by Thijs Esser
First published in ACCESS Summer 2014 e-zine
Living in another country with your partner can be very exciting and rewarding but could also turn into a nightmare in the case of a separation or divorce.
When this happens, with the consequence of splitting up likely being a different home address for you, your residence permit with the condition of “stay with partner” no longer serves this purpose and legally ceases to exist.
Even if your residence permit is still valid, the changed status makes the permit irrelevant and it could even be cancelled by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
Therefore, if you would like to continue staying in the Netherlands you should take immediate action and apply to the IND for a residence permit as an independent person with the purpose of “non-temporary humanitarian stay.”
This new purpose of stay as an independent person has a “stronger” status and is easier to extend and also there is no check carried out on your level of income.
This type of residence permit can be applied for if:
- you lived either with a partner with Dutch nationality who has a non-temporary right to stay in the Netherlands or you lived with a foreign partner with a residence permit for an indefinite period of time.
- your relationship lasted at least five years and you complied with all conditions such as living at the same address during those five years.
- you can prove that you passed the civic integration test or in case that this was not applicable then you must give evidence of an exemption.
In other cases where you have worked in the Netherlands based on the legal status of your partner, there is also the possibility of applying for a 1235a work and residence permit or, if you qualify, the possibility of working as a highly skilled migrant with an independent status in consultation with your (future) employer.
Also, where it concerns care for children or other pressing humanitarian situations there are various options to apply for continuous stay in the Netherlands.
If you need more information or require help with a current situation, please contact Thijs Esser at
070 3615048 or email email@example.com