LM Immigration Services

Staying with partner

Residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands

Obtaining a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands is a process that requires careful preparation and understanding of the conditions. At LM Immigration Services, we will guide you through this procedure step by step so that you can be with your loved one without any worries. Below you will find all the important information about applying for a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands.

Conditions for the residence permit

Lasting and exclusive relationship

To qualify for a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands, you must be in a sustainable and exclusive relationship with a resident of the Netherlands. This may be a Dutch citizen or a third-country national with a valid residence permit. The relationship can be in the form of marriage, registered partnership or cohabitation. The application is also possible if you are not yet cohabiting but can demonstrate a lasting and exclusive relationship. When applying, you will then have to complete a questionnaire about the relationship and prove the relationship. This can be done, for example, through photos together with your partner or messages to each other.


Both partners must be 21 years of age or older. There are some exceptions to this condition. Are you curious about the exceptions? If so, please contact us.


The partner in the Netherlands must meet certain income requirements to support the application. This income must be independent, sustainable and sufficient. You can read more about the income requirements on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service: Income requirements: independent, sustainable and sufficient income | IND. You can read how high the income must be here.

Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad

The Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad is an essential part for people who want to move to the Netherlands to join their partner. This exam is designed to test whether you have sufficient knowledge of the Dutch language and society before coming to the Netherlands. The exams are taken at the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country where you currently live.

The exam consists of three parts:

  1. Speaking skills
    This section tests your ability to conduct basic conversations in Dutch. You will be asked questions about everyday situations and must demonstrate that you can give understandable and correct answers.
  2. Reading Skills
    In the reading skills section, you must show that you can read and understand simple Dutch texts. This can range from short messages to simple informative texts
  3. Knowledge of Dutch Society (KNS)
    This section focuses on your knowledge of Dutch culture, customs and society. You will be asked questions about, for example, Dutch holidays, customs and the workings of the Dutch government.

The exams cost a total of €150. You should apply through the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country. It is important to start preparing well in advance, as a good command of the language and knowledge of society takes time.

Some nationalities are subject to an exception regarding the Basic Examination for Integration Abroad. This is linked to the MVV (Authorisation for Provisional Residence) requirement. If your nationality is exempt from the MVV requirement, you do not have to take the Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad.

Dutch nationality or valid residence permit

To be eligible for a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands, your partner must have a valid status in the Netherlands. This means that your partner must either have Dutch nationality or hold a valid residence permit. For some residence permits, the partner in the Netherlands must have had them for at least a year.

Does the partner have EU nationality in the Netherlands? Or does the partner have Dutch nationality, but you have lived together in another European country for at least 3 months? Then you may be able to use the EU law test, with less strict conditions than the regular residence permit in the case of a partner in the Netherlands. You can read more information about this at this page.

Valid passport or travel document

To apply for a residence permit, you must have a valid passport or other recognised travel document. This document serves not only as proof of identity, but also as proof that you have the right to leave the country of origin and enter the Netherlands. The passport must be valid throughout the application process and subsequent stay in the Netherlands. Always check the expiry date of your passport well in advance and extend it if necessary to avoid problems during the application process.

TB testing

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, it is mandatory to undergo a tuberculosis (TB) test, unless you come from a country on the IND's exemption list. This examination must be carried out within three months of arrival.

No danger to public order or security

A crucial condition for obtaining a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands is that you do not pose a danger to public order or national security. This means that you must have no criminal record, no involvement in terrorist activities, and no nuisance or criminal activities. The IND conducts a background check to verify that you do not pose a threat. Any convictions or pending criminal cases may result in the rejection of your application.


Collecting documents

Collecting the right documents is crucial for a successful application. Which documents you need to collect for the application depends on your situation. When supporting LM Immigration Services in the application procedures, we provide you with a detailed list of required documents tailored to your personal situation.

Submit application

The application for a residence permit is submitted to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). This can be done by the sponsor (partner in the Netherlands) online or by post. Alternatively, the foreign partner can submit the application through the Dutch embassy in his or her country.


After submitting the application, the IND makes a decision. This usually takes a maximum of 90 days.

Collect residence permit

Upon a positive decision, you will receive a notice to collect your residence permit from an IND desk. This residence permit is initially temporary, usually for a period of five years. After five years, you can extend the residence permit, apply for a permanent residence permit, or, if applicable, obtain Dutch nationality through naturalisation. 

Legal assistance upon application

Applying for a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands can be complex, but at LM Immigration Services we make the process simple and straightforward. Contact us for a personal consultation. Our help increases your chances of successfully applying for a residence permit with a partner in the Netherlands.