Experience Verification against EU Law unmarried gay couple.

Hi all.

We wanted to share our experience for unmarried couples out there where one of you is European and the other is Not-European and are trying to live together in the Netherlands.

Is you are not familiar with the process of Verification against EU Law, I would recommend you first to read the EU/Family Member with another Nationality section in the IND web page and then read our story as it might clarify some doubts is you know the procedure, or confuse you if you don't.

My name is Carlos, I used to live in Colombia and I have a nationality of both Colombia and Portugal. My boyfriend Francisco is also from Colombia but has no European nationality. We are not marry but we both lived together in the same address in Colombia for about a year before we decided to move to the Netherlands.

I came to the Netherlands by the beginning of 2015, trying to start a life in this country while Francisco was finishing his studies in Colombia. In the beginning of 2016 Francisco was ready with his master and we started gathering the information and  evidence of our relationship.

Francisco came to the Netherlands on March of 2016, a year and few months after my arrival in this country. He entered the country with his passport and an invitation letter made by the Gemeente that I sent him just in case, since no facilitation visa is needed if you are from Colombia to enter The Netherlands and also with the excuse of coming to live with your EU partner.

Upon arrival in Schipol Airport the immigration officer asked him what was the reason of his visit, he told him the reason was family reunification and showed him the invitation letter. The officer then took it and called me since all my info and phone number were in the letter, he asked me who Francisco was and why was he coming to NL with an invitation from me, I responded that he was my boyfriend that was coming to live with me and that we already had an appointment in the IND to apply for V.A.EU.L; I also told him that I found this process of Francisco coming to the Netherlands a little bit tricky because there is no visa requirements, no letter from the embassy or any official document that Francisco can take to NL that says that he is coming to live with me, he basically enters as a tourist, and if asked the reason, they hopefully will believe him. The officer responded to me that he understands me but that that's just how things work, he also told me not to worry about it and granted entry to Francisco to the NL.

Short after his arrival we went to our appointment in the IND for the application of Verification against EU Law and submitted all the documents. The person that received our application was very kind and with a lot of sense of humor, the appointment wasn't an interview, or at least it didn't seem like one, just a couple of questions that seem more coming out of curiosity than a legal procedure. At the end of the appointment Francisco got his photos done and had to sign for his biometric information and the IND worker placed a sticker in Francisco's passport stating the 6 months waiting period for the decision, and that he was allowed to work during this time.

(in the sticker were two options regarding this last thing: allowed or not allowed to work. The IND worker told us that normally when a person has just arrived in the Netherlands, this is not allowed to work before the official decision is made, but that in our case, since we had a lot of proofs of the relation between us, he decided that Francisco could work during the process. NOTE: I don't know if this is an official rule since it doesn't appear anywhere in the website of the IND, but in any case the person that receives the application can decide whether there will be right to work or not since the sticker has those  two options and one of them has to be mark at the moment of the placement on the passport.)

Among the documents we submitted were: resident statements from the city hall that said that we lived in the same address for more than 6 months (since this is a requirement for unmarried couples) photos, werkverklaring from my job (which is a form that your employer has to fill), rental contract of the house we where living in, social media proofs, proof that we trained in the same gym, concert tickets, etc; plus each corresponding translation in Dutch. They didn't tell me anything about a rule of a 1 year contract from my job, or a specific salary that I was supposed to earn. As I understand they ask to Dutch national to have at least 1 year contract at the moment of the application and to earn the minimum wage or more, to European people I neither read nor got told at the moment of the appointment any specification on wage or duration of contract, so I assume the requirements for EU are "softer" than to Dutch but I don't know on to what level this rules apply.

Few days after the appointment with the IND we went to the appointment in the Gemeente of the city to aks for the Bsn for Francisco (which is the number that allows you to have a bank account, a job, etc). At the moment all we needed to take was Francisco's passport, a copy of the rental/ownership document of the place we were both living, and a birth certificate of Francisco translated in Dutch or English with an apostille.

4 months passed and we received a letter from the IND asking for more information that needed to be sent within 2 weeks of receiving the letter, in this case: my work contract, the payslip from my job, and bank statements showing the money of my payment was deposited in my bank account. We did not submitted this documentation before because in the information on the IND website appears nothing about it, they only ask for the werkgeversverklaring. I assumed that since in the werkgeversverklaring appears all the information about the contract and salary, the rest of the documents were not needed. I will recommend to submit all this documentation at the appointment even if they don't ask for it since it could save you a lot of time.

Everytime you send additional documents the deadline for the decision of your application gets delayed by 2 weeks (and we didn't know that). So 6 months after doing the application and no receiving the decision we called the IND and they told us that the person taking care of our case was still busy with our decision, and told us about the 2 weeks extension of the deadline.

It's frustrating to wait for 6 months and then being told that you just have to keep waiting, you can not make long-terms plans as a couple since you are waiting if your partner can keep staying legally in NL. Not to say that Francisco's temporary sticker visa was not valid anymore because the 6 months period was over; in this case you need to make a new appointment to get a new sticker while you keep waiting for your decision, but the IND was at the moment so collapsed that an appointment to do so would be over 3 weeks, so we decided to wait for the decision that was supposed to come within 2 weeks.

Finally 6 months and 1 week later the decision came, and was positive! The letter says that you need to go pick up your new resident document valid for 5 years from the IND office, and that you will receive a second letter stating when you can make an appointment to go pick it up.

Just by coincidence when the decision was made we didn't notice it, the letter was already in our house but we weren't there, and we called to the IND to ask if the application was almost ready. The IND told us that the decision was ready and that couldn't be done sooner because they were waiting until we were 6 months living in NL together, that there was a gap in 2015 where we were not living together because I was here and Carlos was in Colombia, and according to them, when the gap is 6 months or longer, then the couple needs to live again 6 months together in the Netherlands for the decision to be taken, and they waited exactly 6 months after we registered Francisco in the Gemeente, which is the moment when he had an official address in the country.

Again, this is a "rule" you don't see anywhere in the website, also the person at the moment of the application didn't tell us, and nobody from the IND told us the numerous times we called. There are certain procedures that the IND do or don't do depending on the applicants, since I have heard another stories from people I know, or even stories in this forum that doesn't necessarily match our case.

All we can do is share our story so you can get a soort of orientation in the topic, recommend you to gather as much information and documents of the relationship as you can, when you doubt about something make contact directly with the IND, and wish you the best in your application of Verification against EU Law.

Good luck everybody!

Carlos & Francisco.

Carlos and Francisco.

Thank you so much for the feedback on your Expat experience.

I hope you both have a great life together in the Netherlands.

Expat Team

I sure appreciate sharing your detailed story here . . Which can be used for others in future ..

Thanks & Stay Happy

Welcome on board  :cheers:

I want to thank you for taking your time and effort to share your incredible experience that hopefully benefits others too.

Thanks for that.

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