Question:

Residence Permit Gap: What is the "residence permit gap" and the consequences if I have a gap in the residence permit period?

(Last edited: Thursday, 11 February 2021, 3:52 PM)
Answer:

A residence gap is an interruption in your continuous stay and may cause problems later on if you want to apply for a Dutch permanent residence. In general, a residence permit gap has affects in the longer term, if you decide to apply for a Dutch permanent residence permit in the future. In order to apply for a permanent residence permit, one of the requirements is that you have legally resided in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of five years or more before you make the permanent residence permit application. This means that you require to have had a valid residence permit for the full five years, without interruptions or gaps within this period. You have thus always applied for extension of your residence permit on time. Another requirement is that within these five consecutive years you have not stayed outside the Netherlands for six or more consecutive months, or three years in a row for four or more consecutive months.

The consequence of a residence permit gap is that the period of legal residence in the Netherlands before this gap will not be taken into consideration. This means that you will have to start again building up a five-year uninterrupted period in the Netherlands to obtain permanent residency. Residency gap is not necessarily the same with the validity of residence permit, which means graduates should apply for Zoekjaar (Job Search/Orientation) visa within 4 weeks after their presentation date to avoid residency gap although their residence permit might still be valid.

For example: If your first residence permit is issued from 01-09-2009 till 31-08-2013, and if you apply for residence permit extension later than your expiration date (31-08-2013), then residency gap is created, and the IND starts counting from that day onwards -- that day your application form is received by the IND. Even a single day difference is recognised as a residency gap.

For more information and other requirements for applying the permanent residence permit, please visit: https://ind.nl/en/permanent-residence/Pages/permanent-residence-after-5-years.aspx

Source: https://ind.nl


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