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By A.G. Kleijweg


Dear TAB Readers,


With matters of immigration law, it is not always bad news; sometimes I can bring good news to the readers’ attention.  In this article, I bring to your attention few important issues. Some are good news while others are only informative or warning. 


Residence permits for unlimited duration  


This should be interesting to those who are legal residents in The Netherlands for at least five full years.


Those who hold a residence permit for a limited duration known as “bepaalde tijd” can apply until 1 January 2010 for a residence permit for unlimited duration known as “onbepaalde tijd” without having to first pass the integration exams. Of course, a smart person will learn the language and take the exams anyhow. Nevertheless, if one meets the requirements for a residence permit for unlimited duration before 1 January 2010; then apply for one before that date.


To find out whether or not you meet the requirements, it is wise to check the Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND) website on which is also available in English.


Immigration for business-purposes


This should be an interesting one for those who are intending to settle down in The Netherlands as an entrepreneur. For sometime now, there are new rules for immigrating entrepreneurs.


Basically it is so that if a person has a good education or/and relevant business or working experience, and a proper business plan supported by market analysis, including those who offer something to the economy of The Netherlands (investments, innovation, jobs) can apply for an advise from The Ministry for Economical Affairs.  


If this advice is positive, then one can apply for a residence permit to start a business in The Netherlands.


It is a complex subject, much too complex to write about it in this article. For those for which this information might be useful, it is advisable that you check the websites of IND and that of the Ministry for Economical Affairs. Search for the “Beleidsregel advisering toelating vreemdelingen als zelfstandig ondernemer in Nederland”.


Information concerning family-reunion


Commonly known to people is the fact that for family-reunion, the person who wants to bring his family to The Netherlands must have a durable and sufficient income. Not commonly known is that those who are permanently unable to work because of medical reasons do not have to provide a durable and sufficient income. Family-reunion is therefore still possible.


Obligations for those with a visa


Another subject is a warning to those who arrive in The Netherlands with a visa. Visas are issued to people under restrictions.


An important fact is that the visitor with a visa must report to the Immigration Police within three days of arriving the country. If you do not know the telephone number of the Immigration police, just call 0800 8844, explain your question, and you will immediately be connected to the immigration police.


Failure to report within the specified days will make the visa invalid, making the visitor an illegal immigrant at once. This means that the person has a lot to explain at the Airport when leaving the country. Also it will be difficult to get a new visa next time because of the failure to report will be registered as a violation.


Another problem is those who overstay the duration of the visa. If one does not leave on time, it is going to give problems for the next visa when you apply for one. Of course it is possible that because of circumstances one cannot return in time and in that case, the problem should be reported to the Immigration police. Usually a solution can be found.


What one should not do is ignore ones legal obligations because it will be registered and will cause problems in future.


Registration in the Gemeentelijke Basisadministratie


A good advice to all, especially those who made use of the “Generaal Pardon”, is to check whether you are properly registered at your local government (gemeente).


All important mail and invitations from the IND will be sent to the address where you are registered. If you do not live there, you will miss your mail which certainly will lead to problems.


How to avoid problems in an easy manner?


My experience is that many problems are caused by careless behaviour from those with the problem. Everybody can try to get informed about matters and can get properly registered.


Did you move to another address? Then write to all persons and authorities concerned that you have moved and inform them of your new address.


A very basic notion is that one must do everything to receive important mail. You can even ask the post office for an extra service for a small fee, whereby all your mail from your old address can be forwarded to your new address. If you take precaution and do these things, there is seldom a valid excuse for not receiving your mail. So realise that it’s only your personal interest that you serves by insuring that you get your mail.


As always, it is advisable to get more information about your own situation from professionals in this field. I advise to get in touch with a lawyer or ask the “Juridisch Loket” for advice on inheritance law. The Juridisch Loket has branches throughout the country and can be reached in several ways. You can call them on 0900-8020 (8 cents per minute) or via




Please note that effective 1 January 2008, the name, address and other details of our office will change to the following:


Schuurman Kleijweg De Vries advocaten

Balen van Andelplein 2E

2273 KH Voorburg


Tel.: 070 427 32 15

Fax: 070 427 32 56


This new location is capable of handling every normal legal problem.



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Disclaimer: The articles on Legal Matters are for general information-purposes only, and may not apply to your situation. They do not take the place of a lawyer. For professional advice, we ask you to seek legal counsel.
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