Are you residing in the Netherlands with a residence permit but your circumstances have changed? The team from Everaert Advocaten explains the various residence permits that you may be eligible for.

Perhaps you are no longer in a relationship with a Dutch or EU citizen or you have not been able to obtain a job with a recognised sponsor. Then, your residence permit may no longer be valid and you have to apply for a different one or possibly leave the country. Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can retain your residency in the Netherlands.

Study permitIf you have a nationality from outside of the European Union (EU) and want to study in the Netherlands, the Dutch university can apply for a residence permit for you with “Study” as the purpose of your stay. You are then free to live and study in the Netherlands.

If you have finished your studies, however, and wish to remain in the Netherlands, then you will need another residence permit.

Zoekjaar (search year visa)Students who have graduated from a Dutch university, can apply for a zoekjaar (search or orientation year visa). The application needs to be filed with the Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND). Once you have obtained all the required credits to obtain your diploma, you can apply for the visa.

During the orientation year, you are free to search for a job and work in the Netherlands without a sponsored work permit. This permit also gives you time to submit a new application for another residence permit to continue living in the Netherlands after the orientation year ends.

If you find a job with an employer that holds the recognised sponsor status with the IND during this year, you might be eligible for the highly skilled migrant permit.

Highly skilled migrant permitThe general requirements for the highly skilled migrant permit are that the employer is willing to sponsor you and that your salary meets the applicable threshold. The general immigration requirements must also be met.

If your application is granted, you will be issued with a highly skilled migrant permit which is dependent on your employment contract.

Please consult the Dutch government’s website for more information on the highly skilled migrant visa.

Partner residence permitIf you have a partner or spouse in the Netherlands, you might be able to base your residence status in the Netherlands on your relationship (regular family reunification). This is the case if your partner is Dutch or a third-country national with a residence permit in the Netherlands.

With the right of residence as partner / spouse, you are free to work in the Dutch labour market as you are therefore no longer tied to an employer with the recognised sponsor status.

Your partner is a Dutch citizenIf your partner is a Dutch citizen, you can apply for a residence permit based on your relationship. If this is the case, then Dutch law will apply to you and you most likely will not need to apply for EU verification.

Your partner is an EU citizenIf your partner has a nationality from a country within the EU, you can file an application for verification against EU law. If your partner has EU citizenship, it is somewhat easier to obtain a residence permit, as there is for example no entry clearance visa requirement.

For both of these applications, it is required to prove your exclusive and long-term relationship. This relationship can be a marriage / registered partnership or a long-term relationship where the individuals are living together and meet other requirements.

IncomeYou must prove that you have sufficient means of income to apply for the permit. The income requirements for both applications are different. Under EU law, income can come from any source. For example, if you have 10.000 euros in a savings account and can provide a statement of this, this is considered sufficient proof.

For regular family reunification, you must, in principle, provide proof that you generate a monthly income, which must be equal to (or above) the minimum wage. If you work in employment, your income must generally be available for at least one more year (you have a one year employment contract).

If you are self-employed, your gross profit must have been sufficiently high in the 18 months preceding the application.

Other forms of proofIn both applications, you can enclose a copy of a shared rental agreement, photos, statements from friends and family regarding the relationship, as well as documents regarding your income.

Retaining your right to EU residenceKeep in mind that if things do not work out with your significant other and your relationship ends, your right of residence is in jeopardy. However, you might be able to keep your right of residence, if you are the partner or spouse of an EU national.

If your partner has EU citizenship, there is an option to retain your right of residence, based on the Residence Directive. It is required for your partner to not leave the Netherlands before the divorce proceedings started or relationship ended. In addition, to retain the right of residence, the exclusive and durable relationship or marriage / registered partnership must have lasted at least three years, of which at least one year when both parties resided in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, it must be proven that you (the non-EU national) have sufficient means of income and can still receive Dutch health insurance. You can then notify the IND in writing on the termination of your relationship.

You will need to include the following items in your notification:

A copy of the initial permit application Your marriage / registered partnership certificate Proof of the divorce Recent photos and documents regarding your income By providing proof, you can verify that you have the right to retain residence in the Netherlands. The IND will need to confirm this, and then your residence document will remain valid.

Now that your right of residence can continue, you will even be eligible for a permanent right of residence after five years. This procedure is known as durable residence. For that, you will need to show that you have legally resided in the Netherlands for five consecutive years, and that there were sufficient means of income to get by during that time. Furthermore, you must prove that you were covered for Dutch health insurance.

End of unmarried relationshipIf you hold a residence permit as the partner of a Dutch citizen, or a person with a Dutch residence permit and your relationship ends, there is no way to retain the same right of residence. However, you might be able to convert your residence permit into a humanitarian, non-temporary residence permit based on the termination of your relationship.

You could also apply for a new residence permit, for example, based on employment or regular permanent residence.

Do you have a dependent right of residence and did something change in your situation regarding your relationship or your income status? You may be able to keep your right of residence or convert your residence permit with a different purpose of stay. For more information, you can contact the lawyers from Everaert Advocaten.


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