New IND policy: residential address requirement for EU long term permit holders

In accordance with article 45d of the Foreign Nationals Act 2000 (Vreemdelingenwet 2000), the IND can revoke the status of EU long term stay (“EU langdurig ingezetene”)*, if the holder of such a permit resides outside the territory of the EU for a period of 12 consecutive months or outside the Netherlands (but in another EU country) for six years. Technically speaking, an absence shorter than 1 year should not jeopardize the status of EU long term stay, as long as the permit holder returns to the territory of the EU once every 364 days.

(*Please note that the EU long term stay permit is essentially different from the Dutch indefinite permit, in terms of main residency requirement. For more details, please refer to our article: Two Types of Permanent Residence Permits in the Netherlands: This is What You Need to Know About Them.)

Under the Basic Population Registration Act (Wet basisregistratie personen), one should deregister himself/herself from the population registry if he/she plans to stay longer than 8 months per year outside the Netherlands. A breach of this regulation can result in an administrative fine. In practice, some EU long term permit holders prefer deregistering themselves from the BRP system, as they no longer need to report their worldwide income to the Dutch tax authority and do not need to purchase a Dutch basic health insurance after their deregistration.

New IND Policy: residential address requirement

As from 1 January 2021, the Immigration and Naturalization Department have adopted a narrower interpretation of the word ‘consecutive’ through enacting the following policy:

"De IND beschouwt de periode dat de vreemdeling buiten het grondgebied van de EU dan wel buiten Nederland heeft verbleven ook als aaneengesloten als de vreemdeling gedurende deze periode een of meerdere keren naar Nederland of een andere lidstaat van de EU is gereisd maar zich tijdens dit verblijf of deze verblijven niet als ingezetene heeft ingeschreven in de BRP of de bevolkingshuishouding van een andere lidstaat van de EU".

The IND policy explains that, if an EU long term permit holder does not (re)register as a resident in any municipality within the territory of the EU, he/she will be perceived as being “continuously abroad” by the IND, even if this person has returned to the EU once or multiple times within a year. In other words, EU long term permit holders are advised to (re)register himself/herself as a resident in a municipal registry each time that he/she returns to the EU for a (short) visit. Such a residential address can be either in the Netherlands or another EU Member State. Failure to comply with this new IND policy may result in revocation of the EU long term stay status.

Undoubtedly, this new IND interpretation refrains EU long term residents from staying an extensive period outside the EU. Nonetheless, this new policy is introduced by the State Secretary of Justice and Security/IND unilaterally, and it has not been passed by a Dutch or EU legislative body or reviewed by an administrative judge. The IND have the authority to make administrative decisions in accordance with their policies. Affected people can request administrative review and file a petition for judicial review.

Contact us

We advise EU long term permit holders to reregister their address when they return to the Netherlands or the EU for (short) visit. If you have received a letter from the IND regarding the aforementioned issue, or if you have questions about the new policy, please feel free to contact us through filling out the contact form. An expert of Mynta Law will contact you shortly.