Regularization/ different ways to get a residence permit in the Netherlands

Last update: January 2013

[!] The immigration law changes very quickly. So keep in mind that the information could be outdated when you read it.

Other options than asylum:

Regular residence permits
You might be able to obtain a (temporary) residency permit in another way in the Netherlands. It is not very easy to meet all the requirements, but you could check out the following possibilities.

[!] There are exceptions on the conditions of the options listed below. Contact a lawyer or organization to find out whether that could apply to your situation, or as well check (only available in Dutch!) for more detailed information.

[!] For all options below counts: it is advisable to prepare this in detail with the help of a support organization or/and a lawyer.

Regular grounds can also be, and increasingly are, assessed together with the assessment of the asylum request.

The various applications have different handling fees. To some apply very high prices, for some there are no handling fees.

Family reunification:

Family reunification: when your husband or wife (or when you are a minor: your father or mother) has a residence permit in the Netherlands. In general, you need a valid passport, a valid mvv (visa for a stay longer than 3 months) from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your (or neighboring) country of origin, and have passed the Dutch language and integration exam in your country of origin. The person legally residing in the Netherlands needs to have a job contract for the whole next year or longer and to have at least minimum income. There are additional requirements for other family members. There are exeptions from the mvv requirement.

Right on family and private life (8EVRM):

When deportation to your country of origin would mean a violation of your family life (family life can be with your minor child, partner, or other family members when there are more emotional ties). You need a valid passport. Often this is the case for a parent who wants to stay with her or his minor child, who was born when you had legal stay and the relationship with the other parent is over.


When your partner or minor child has or obtained the Dutch (or another European) nationality and moves to another EU member state for about 6 months, you have the right to accompany this person and obtain legal residence in that country according to European law. You should not rely on welfare services of that EU country, you need an identity document and you need to register your place of residence to the local authorities. After a minimum of 3 months (in practice it may take 6 months), when the person you accompany returns to the Netherlands, you obtain a Dutch residence permit.


Self-employment: permit for this is only possible when the job serves an essential Dutch interest, when you acquire sustainable and sufficient income, and when you have the right diplomas for the work you do.

Wage labor: only possible when a company can prove not to be able to find Dutch employees. In general you need a valid mvv, a passport and you should be able to acquire independent, sustainable and sufficient income.


Study: in general possible when you are admitted as a student for full-time high education, and you or another person residing abroad have sufficient income or when you have a guarantee from a person in the Netherlands with sufficient income. For lower education there are fewer possibilities.

You are a victim or witness of human trafficking (B9-regulation):

If you are a victim or witness of human trafficking (B9-regulation) you can have legal stay during the criminal investigation to the perpetrator after you have reported the crime to the police. You are a victim of human trafficking if you are forced to work under very poor conditions. Victims receive little or no pay and can not easily escape from this difficult situation because they are dependent on their boss. Exploitation in the sex industry is the most common form of trafficking, but there are many other forms.

You are a victim of domestic violence:

If you are a victim of domestic violence: when you had a permit to stay dependent on your partner, you might apply for independent legal stay. It is important you see a doctor and report the domestic violence to the police.

Medical situation/ treatment:

Medical situation:
Postponement of departure because it is irresponsible to travel because of your medical situation (art. 64). This is only temporary. Pregnant women have the right on art. 64 from six weeks before the expected date of giving birth until 6 weeks after.

Medical treatment:
possible for people who have postponement of departure (art. 64) for at least 1 year. For other people, a permit for medical treatment is only possible when the Netherlands is the most appropriate country for medical treatment and you or your insurance company are able to pay all costs.

'Buiten schuld':

'Buiten schuld': when you can prove that you did everything in order to return to your country of origin, but you cannot and it is not your fault. There should be no doubt about your identity and nationality.

Special individual circumstances, at the discretion of the Minister:

Special individual circumstances, at the discretion of the Minister: when there are severe individual humanitarian reasons why you need to stay in the Netherlands. This may be a combination of facts, for example you have medical problems, had periods of legal stay, have close family members who reside here, are a victim of domestic violence of human trafficking, have a family member or close person who died during your stay in the Netherlands and/or you or your children got integrated in the Netherlands. It could also be for other reasons.


Unaccompanied minor (abbreviation in dutch: AMV):

When you are a minor you can also ask for asylum. If your asylum request gets rejected it is possible to obtain a regular residence permit which is valid only till your 18th birthday. This is only the case if you have no parents or guardian in the Netherlands or in the EU, when you are not married or have registered partnership, and when there is no adequate shelter for you in your country of origin.

“Rooted” children (minors who stayed here for a long time):

you can apply for this permit if you are a minor and you (or your parents) have asked asylum at least 5 years before you turned 18 years old, you stayed in the Netherlands for at least 5 years and you have not evaded surveillance for more than 3 months during that period. You should have cooperated with return, your identity needs to be proved and your parents should not have criminal antecedents. You have to apply for the permit before you turn 19 years old. Your family members are then as well eligible for a permit. 

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