NETHERLANDS: Changes to Family Migration are delayed

On July 1 2012, a new policy was due to come into force in the Netherlands which would have restricted family-sponsored residence permits so that they could only be granted to legally married or registered foreign domestic partners and immediate family members.  However, this change now appears to have been put on hold for the time being.

What Has Changed?

The new policy came as part of a series of changes relating to family migration which were designed by the government to “discourage migrants from marrying solely in order to obtain a residence permit” (according to the website of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations). 

Migrants were to be prevented from bringing family members other than their spouse, registered partner and minor children to the Netherlands and for couples who are legally prevented from marrying abroad, such as same-sex couples, they would need to apply for a provisional six-month residence permit to enter the Netherlands and get married or register a partnership. 

Additionally, the government planned to introduce a policy whereby a migrant must have been in the Netherlands for one year before his or her partner can be admitted to the country.  Further changes were designed to restrict the situations in which a partner can apply for an independent continued residence permit, in order to reduce instances of sham marriages.

How Will this Affect You?

There is now no set date by which the new policies will be introduced.  Once we have received notification of the new implementation date, we will provide an update.  In the mean time, we advise all migrants who are working in the Netherlands to apply for residences permits for family reunification as quickly as possible.

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