I am planning to move my family to the Netherlands, how does this work?

Any highly skilled migrant (HSM) planning to move with their family to the Netherlands must apply for a MVV (Entry visa) and/or VVR (Residence Permit) for each member.

As a highly skilled migrant or a scientific researcher (according to EU guidelines), family members are entitled to the same residence status as you. This means, among other things, that your husband or wife is also exempt from the TWV (Work Permit) requirement.

When your employer (or you) are working with All About Expats for your visa and relocation, family applications are also handled by us. This means it is not necessary for you to apply for an MVV and/or VVR. We can handle these applications at the same time that your applications are submitted.

However, even if applications are submitted at the same time, it does not guarantee or mean that family members must (or can) come over at the same time.

Once the MVV applications for your family members are approved, you have three months to pick up the MVV sticker from the embassy.

As related to VVR, partners always receive it for maximum of one year. Children under 18 years of age, receive a VVR for the same duration as the parent with the longest residence permit duration.

Documents Required

The following documents and proof will be needed when applying to move your family (spouse, partner, child) to the Netherlands:

  • For your accompanying partner (whether married or are registered as partners) you have to submit a copy of the legalised marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership.
  • If your partner and you are unmarried or registered, you need a legalised unmarried status declaration. The unmarried status declaration must come from your country of origin.
  • Documented proof (salary, bank records) demonstrating you have adequate financial means to maintain your family in the Netherlands.
  • Proof your children (or children that join you later) are not older than 18.

Please note, it is not easy to bring along children who are older than 18 years. Their application is evaluated/processed separately from the application for the other family members.

Are family members also required to register at the local municipality (BRP)?

When moving your family to the Netherlands, all family members will be required register at the local BRP.

In order to register your family, everyone will need to have their birth certificates.

Furthermore, a marriage certificate or declaration of partnership (no older than 6 months) is required to demonstrate a relationship with your partner. All official documents must be translated into Dutch, English, German or French and bear the necessary stamps (apostille, legalisation and, if necessary, verification).

The following documents must be submitted when registering with the BRP:

  • a valid passport;
  • proof of legal stay, for example proof that an application for a residence permit has been submitted;
  • a rental contract, evidence of boarding at an address or the title deed to ones house;
  • birth certificate (provided with an apostille or legalisation stamp and verified if necessary).

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

A Video of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

What (if any) documents require legalization when relocating? What are the steps to legalize these forms or records?

Moving your family to the Netherlands will require a handful of official documents. To be able to use official documents from your home country in the Netherlands, legalisation is required.

To legalise a document, competent authorities must sign and stamp each document. Several different steps may be needed to complete the process and most countries have agreements for this.

Furthermore, the steps required to have a document legalised can vary by country. As an example, the Netherlands has different agreements with countries as to proper legalisation of documents and what is required.

To learn the specific requirements for the country in which your documents are from, see this page on IND.

Steps When Legalizing Documents

Normally, the steps are as follows:

Step 1

A competent authority in the country where the documents come from checks that the document has been signed by the correct authority or authorities in that country. This is usually their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After approval, a stamp or sticker is placed on the document. This shows the Dutch authorities that the document has been issued by a competent authority.

Step 2

The Dutch authorities check the document and place another stamp or sticker on it. This is usually done by the Dutch embassy, consulate-general or honorary consul in the country where the documents come. A number of countries have made agreements saying that not all these steps are required. Or that they are not required for certain types of documents. The Apostille Convention is one of these agreements.

With my highly skilled migrant status, what happens if my partner and I have a child born in the Netherlands?

If your child is born in the Netherlands, he/she does not get Dutch citizenship automatically. According to Dutch law, the child gets the citizenship of the parents. This means that your nationality is transferred to the child. The country (place) where your child is born does not determine its nationality.

Therefore, after giving birth to a child in the Netherlands, the following steps must be taken:

  • reporting the birth to your municipality (within three days after the birth);
  • notifying your health care insurance of the birth;
  • submitting a residence permit application for the child.

Please note, if your child has EU nationality or from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or has Swiss nationality, then you do not have to apply for a residence permit.

Before applying for your child’s residence permit, you must first register your child’s birth at your local municipality. The municipality will issue a birth certificate, which is recorded in the register of births, marriages, and deaths. Your child will also be registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (Dutch: BRP).

Once registration is complete, you receive the child’s BSN within a week. Please note, you need the birth certificate in order to apply for your child’s residence permit.

Other Documents

If you require travel documents for your child (for example, a passport), you will need to contact the authorities of your home country. If your child (and you, as the parent) cannot obtain travel documents, you must substantiate this with appropriate documents to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Subsequently, IND will give you an appointment and mail a letter specifying the documents you have to bring for yourself and the child.

What government benefits does my family qualify for? What rights do they have?

If you are moving with family to the Netherlands, and have children under 18, you can apply and receive child benefits (kinderbijslag) from the Dutch government. This helps defer the costs associated with raising and caring for them.

The rules for who can get child benefits and how much are set in the National Child Benefits Act (AKW).

The monetary amount will also depend on the age of your child. The amount you receive will increase when your child turns six and then again when they turn 12.

If your child does not live with you because he or she is disabled, and you are faced with high expenses, you may be eligible for child benefits at twice the basic rate.

Your child benefits are paid once a quarter. The first payment you receive is processed for the following quarter, after your child’s birthday. In other words, your child benefits will start in January, April, July or October.

If you adopt a child or if you have just come to live in the Netherlands, your child benefits may start at a different time.

Additionally, other rights and benefits your partners and children are entitled to include the right to work in the Netherlands. Depending on the visa (assuming highly skilled migrant) your partner will have the right to work without requiring a work permit.