 
Are you Dutch or do you have a permanent residence permit? Then your partner’s residence permit is valid for 5 years.

Other applications

Replacement of the residence permit

Has your partner’s residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Then have the residence permit replaced. Visit the web page residence permit damaged or change of personal details or residence permit lost or stolen.

Extend the residence permit 

Will your partner’s residence permit expire soon? Then your partner can extend their residence permit.

Apply for a different residence permit

Does your partner want an independent residence permit. See if your partner can change their residence permit to the residence permit on independent humanitarian non-temporary grounds

Permanent residence permit 

Does your partner have a residence permit for 5 years for residence as a family member or relative? Then your partner apply for a permanent residence permit.