Immigration to the Netherlands with children

Moving to the Netherlands with your children, or bringing your children to the Netherlands, naturally will also require applying for a residence permit for them. The permit is based on family grounds. In most cases this is very straight forward. However, there are a few considerations you need to take into account.

In general, for all children you will need to prove family relations with a birth certificate. The birth certificate needs to be translated (English is fine) and needs an Apostille stamp, legalized depending on the country from which the document originates. Needless to say, the child will need a valid passport. 

Children of 16 years and up

All children of 16 years and older will also need to provide a celibacy certificate, document which proves the child is not married. Why do they ask this? The basic assumption is if as child marries, he/she leaves the family unit of the parents and starts his/her own family and therefore will not be eligible for residency on family grounds. 

Often our clients are amazed about this requirement. Although we fully understand the surprise, one does have to bear in mind that in some cultures around the world it is not uncommon that a child of 16 marries. As the immigration procedure has been designed talking all cultures of the world into account, all children of the ages of 16 years and up will need to show their single status to qualify for residence on family grounds. 

Remaining behind parent

It regularly occurs that one parent remains behind in the country of origin while the child immigrates to the Netherlands with the other parent. This can either occur if the parents are divorced, or simply that one parent chooses to stay behind for personal reasons. 

In cases like this the Dutch authorities wants assurances that the remaining behind parent gives his/her approval to the immigration of the child to the Netherlands. The origin of this requirement lies in the so-called Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction. This convention aims to prevent the abduction of children by one parent to another country. 

To ensure that there is no situation of international child abduction at hand, the Immigration services requests that the remaining behind parent explicitly gives his/her approval to the immigration of the child to the Netherlands. This can either be achieved by filling a specific permission form, or having a notary draw of a formal letter of approval. The latter is to be preferred. Secondly the Immigration service requires that the parent whom the child will be accompanying to the Netherlands has (partial) parental custody over the child.

Young adults

The Immigration service will also allow what they refer to as young adults, adults between 18 and 25, to join their parents here in the Netherlands. 

Requirement is that the young adult is still a part of the family unit of the parent at the time of the immigration. Meaning that the young adult is living with his/her parent(s) and still financially dependent on his/her parent(s). In this respect the Immigration service also requires that the young adult is unmarried. 

For questions are if you need assistance with the immigration process, reach out to our team at, or by phone 0031206161487. We are happy to help.