Family members allowed to enter Netherlands immediately after reunification approval

Published at: 2/8/2023, 2:30 PM

If family reunification is approved, family members no longer have to wait to come to the Netherlands. The Council of State ruled that on Wednesday.

'After-travel measure'

Last summer, the Dutch cabinet decided that family members of

status holders
would not be allowed to come to the Netherlands immediately. Family members had to wait a maximum of six months in their country of origin before being allowed to travel to the Netherlands. This was called the undefinedafter-travel measureundefined.

Family members were only allowed to come to the Netherlands earlier even if there was already housing for them.

Criticism from lawyers

The government devised the undefinednareismaatregelundefined (after-travel measure) to combat crowding in refugee reception centres. The situation in asylum reception centres was so bad at the time that people slept on the streets near the application centre in Ter Apel for nights on end.

However, legal experts previously warned that this undefinednareismaatregelundefined is not allowed. By law, you cannot make family members wait if their family reunification has already been approved. Nor is it allowed under European law.

Judge agrees with status holders

That is why a number of status holders went to court late last year. They did not want their family members to have to wait a long time, even though family reunification had already been approved. They were proven right by several judges. After that, their family members were allowed to come to the Netherlands.

Eric van der Burg, State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, disagreed with the judgesundefined ruling. He appealed. However, the

Council of State
now rules that people who have permission for family reunification may come to the Netherlands immediately.

'After-travel measure' no longer allowed

The Dutch government may therefore no longer restrict family reunification for status holders. This applies to all cases: both for applications for family reunification that are already being processed, and for applications in the future.