Bureaucratic chalenge for parents of Dutch children

Bureaucratic chalenge for parents of Dutch children

Julien Luscuere
Jul 15

Residence with minor Dutch children (Chavez)

Reuniting a Ghanian mother with her Dutch Children

A heart-breaking decision finally turned out well. But a long bureaucratic road had to be taken first. This is how the story goes:

The mother is living in Ghana with her two Dutch sons. When the boys are at the age to start elementaryschool, the mother and father think it is for the best that the boys will relocate to the Netherlands. It is the most difficult decision the mother has ever made. In the summer the children move to the Netherlands with their fathers and their stepmother. The parents agree that the mother will visit the Netherlands to see how the young boys are doing. Regretfully, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuses the mother a holiday visa.

JulienLuscuere Advocaten evaluate their position and point out that under new jurisprudence, the mother wouldn't only be allowed to visit the children for a short term, but that she is also eligible to live with the children in the Netherlands. With our assistance, a new visa was granted to the mother, and she applied for a residence card to live officially together with her Dutch sons. However, in the first evaluation, the immigration office refuses the residency. It points out that the mother has a marginal role in the life of the children because they are already taken care of by the father and their stepmother. Without even a hearing, the immigration office reiterates its conclusion. We submit a new application which is also refused. Two appeals at the district court are lodged. An official complaint is filed at the immigration office for a complete lack of due diligence. We request the court to escalate the proceeding into a memo of three judges, including the juvenile judge. To evaluate the best interest of the children, a psychologist is assigned to observe the family for a day. Finally and reluctantly the IND re-evaluate the earlier decisions and invites the family to a hearing.

In an emotional hearing, the three parents and their children explain how the upbringing is organized, where each of them plays a specific and admissible part. Finally, almost three years after we started, the mother acquires a residence card with her children that states: a child with the nationality of an EU member state, has the right to remain in the European Union, to exercise and to receive its civil rights and benefits.

This was decided by the EU court in 2011, the Ruiz-Zambrano case. After the Chavez ruling in 2017, the Dutch government knew it had to be more appreciative of theposition of these families. Unfortunately, until today the immigration service is still scrutinizing any application to verify whether the parental tasks are substantial.  

We assistour clients with these difficult applications successfully. The delay is frustrating and we explain to our clients that it is not a question of whether the permit will be issued, but when. And in the meantime, we make sure that our client at least will have permission to work and start the life in the Netherlands.


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