Hello dear friends,
I am a non-EU national living in the Netherlands since September 2009 and have had no gaps between my residence permits. Since October 2012, my purpose of stay has changed from studying to living with my non-EU partner who is a knowledge migrant.
I wanted to do my master studies in the Netherlands but because of my nationality, tuition fees are about 15,000 Euros a year and therefore I prefer to continue my studies in Belgium where the tuition fees are almost 30 times less!! Nevertheless, the Belgian law says that as a Non-EU national you have to obtain a Belgian visa, even though I have a Dutch residence permit which expires in Dec 2014 (and will be prolonged again). When I asked IND about my situation, they say that by obtaining a Belgian visa, I might lose the Dutch residency.
Knowing that I can apply for an unlimited Dutch residency in a few months (Sep 2014), I prefer not to lose this chance but also love to study in Belgium since I got the admission in a challenging manner. On the other hand, IND says that if you get the "onbepaalde tijd verblijfsvergunning", you can't leave the country more than 3 months, or else you lose the Dutch residency. So in case I would wait till Sep 2014 to get unlimited residency, then I can't leave the Netherlands because of another reason! Now, my questions are the following:
1.In case of leaving the Netherlands, what happens to my "Samen wonen" registration at gemeente? How can I keep my name registered with my girl friend?
2.Do I lose the Dutch residency by obtaining a Belgian student visa? Is there any chance to keep both? (I will not lose my address in the Netherlands since my girlfriend would still stay at the same place)
3.What are my rights after obtaining "onbepaalde tijd verblijfsvergunning"? Can I get study finances like a Dutch student? what about university and tuition fees?
4.Has any of you had the same experience? if yes, please share your thoughts.
It never ceases to amuse me a bit how posters on this forum go to pains to say that they are "non-EU" rather than just saying what their nationality is. If you were an EU citizen, then you probably wouldn't be asking ;-)
Let me skip over the detailed questions and say in no uncertain terms:
A. A Dutch residence permit is of limited territorial validity. It is only valid for living in the Netherlands. Not in Belgium. (However, having a Dutch residence permit does give you a so-called "right of circulation" in other Schengen countries, meaning you can be there as a tourist or a consumer without having to have a Schengen visa.)
B. The immigration law of most countries assumes that if you apply for a residence permit there, then that country is your main place of residence. So it's not so much that having a Belgian residence permit itself invalidates your Dutch residence permit, but it's an indication to the IND that you told the Belgian authorities that you have your main place of residence in Belgium (ergo not in the Netherlands, ergo you have forfeited your right to have a residence permit in the Netherlands).
C. If you have a verblijfsvergunning voor onbepaalde tijd, then you have a right to the same tuition (in the Netherlands) as Dutch students, also to student financing.
D. What the IND told you is wrong. If you have a verblijfsvergunning voor onbepaalde tijd, you can actually leave the Netherlands for up to six years if you are going to live in another EU country, without losing the permit, (of course, in most cases you have to arrange your own legal residence in the other country) or twelve months if you are going to live outside the EU. However, leaving the Netherlands for more than six months (not three months) in a given year does indicate that you moved your main place of residence, thereby interrupting the length of continuous residence that you might have otherwise used to become a naturalized Dutch citizen. (Note that there is no such term as "residency". It's important to distinguish between your "residence permit" [i.e., do you have a right to stay] and your "continuous residence" [i.e., were you in fact living in the Netherlands.)
It sounds like you have itchy feet and you should just apply to become a naturalized Dutch citizen anyway.
Jeremy Bierbach, LLM
Someone has confirmed to me that if I pass the exam then the results are valid even if I say apply for the Dutch passport say after 2-3 years. Is my understanding correct?
Reason I am asking this is because I would be eligible to apply for the Dutch passport after 2 years but meanwhile I would like to pass the exam since I have time.Appreciate if someone can help
thanks very much
The diploma you get from DUO when you pass the inburgeringsexamen is just like a diploma that you get from a university showing that you obtained a degree-- it does not have only limited validity, but rather it is permanent proof that you attained a certain level of competence.
So yes, if you obtain it now and apply to get naturalized in two years, that is fine.
(Personally, I don't much like the expression "getting a Dutch passport" when someone means "becoming a Dutch citizen"-- it is an expression that native Dutch people often use to cheapen the value of a naturalized citizen's citizenship, as in "oh, he's just an Indian with a Dutch passport".)
Jeremy Bierbach, LLM
One more thing Jeremy. Do my wife and child also need to apply for change in purpose if i switch from kennis migrant to employer indepent. My new kennis migrant visa is valid till 2018 and i have onbepaalde job. Will the new visa also be valid till 2018. I plan to apply for PR next year. I hope if i get new visa it will not have any impact on my PR application. Groetjes, Zahid
No, if a person goes from being the dependent of a kennismigrant to being the dependent of a person with 'arbeid in loondienst' who is also free to work, then they don't have to change their status, because they maintain the exact same rights (i.e. the dependent can also work freely). The only thing is that the dates of validity of the dependent permit and the main permit will no longer line up (probably the dependent permit, originally issued as the dependent of a kennismigrant, will have an expiration date that is coming up sooner), so watch out for that. (Your new residence permit for 'arbeid in loondienst' will be valid for as long as your current employment contract is valid for, or 5 years if it is a permanent contract.)
The law changing the requirement for getting your freedom on the labor market from 3 years to 5 years passed two days ago. It will take effect as soon as the King signs it, and as soon as the government issues a decree determining the new law's date of effectiveness. I am expecting that this will be 1 December (which is just a reasonable guess, it could be sooner, it could be later). Anyone who does not file their application before this date will miss their chance and have to wait until they reach the 5-year point.
In the months that I have been fielding questions about this, the one suprising thing that I have learned is that a lot of people who have the kennismigrant status are somehow afraid to "lose" it, as if they think it's something special, like a frequent flyer elite status. Either they mistakenly think that they will lose their 30% ruling if they are no longer a kennismigrant (not true), or they are somehow just attached to the idea of being labeled a "highly skilled migrant". And I have to explain every time that there are no special rights that you have as a kennismigrant. Having a residence permit for 'Arbeid in loondienst. Arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist' is better in every possible way than having a kennismigrant residence permit (an additional bonus is that you get added protection for involuntary unemployment-- not just 90 days to find a new job, but as long as you need and as long as your permit is still valid, provided you are registered with the UWV as looking for work).
Anyways, if they miss their last, last, last chance now, it's their loss...This post was edited by avocado at November 14, 2013 6:49:57 PM CET
I am new to this forum, and was wondering if anyone could offer some advice. I am a British citizen and have recently moved to the Netherlands with my Canadian partner. We have submitted our application for verification against EU Law with the IND. I have a part time job here, however the IND said that it is not enough hours and registered me as 'economically inactive'.
They said that this would be ok as long as i showed them a savings statement of 7200 euros.
I did this and they have accepted my application, however I have contacted the IND since then and they said there is no requirement for an eu citizen to be in employment to register their non-eu partner if they have sufficiant savings.
I'm quite confused as I have now received a letter from them saying that my job does'nt pay enough.
Could someone please advise me on what the actual requirements are to register a non-eu partner for verification against eu law?
I have submitted our rental agreements over 3 years, my savings information and all other documents.
The agent I spoke to on the phone said they dont need anything else.
Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreaciated.
You need a lot more than 7200 euros to sponsor a partner for residence here. You have to meet the IND income requirements for sponsoring partners. Immigration rules are strict here so don't rely on internet forums for advice, find an immigration lawyer, show them the IND letter and get a consultation to figure out your situation. After all, the IND is going to pay their own immigration lawyer staff to try to figure out a way to deny the application and at the moment, they're out in front.
It is also important to find a lawyer who is familiar with the rules of EU law that specifically apply to family members of EU citizens (i.e., non-Dutch EU citizens, who are making use of their freedom of movement to come to the Netherlands), and not only with the rules of Dutch law that apply to family members of Dutch citizens. They are two completely different legal systems that work in very different ways. Any lawyer who tells you that there are "income requirements" for EU citizens is thinking in terms of the wrong legal system.
Of course it's generally true that you get what you pay for when you get information off of free internet forums, but as a lawyer, I have no problem doing my part by at least increasing the quality of the information that is available for free. (Moreover, I think that quality information on an internet forum beats the information that you get from a telephone operator at the IND-- who is often a temp worker who got a 1-day training course in immigration law. It's a disgrace that the IND allows people to think that those telephone operators can speak authoritatively on what the rules are.) EU citizens, especially, should be able to handle their procedures without assistance if they so choose-- that is specifically what the system of freedom of movement for EU citizens was designed for. Unlike with Dutch immigration law (which sharply limits, for instance, the right to file repeated applications), there's very little that an EU citizen can irreversibly mess up in the procedure for their family member. And I, for one, am glad to take on cases in which the family member of an EU citizen has been rejected, because the IND needs all the schooling it can get in EU law.
So, let's lay it down for now and the future. The general rule of EU law is that immediate family members of EU citizens have a right to stay as long as the EU citizen is legally resident in the Netherlands.
An EU citizen is legally resident if they are:
1. Economically active, i.e. either employed or self-employed
If the EU citizen is employed, it does not matter what their actual income level is, as long as they can demonstrate that they are engaged in "genuine and effective" employment activities that are not merely marginal or ancillary. That is an intentionally vague standard that was set by the EU Court many years ago to prevent host states (like the Netherlands in this case) from trying to tell EU citizens that they are not earning enough money to considered truly economically active. The current standard maintained by the Netherlands (i.e. by the IND) is that if an EU citizen is working at least 16 hours a week in a regular-ish job (doesn't have to be a great job, by the way, and it can be through a temp agency as well), and can show payslips and a contract for it, then they can be considered to be economically active. If you can do it this way, this will be the easiest path.
But note that 16 hours a week is only the interpretation of the Netherlands on what "genuine and effective" activities are-- it's just a rule of thumb that is always up for debate. If you feel that you have shown that you are genuinely economically active, all things taken into consideration, despite the fact that you work less than 16 hours a week, then you shouldn't be afraid to push back. Also, if you proved you are employed and someone from the IND still tells you that you need to prove "you can support your family member", i.e. that you make some certain amount of money and that your job doesn't pay you enough, they are thinking the wrong way, and you should also push back by pointing to the fact that you are economically active and that's all that matters.
For self-employed persons it's a little more complicated to prove that you are engaged in genuine and effective activities-- it's pretty much free-form. Evidence of your track record doing that self-employed work in the country you lived in before you came to the Netherlands is good, a profit-and-loss projection drafted by a Dutch accountant is better.
2. Economically inactive and able to support themselves and their family.
In this case, it does matter whether you can support yourself and your family, i.e. how much money you have. You have satisfied this requirement in any case if you have regular income from somewhere other than the Netherlands, e.g. a monthly pension payment or annuity in your home country. And then it has to be at least 800 euros a month.
It's a little trickier if it's just money in a bank. Years ago, the Netherlands tried to tell EU citizens that money in the bank was not adequate proof of self-sufficiency, claiming that since it was an exhaustible resource, it was not a durable means of existence, but it got slapped down by the EU Court on that years ago. True to form, the EU Court did not say what exactly would suffice (it keeps things vague in order to keep things interesting). Clients of mine have been told varying things by various civil servants at the IND. It seems to be the case that €10,000 or more in the bank will definitely do it. It may be so that they are currently accepting €7,200 (which works out to 9 months of the 800 a month that is the requirement for an EU citizen and their family members). Note, in the case of an unmarried partner, i.e. someone who is not your spouse and not in a civil union with you, that your partner's name needs to also be on the bank account-- they have to be able to show that they have access to the funds as easily as you do.
(As to proving you are in a relationship with your unmarried partner, that's a whole other kettle of fish and another specialty of mine, but I'm going to leave it for now...)
Jeremy Bierbach, LLM