EU citizens, their (ex)partners and other family members who reside in the Netherlands and meet the requirements, have automatic, legal right to residency and to employment in the Netherlands. This means that, without a previous decision by the IND, past rights can be established, retroactively. For example, this can be important if, in an application for naturalization, it must be established if the person concerned was allowed to stay for a continuous period in the Netherlands. This can also be important in determining whether there was a right to benefits and whether an employee without a residence permit actually had the right to work.

In a recent case of Mr. Erik Scheers, the IND set aside their initial rejection of an application for naturalization because the right of residency could not be established, determining instead that the whole prior period was that of legal residency. It involved the partner of an EU citizen who got independent residency status immediately after the death of the partner. He can now become a Dutch citizen .

In another of Mr. Erik Scheers’ cases, the fine that should be imposed on an employer for illegally employing was reversed, because the employee as a member of a EU citizen’s family, was viewed in retrospect, to have a residency status, without it having previously been established.

Therefore, it is important for (ex) family members of EU citizens to not only decide on the registration of these persons at the IND, but also to establish whether past rights could be derived from European Union law.

For more information with regard to your rights as (ex) family member of an EU citizen, please contact Scheers Advocatuur