Netherlands Opens Borders for Couples Separated by COVID-19 EU Entry Ban
The decision was taken by the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus, along with Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs, and the State Secretary of Justice and Security Ankie Broekers-Knol who sent a letter to the House of Representatives.
Through the letter, the Minister announced the decision to relax the entry ban for bi-national couples.
From 27th July, the entry ban for loved ones from third countries who have a long-distance relationship with someone from the Netherlands is to be lifted if the couples produce what is being termed in the media as a “love contract”.
The Netherlands Opens Borders To Couples Bi-National Couples Can Enter Holland With A “Love Contract”
According to Minister Grapperhaus, the restrictions on long-distance relationships have been critically re-examined, as the entry ban has a significant impact on people who have long since not seen their loved one.
The adjusted arrangement only applies if it concerns a visit for a short stay.
This applies to a maximum duration of 90 days in the Netherlands within a total period of 180 days.
Because, in line with the European agreements on entry measures, there must be a lasting relationship, the scheme will be subject to the following conditions — a press release
The Netherlands “Love Contract”
The press release explains that those wishing to benefit from the relaxation of the entry rules for couples must prove they have a relationship of at least three months before the ban was introduced. During which time, the couple have seen each other ‘regularly’ in person.
The handwritten declaration will be required to be submitted by the couples. That declaration will need to state that they have been in such a relationship.
The declaration must include the following information:
- the personal details, residence address and contact details of the partner in the Netherlands
- the foreign partner’s contact details
The foreign partner must show proof he/she is in possession of a return ticket prior to his trip to the Netherlands.
Couples have not seen each other for months since the travel bans were put in place. Couples are also being prevented from seeing the births of their children and missing weddings.
Countries Allowing Bi-National Couples to Travel
Only 4 other European countries have their borders open to bi-national couples. The Netherlands joins Austria, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland in reopening their borders for non-EU lovers.
Sweden has a partial allowance for where the foreigner’s presence in Sweden absolutely necessary. For example, childbirth, burial and palliative care, and this should be substantiated.
The other European countries currently only allow for exceptional or emergency purposes.
In July, a group of Members of the European Parliament wrote an open letter to the German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer, raising the issue.
The letter is also directed to the Swedish EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson who recently tweeted in support of a vocal campaign carried by separated lovers in social media under the hashtags “#LoveIsNotTourism & #LoveIsEssential”.
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