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26 november 2018

Why it is wise to register as a non-EU partner of a foreign EU-resident living in The Netherlands (And British due to BREXIT)

Big tears slowly dropped down. She had come to The Netherlands with her EU boyfriend and he had said she did not need a residence permit. She was not having a job but kept the household spot and span. All finances were taking care of by her boyfriend. But then after many years the relationship ended and she applied for her own residence permit. "Can you prove you have been living in the Netherlands as a common law wife of an EU resident for at least 5 years?" asked the Dutch Immigration Service IND. And with a boyfriend who had done all the paperwork, who had not seen the need to register at the municipality or at the IND that turned out to be bloody difficult.

Do you need to register at the IND to be legal in The Netherlands when you are a wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend of someone from another EU country?

 No you do not. Under Regulation 2004/38/eu a foreign spouse, husband or registered partner has a direct right to stay in the EU country his or her EU lover has moved to to work. The Dutch government decided that people who were living together could fall under this regime as well as long as they are in an exclusive long time relationship (for instance having a child together or have been living together for at least 6 months).

Why should you nevertheless register as a third country national?

* When you apply for a job you can show you have a legal right to stay. Employers get fined for hiring someone who is not having a residence permit or a right to stay;
* When you are ever arrested or have to show your legal status to the police an IND pasje is very handy;
* After 5 years of staying in The Netherlands you can apply for your own residence permit in case your relationship ends in a split or divorce;
* After 5 years of legal stay in The Netherlands and having completed a Dutch integration and language test you can apply for a Dutch passport;
* For the old-age pension that everybody living in The Netherlands receives the years of residence in The Netherlands count for the height of the amount you will receive;
* Having your name on the rent contract of your house and the bank account as well give you a negotiation position when you would split up or divorce. Being an official named partner will also give you a right for a part of your partners pension in case he dies or you guys divorce.

So what to do?

* Make an appointment with the IND to do the EU check;
* When you have gotten your IND pasje go to the cityhall (gemeentehuis) and ask to be registered as someone living in that village or town;
* Inform your lover's health and liability insurance that you are now living with him or her and need to have insurance;
* Inform your lover's pension organisation that you are now living with him or her so they can register you as a beneficiary as well.
* It is quite normal here for a couple to have a shared bank account and be both on the rental contract of a house.
* There is no obligation for you to learn Dutch but it is a smart thing to do. People cannot as easily fool you, you can get a job more easily and it will help you get local friends.




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