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This is how the process of family reunification goes

Last updated: 1/3/2023, 10:15 AM

After you submit your application for family reunification, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) must review it. It can take several months to more than a year for the IND to decide on your application for family reunification.

After approval of your application

Once family reunification has been approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), your family members can travel to the Netherlands. The letter you receive from the IND tells you where your family members should report after arriving in the Netherlands. Normally, they stay there for about four days. Due to long waiting times, it may currently take significantly longer. 

Your family members receive a undefinedderivedundefined residence permit from the IND that is valid for 5 years. Derived means that their stay depends on your residence permit.

Please note: If your family members have a derived residence permit and the IND revokes or does not renew your asylum permit, the IND will also revoke your family membersundefined permit.

The IND can also revoke your family memberundefineds residence permit if the family relationship ends: that means your family member no longer has a relationship with you. Also, if your family member is your child, and they are going to live independently within 1 year, the IND can revoke their permit.

If your family members want to submit an independent asylum application, they can contact VluchtelingenWerk (VWN) about this.

This is what VluchtelingenWerk (VWN) can do for you

  • Provide information about the process of family reunification and help with the application form.

  • Liaise with the IND on your behalf during the process.

  • Assist in answering questions from the IND about your family relationship

  • Sometimes VluchtelingenWerk can help request a contribution from the Dutch Refugee Fund to reimburse some of the travel costs to the Netherlands for your family members.

  • Help with practical matters once your family members have arrived in the Netherlands and there is housing for you in the municipality. For example, applying for benefits and allowances. Or taking out health insurance and registering with a family doctor, dentist and school.

  • If your application for family reunification has been rejected and you want to appeal, VluchtelingenWerk can help you find a lawyer.