How to Gain Permanent Residence in the Netherlands
For many migrants, reaching the point of gaining permanent residence in their newly adopted country is a key milestone. As the step before the ultimate goal of citizenship, holding permanent residence removes a great deal of uncertainty regarding the future and your safety and security. Immigration numbers to the Netherlands have increased considerably in the past ten years, rising from around 150,000 in 2010 to nearly 270,000 in 2019. It is easy to see why. The Netherlands has a great deal to offer individuals and families looking for a safe, friendly, and culturally rich country on the edge of Europe. In this article, we will explain how it is possible to secure permanent residence in the Netherlands as a non-EU/EEA national.
Can I Gain Permanent Residence As A Non-EU/EEA National In The Netherlands?
Yes, it is possible to apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands after living there for five years. To apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have held a valid Dutch residence permit for a period of five years or more immediately prior to your permanent residence application. The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) will only consider the time spent in the country from when you turned eight years of age towards the application for a permanent residence permit. As such, the minimum age to acquire PR in the Netherlands is 13 years.
- You have had a continuous five-year period of residence in the Netherlands before submitting the application. This means that you have had a valid residence permit for the full five years, and you have not allowed your permit to lapse at any time. In addition, you must not have moved your main residence to a place outside the Netherlands.
- You must always have met the conditions of your residence permit and still meet the conditions of your permit.
- You currently have a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose.
- You are registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) in your place of residence (municipality). You do not have to show this. The IND checks if you meet this condition.
- You have an independent sufficient, and sustainable income.
- You have a civic integration diploma. This shows that you read, write, speak and understand sufficient Dutch. There are some exceptions that apply to this requirement. To gain a civic integration diploma, you will need to sit and pass the Inburgeringsexamen (civic integration exams).
What Is A Long-Term Resident EC Permit?
The Dutch INS state that they will automatically check if you are eligible for a long-term resident EC permit at the same time. This will allow you to gain a resident permit for any other EU country, assuming you meet the local requirements. This provides a great deal of freedom and flexibility for new migrants who may want to live or work in other nations in Europe.
How Do I Apply For A Permanent Residence Permit In The Netherlands?
The application process for a Dutch permanent residence permit is completed online. You can complete and submit your application three months before your current temporary resident permit expires (do not let your current permit lapse as this may make you ineligible for a permanent resident permit). To apply, you will first need to create a ‘digital ID’ (called a DigiD) online. Once this process is completed, you can then apply for your permanent residence permit. You will also need to pay the application fee of € 192 (Children under 18 pay € 64, Turkish citizens pay € 64, and Turkish children under 18 pay € 33).
On receipt of your application, the Dutch INS will send you a letter of confirmation. The INS guidance states, “The confirmation letter indicates the date on which the IND received your application. It also states the period within which the IND has to assess your application. This is called the decision period”. The decision period is the timeframe in which you can expect to receive a decision on your application. A decision on your PR permit application must be made within six months.
At this stage, you can now book an appointment to visit your local INS office to have your biometric (fingerprint/photo) scanned. The INS officer will check that your application is complete and that all fees have been paid. If any documents are missing, you will be advised of this and asked to submit them by a set date.
When assessing your application, the INS will check the following:
- Whether you meet the conditions for a residence permit as a long-term resident EC.
- If you do not qualify for an EC permit, the INS will then check if you meet the requirements for a permanent residence permit (type II).
- If you do not qualify for the above, the INS will check if you meet the conditions to extend your current residence permit.
Based on these checks, you will either receive a positive or negative decision. If you do receive a negative decision on your application, you can then request a formal review be carried out. If your application is successful, you will be granted either a long-term resident EC permit, permanent residence permit, or an extension to your residence permit. This can be collected from INS within two weeks following the decision (the process for collection will be explained in the decision letter).
There is plenty of help on hand if you plan to apply for Dutch permanent residence, either from the INS or from specialists in immigration law. If you are unsure how to apply or which permit to apply for, do ask for help before submitting your application; this will potentially save you time and money. Given the importance of securing a positive decision for you and your family, it is important to follow the correct process. We wish and your family all of the very best with your life in the Netherlands.