I am getting married to my fiancee, who is a Dutch national. I hold refugee status in the UK, which means I don't have a valid passport from my country of origin. My fiancee lives and works in Belgium.

Can I live in Belgium with my fiancee and work in the Netherlands once I get married?

1 Answer 1


Living in Belgium should be no problem. As your spouse is Dutch (and not a Belgian national), EU law applies and exempts you from some requirements regarding her income or the size of her home. Your spouse will have to show that she meets the requirements for EU freedom of movement (working is enough though, so that should be straightforward in your case).

Working in the Netherlands could be more difficult. As long as your spouse still lives in Belgium, your marriage does not seem directly relevant, and your Belgian residence permit would not automatically allow that. An argument for EU freedom of movement to apply there could be made but I am not aware of any precedent (it would be an extension of the Singh decision and less of a stretch than, e.g., Zambrano so I could see the court accepting it, but you would need years of procedure with an uncertain outcome to even get there).

Consequently, what's left is just a regular Dutch work permit. This ought to be legally possible but it will require at least as much trouble for the employer as hiring someone from outside the EU would. If you do qualify (e.g. through some highly skilled migrant scheme), the fact that you do not hold a passport and do not live in the Netherlands (which means no address in the BRP, no BSN, and no clear procedure to get one) will complicate your dealings with the Dutch authorities (although I suppose that it should not legally bar you from working there).

Working in Belgium or even remotely for a Dutch business should be much easier.

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