Immigration law

Index

You can contact me for answers with regard to your questions about immigration law and all other laws affecting migrants to the Netherlands. As a lawyer specializing in immigration law and other migrant affairs, I can offer you the right kind of help.

This includes all questions about residence permits or visas, but also all other types of migration and naturalization issues. For assistance with regards to re-entry ban or return decisions, you are at the right address. In situations where you have problems with renewing your residence permit or even where the residence permit has been revoked you can still come to me for help, and can be assured of receiving the best possible advice.

In all such cases I can lodge an objection at the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) or the Visadienst (Visa Service) on your behalf and/or make an appeal to the Court. Without a lawyer who specializes in immigration law and migrant affairs you are often underrepresented.

It is crucial that an immigration lawyer is there to represent you and point out the rights you have under the EU migration law to the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) and the Court; namely the EU-directives and the EU case-law. European Union law overrides national law and is therefore relevant in such cases. Also, the EU rules are often less stringent than the national laws and policies, and as a consequence those national laws and policies are often declared to be non-applicable. This policy may be invoked by all EU residents. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) often incorrectly rejects many cases related to family reunification. I can also help you with the EU-route Germany and EU-route Belgium.

If necessary, I can also file a complaint on your behalf with the European Court of Human rights (ECHR). These are complicated procedures that can take many years, so they have to be discussed well in advance.

I am also a member of the Specialistenvereniging Migratierecht Advocaten (SVMA Specialists Association of Migration Lawyers) and the Werkgroep Rechtsbijstand in Vreemdelingenzaken (WRV -Working Group on Legal Aid in Immigration).

Residence permit spouse or partner

I can assist you if you have problems with an application for a residence permit or MVV. Effective October 1st 2013, the Wet Modern Migratiebeleid (Law Modern Migration Policy - law MoMi) became enforced and its relevant procedure Toegang en Verblijf (Entry and Residence - TEV) became applicable.

The lodging of an application can sometimes be difficult to accomplish. As a lawyer I can help you with the whole process for a fixed fee. Please bear in mind that the relevant costs in the application stage are not covered by the Raad voor Rechtsbijstand (Legal Aid Board). Submitting an application can be complicated in some cases. For an overview of the required form, click here.

In case of an application for your partner or spouse, Article 8 of the ECHR guarantees the right to private life or family life. However, in spite of this, because of practical issues such as having the minimum required income it is still not easy to obtain a residence permit. Sometimes people have an income that is not high enough according to the law, but can still maintain themselves without having to rely on welfare. In such cases the invocation of EU directives and jurisprudence laws (EU law) may offer a solution. The European rules for family reunification are often less stringent than that required by Dutch law. In all such cases EU law overrides national law, and a lawyer who specializes in Dutch immigration and foreign law or EU migration law such as I do is the right person to help you. I may appeal on your behalf for the invocation of Article 8 of the ECHR, the Family Reunification and various landmark verdicts by the high Court including, among others, Chakroun, Khachab, Rodriguez Da Silva and Jeunesse.

In some cases, you only receive a social benefit (ziektewet of arbeidsongeschiktheidsuitkering), but for example no prospect of recovery for the upcoming years. In those cases, we can also look for solutions together. Often there are special circumstances to make an appeal. This is highly dependant on the medical situation. Therefore, the help of medical experts is important. We can look at the possibilities together.

Residence permit child

In certain cases residence permit can also be requested on the ground with a child. This is at times favorable when the partner or spouse doesn’t meet the income requirements. Consequently, a parent can request a residence permit on the basis of the child if there is contact and or regular interaction between parent and child, because deportation may then be in violation of ECHR article 8. It is then important to have proven that family life cannot be sustained outside of the Netherlands. This is can be sometimes be very difficult. Especially when parents are separated, the cooperation of one parent needs to be sometimes asked.

In the cases concerning children with the Dutch nationality, or, equally ,another EU member state nationality, claim can be laid to the EU guidelines including article 20 EU. This is applicable to the cases where the parents no longer reside together or are separated but there is mention of one parent supporting the child. In first instance there is mention of the case of the Court of Justice concerning Ruiz Zambrano dated March 8th, 2012. Hereafter an even more important verdict was rendered by this Court in the case concerning Chavez Vilchez dated May 10th, 2017.

The verdicts indicate that it is a violation of European law to forcefully cause a Dutch child to follow its parent abroad because the parent had not been awarded a residence permit. In effect this would have otherwise lead to the child being denied the privileges derived from its status; namely the (guaranteed) right to reside in the Netherlands.

In order to assess whether a child would necessarily need to relocate, depends on the determination of which parent provides (most) for the child and whether the child is dependent on this maintenance. Here, the interest of the child, the age of the child & relationship with its parents and which consequences the rejection of the permit will have on the child are weighed.

Visa

If you want to invite friends or family from abroad, applying for a visa can be problematic. In many cases, the Dutch Embassy abroad rejects applications incorrectly. As a visa lawyer I can offer you good advice and help in the process to ensure that your visitors can come to the Netherlands. In many cases successful appeals can be made against any rejection of visas by the Visadienst (Visa Service).

The policy of the Visa Service is to reject as many applications as possible. One of the primary reasons given for these rejections is that there is insufficient social and economic bonding with the home country. That means that the person who comes from abroad does not have a job or a family and therefore, has no compelling reason to return home after the visit. It is important in such cases to show that such a bond with the home country indeed exists.

It is frequently stated that the declared purpose and conditions of stay are insufficient, or that it is not clear that the person will return at the specified time. Often this has to do with the fact that there is a difference between what the host person in the Netherlands and what the person abroad making the request has said. The least of difference in these statements can be cause for rejection. Raising an objection in such cases often makes sense as an avenue to explain and remove these contradictions. In many cases going to Court can be useful if the objection is wrongly rejected.

Civic integration examination

As your immigration lawyer I can also help you with problems concerning the civic integration tests done abroad as well as the civic integration examination here in the Netherlands. In many cases the applicants do not have the required information and therefore cannot pass the test and exam. In such situations a lawyer can make a request for exemption. Often appealing to the EU law (Union law) can be done successfully.

Naturalization

If you want to become a naturalized Dutchman, you will need to submit a naturalization request. The assistance of a lawyer is important of facilitate this process as the conditions are often very complicated. The Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (Dutch Nationality Law) is a complicated Law. People are regularly charged unjustly with a breach of stay, and in many cases they are also ignorant of this fact.

Nowadays you must also renounce your own nationality and sometimes this is not always possible. If you renounce your nationality you lose certain rights in your own country. It is sometimes possible to successfully prevent the need for renunciation. Such is only the case if you can provide special and objectively assessable reasons for not renouncing your existing nationality. Dual citizenship then becomes a possibility. However, this is highly difficult and dependent on your personal situation. I can always offer you the right help as your lawyer.

Medical and article 64 delay of departure

I can assist you with questions concerning a medical residence permit and delay of departure on the grounds of article 64. I can provide support with such an application. The process often concerns complex matters that warrants plenty medical preliminary work. Such an application often requires working with third parties. Regretfully, free legal aid cannot be granted during the application phase. However,  free legal aid is often made possible in the event that the application is rejected.

Humanitarian and special situations

For some people it is difficult to obtain a residence permit based on the other give situations. For those looking at their special conditions could prove usefull. To get a residence permit on humanitarian grounds is very difficult. Integration in the Dutch society is vital and appealing to article 8 EVRM and its private conditions is not easy. Also a passport is required so there could be problems there. For more information please feel free to contact me.

Re-entry ban and unwanted certification

If you are certified as an unwanted foreigner or have received a re-entry ban and return decision, I can also assist you. The returns directive is a complicated directive which ensures in many cases that a re-entry ban is enforced. It is very helpful to have a lawyer who can help you appeal against this re-entry ban in a timely manner.

The re-entry ban is a measure to prevent unwanted foreigners from coming back to the Netherlands. The return decision that is imposed on illegal migrants, may be combined with a re-entry ban. A re-entry ban cannot be imposed on an EU national or a foreigner who does not reside in the Netherlands. It is possible to waive imposition of a re-entry ban on humanitarian grounds.

When there is an intention to impose a re-entry ban, the concerned foreigner will have the opportunity to express his/her opinion on the matter. This can be done orally or in writing. A re-entry ban can only be given in conjunction with or following a return decision.

The length of the re-entry ban depends on individual circumstances and can vary from person to person. Normally, the ban is only valid for five years. This can only be extended when there is a threat to public safety or national security. Persons who do not comply with this re-entry ban and stay or travel back to Netherlands, are subject to punishment under the law.

You can always request for my help in these cases, as it will make things easier for you. I can act on your behalf by raising objections and/or appealing to the Courts.

Detention and deportation

I can also be of assistance to you if you are detained, taken into custody and/or threatened with deportation. I already have many years of experience with such cases and as your custody lawyer can help to minimize the continuation of problems in this area. Most of the time you will have to stay in a Detentiecentrum (Detention Centre) for prolonged periods, and a lawyer is the only counselor.

Explanation of procedure

Do you need assistance with an application? Do feel free to solicit my help for a legal fee. The lodge of an application can sometimes be difficult to accomplish. Please bear in mind that the relevant costs in the application stage are not covered by the Raad voor Rechtsbijstand (Legal Aid Board). As a lawyer I can help you with the whole process for a fixed fee. Submitting an application can in some case be complicated by yourself without the help of a lawyer. For an overview of the required form, click here.

Have you received a determination for which a view needs to be submitted? Contact me soonest. Have you received a decision on an application or withdrawal? Contact me soonest as to refute the decision in a timely manner. You may forward the decision to me in advance by post or email so that I can review the submission requirements. It is mandatory in some instances that a preliminary arrangement be requested within 24 hours at the Court so that the objection procedure be waited out in the Netherlands. I am able to regulate such a request within 24 hours in most cases. This is not the same as an appeals procedure (see below). The deadlines for submission are stated in the decision. Therefore, do not wait too long with soliciting my assistance. It is pertinent that you hasten with contacting me due to the tendency of the submission deadlines being short. I can there proceed with a (preliminary) objection. As a lawyer I am able to immediately request the complete dossier at the IND. I will invite you into my office to discuss your case as soon as I have received your dossier.

If you have already raised an objection which was rejected, I can still appeal this decision on your behalf before the Court. In some cases, an injunctive relief (interim injunction) can be requested.

When you get a negative decision of the court, you can appeal at the High Court in many cases. In 95% of the cases the High Court makes a decision without a hearing session and does so without motivating the decision. You will only be informed that the appeal has been rejected by the high court. Be mindful that the procedure of the high appeal officially may not be waited out in the Netherlands.

Dependent on your income level, provisions for free legal AID can be made when making objection to a decision and filing for an appeal. Please refer to the fees page. Also note administrative fees apply to procedures started at the Court. This applies to both an appeals procedure as does it apply to a preliminary arrangement.

Feel free to contact me to discuss the possibilities and conditions. The procedures are difficult enough. Having a lawyer take care of everything is therefore pleasant.

The court case procedure

It is important to take note of the following should your case be taken up by the Court.

Many persons consider a court case very important and for this reason incorrectly assume that everything will be divulged during the court case. This is not the reality. The procedures are done in writing. Arguments are submitted in writing to the Court prior to convening. Extra documents and information need to be submitted to the Court for consideration up until 10 days before the set date. Anything otherwise is only permissible in extraordinary circumstances.

Accordingly, the trial does not serve the purpose for the entire case to be laid before the presiding judge. The judge has already been familiarized with the dossier. The trial is meant to provide the judge with the opportunity to pose any relevant questions to the parties. The IND is present at almost all times for this reason. I may provide explanation and clarification about the case on your behalf.

The judge often provides you with the chance to give a closing statement: you may make use of this opportunity but this is not necessary. It is useful that you consult with me before you want to make a statement regardless, and limit your statement to a short and powerful one. The verdict is not rendered at the close of the court case. This may take some weeks in fact. The judge will let us know at the end of the hearing how long we will need to wait for the decision.

A negative decision can be appealed in most cases.

In the case of a positive decision the court will dismiss the decision of the IND and turn the case back over to the IND. The court does not have the authority to grant a residence permit itself and merely has the capacity to supervise weather the IND has operated in a just manner. The IND then has to make a new decision mindful of the court’s objections and considerations. The new decision (by the IND) can be again negative, leading to a new submittal of an appeal at the court. In the case of a positive decision the IND can also appeal at the high court if they are not in agreement with the judgment. Thus a positive decision can be turned into a negative one.

In the case of an negative decision of the court we can initiate second appeal at the high court (Raad van State). This however is a formal and often mere written procedure. When a positive decision is reached at the high court, the case can either by referred back to the IND or the court.

A complaint against the Netherlands (the Dutch State) can be lodged with the European Court of Human Rights if the second appeal is also negative. These are complex and lengthy procedures for which the majority of cases will not be eligible. Please contact me to find out if youre case is applicable.