What happens with my partner visa after a break-up?

Breaking up while living in the Netherlands, while being registered on a partner visa? It’s not just an emotional rollercoaster; you’ve got to deal with the legal stuff too, especially if your residence permit hangs in the balance. And hey, what if there are little ones involved, going to school and all settled in The Netherlands?

In this blogpost, we will make a distinction between situations with children and without children involved.

Breaking up – no children

So, if you and your partner are going your separate ways and there are no little ones involved, it’s not the best situation for you. When you move out, live apart or divorce, your right to stay in the Netherlands might go away.

But don’t worry too much! If you’ve been living there for five years and passed a test about Dutch society (inburgerings examen), you could still have a chance to stay. If you’re lucky, you might even get permission to stay forever. If that doesn’t work out, you’ll need to look for a different kind of permit, and I have to admit, it might be a bit tricky. To make this blog easy to read, we avoid these options. We’re making a blog about this post, so watch for it on our website.

Breaking up – with children

In this category it matters a lot if:

  • The children are EU citizens
  • The children are Dutch citizens

Break-up with a non-EU National (kids aren’t EU-citizens)

If you came to The Netherlands on a partner visa or as a dependent, your permit might not remain valid, but your children and your ex can keep theirs. But don’t worry, there’s a way for you as well. You can apply for a residence permit based on the European Convention of Human Rights, showing your family life. Just prove that you’re committed to take care of your family and won’t need public money to remain in The Netherlands.

  • Break-up with an EU national (kids are EU citizens):
    There are more choices available.
    – You can keep your residence card if you are either the only parent taking care of your children
    – The court decides that – based upon a parental custody agreement – you can meet your kids in the Netherlands.
    – Your kids go to a Dutch school and you take care of them.

    To support the above, you have to demonstrate that you can take care of yourself, financially, unless your kids go the a Dutch school and you are the primary caretaker.
  • Break-up with a Dutch national (kids are Dutch citizens):
    A recent change in policy has made this a sweet deal. If you can prove that your Dutch kids relies on you and would have to exit the EU without you, you can hang on to your residence rights. No need to show off your income, just take care of your little Dutch wonders.
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