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Family Formation vs. Working Visa

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in The Netherlands.

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Family Formation vs. Working Visa

Post Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:56 pm

Hello - I'm new to the forum and will soon be new to the Netherlands as well. Very excited about coming to Holland, but am a bit concerned about the diffuclty in obtaining the proper paperwork.

The crux of my question is this: I could apply for my residency permit based on family formation or apply for a work visa. After reading through countless websites and documents I've determined that my Dutch sweetheart and I meet the requirements for family formation, and it's likely though not guaranteed that I will be granted permission to work with a family formation visa. The other option is to immigrate as a "Knowledge Immigrant" and obtain a working visa through the company hiring me.

It seems there are pros and cons for each visa. With a family formation visa if I decide to change jobs or stay home and have children my visa is still valid. Although it is significantly more expensive (833 euros?). The working visa is paid for by the employer and if I wanted to changes jobs in the future or be a stay at home mom for a while I'd have to apply for a change in visa status or reapply for a visa, without a guarantee that I'd be permitted to stay.

Has anyone dealt with these issues or can you give any advice about the best method for obtaining a visa? Also does obtaining an MVV prior to applying for residency permits speed the process?

Would very much appreciate any guidance. And see you in the NL soon!



Re: Family Formation vs. Working Visa

Post Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:44 pm

Hi Erica,
Unless you already have a job here, obtaining a work permit is impossible before you are granted a resident's permit. And yes you are correct, if you lose your contract, then your status would change.

If you have read the www.ind.nl site, then it explains the criteria needed to file for a permit based on coming here to be with your boyfriend. Just be prepared to wait several months to receive that permit. Also know that the permit is good for only one year and then you have to reapply again. After that time, usually a 5 year permit is issued. The best advice I could give you is to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork that is spelled out on the IND site and be prepared to wait and have nothing to do until you get that permit. Some have waited up to 9 months although I think now the process is not taking quite so long. But one never knows!!

After you receive the permit, then you will be required to take the language/orientation classes but you cannot start them until you have your permit nor can you work without a permit.

Hope this helps somewhat and if you have any other questions, I will try to help.


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Re: Family Formation vs. Working Visa

Post Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:03 pm


Thanks so much for the response! I'm sure this site is going to be a very valuable resource as I go through this transition.

I currently have a job offer from a Dutch company, and need to ensure that they are taking care of my visa. If that is the case, I guess I then need to figure out the whole change of visa status so that I can change my visa from working to family formation which will give me more stability.

What has your experience been with the American Embassy in Holland? Are they helpful in guiding their citizens through this maze of rules and regulations? AND! any advice in settling in? I'm planning on being in Amsterdam for two weeks prior to starting work.

Thanks again for your information. I really appreciate it.



Re: Family Formation vs. Working Visa

Post Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:14 pm

If you already have an offer from a Dutch company, then, indeed, they should be doing all the necessary paperwork to get you "legal" to work here. I would recommend letting them do this and get here and start working. During the time of your contract, you can apply for a residency permit under the "partnership" rule with your dutchie. As long as he meets the criteria for sponsoring you, then you should have no problem in getting a permit. The best part is that you will be able to work and show you have a job while going through this process. It will also give you a chance to see if you like living here and you will have an income which is always a problem for most expats who move here and are waiting for a permit. I would suggest bringing with you any over the counter medications that you might use, if any. You won't find a lot of them here if you do use any. Load up on antiperspirant because it is very different here and most of us Americans don't like what they have here or use it.

The American Embassy can help you if you need to get legalized papers for your residency permit but it also depends on what state you are from and if that state will give you the papers without asking for them in person. Some have been surprised after they got here that they just couldn't get the necessary papers from here even through the Embassy.
So I would strongly suggest you do your homework on the IND site and make sure you have all the necessary paperwork required BEFORE you arrive. It is good for 6 months before you apply for a permit and unless you plan to travel back and forth, it is much easier to have all the stuff with you when you get here so you have it to send in with your permit application. When do you plan to arrive? Wishing you much luck with all your preparations and your move.


Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Re: Family Formation vs. Working Visa

Post Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:55 pm

First, that's exactly what I needed to know, so thank you! And great advice about deoderant! I had no idea. I'm also planning to bring my measuring cups and spoons so I don't need to convert recipes. Any other tips would be great!

I think my biggest hurdle is going to be finding the time to pack, and deciding what to bring and what to leave behind. I'm planning to arrive in Amsterdam in mid August, and would start work on September 1st. That will give me a little time to settle in and unpack before starting the new job.

How have you found learning Dutch? I've been working on it, and slowly improving, but I'm a bit trepidatious when it comes to actually speaking.

Thanks again for your help. It really has been wonderful.



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