As more and more people opt to live together without getting married, the concept of cohabitation agreements has become increasingly popular. In the Netherlands, cohabitation agreements can also play a crucial role in visa applications for non-EU partners.

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of partners who choose to live together. It can cover various aspects, such as living arrangements, finances, property, and children. By signing a cohabitation agreement, partners can clarify their expectations and protect their interests in case of a breakup or legal dispute.

In the Netherlands, cohabitation agreements can also serve as evidence of a stable relationship between a Dutch citizen or resident and their non-EU partner. This is particularly important for visa applications, as the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) requires proof of « durable and exclusive » cohabitation for at least six months before granting a residence permit.

To apply for a cohabitation visa, the Dutch partner and their non-EU partner must meet certain conditions. These include being at least 21 years old, having a valid passport, and meeting the income requirement. The Dutch partner must also provide a declaration of support, confirming that they can financially support their non-EU partner for the duration of their stay in the Netherlands.

Apart from these requirements, the IND may also ask for additional proof of the relationship, such as photos, letters, or joint bank statements. However, a cohabitation agreement can be a powerful piece of evidence, as it demonstrates the partners` commitment to each other and provides a clear legal framework for their cohabitation.

To create a valid cohabitation agreement in the Netherlands, it`s advisable to consult a legal expert who can help draft the document and ensure that it complies with Dutch law. The agreement should specify the partners` names, the date of the agreement, and the terms and conditions of their cohabitation.

Some of the key provisions that a cohabitation agreement may cover include:

– Housing arrangements: who will be responsible for paying rent or mortgage, maintaining the property, and how the partners will divide the living space

– Financial arrangements: how the partners will split expenses, such as utilities, groceries, and insurance, and whether they will share joint bank accounts or credit cards

– Property ownership: how the partners will handle any joint assets, such as cars, furniture, or real estate, and what will happen to the property in case of separation or death

– Children: if the partners have or plan to have children, how they will raise and support them, and whether they will adopt or use assisted reproduction methods

– Dispute resolution: how the partners will handle conflicts or disagreements, such as through mediation or arbitration, and what will happen if they cannot resolve the issue amicably.

In conclusion, a cohabitation agreement can be a valuable tool for partners who choose to live together in the Netherlands. Not only can it provide legal protection and clarity in case of a breakup or dispute, but it can also help non-EU partners obtain a visa and stay with their Dutch partners for a longer period. As such, it`s worth considering a cohabitation agreement as part of any comprehensive estate planning or immigration strategy.