Visas & Permits

Contacting the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
The IND implements immigration policy in the Netherlands. This article provides contact information for IND centres in cities such as Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Den Bosh, and Rotterdam.
IND Contact info Guide: Whether you are applying to relocate to the Netherlands with your family, as a highly skilled worker, student or au pair, or are seeking asylum or Dutch citizenship, your application will be assessed by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst or IND).
The IND is the final decision maker on applications for residency permits, naturalisation applications and persons seeking asylum. If you are unsure of the type of permit you require based on your individual situation.
The IND makes its decisions based on analysis of the application. It also oversees all admissions procedures and guards against their misuse.

Contacting the IND in person
The IND has eight locations in the Netherlands where you can enquire about residence in the Netherlands, submit an application for a residency permit, get a stamp or return visa on your passport or pick up your residency visa. These are only possible by appointment.

IND Locations
• IND Amsterdam
• IND Eindhoven
• IND Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch)
• IND Hoofddorp
• IND Rotterdam
• IND Rijswijk
• IND Utrecht
• IND Zwolle
To make an appointment, you must call 088 0430 430 between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.
When visiting the IND, you must bring either a valid passport or an ID card of a member state of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, as well your residence permit if you hold one.

IND Contact Offices:
IND Amsterdam
Stadhouderskade 85
1073 AT Amsterdam
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm
IND Eindhoven
Rijksverzamelgebouw Hooghuis
Keizersgracht 5
5611 GB Eindhoven
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm

IND Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch)
De Magistraat
Magistratenlaan 222
5223 MA ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm

IND Hoofddorp
Pharos
Mercuriusplein 1
2132 HA Hoofddorp
Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 9am–4pm

IND Rotterdam
Groothandelsgebouw
Conradstraat 28
3013 AP Rotterdam
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm every day except Thursday; 9am–12pm on Thursday

IND Rijswijk
Churchillhof
Sir Winston Churchillaan 293
228 DC Rijswijk
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm

IND Utrecht
Bergstraat 58
3511 RS Utrecht
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm

IND Zwolle
La Grande Vitesse
Zuiderzeelaan 43-51
8017 JW Zwolle
Open Monday to Friday: 9am–4pm

Contacting the IND via email
It is possible to follow IND on Twitter at @IND_NL, for general news about the IND and its services.

How to register a complaint with the IND
If you have any complaints about your dealing with the IND, you can complete and submit this complaints form . All complaints are registered and monitored while processed.
Reporting to the IND should the terms of your visa change
If you currently hold a visa, it is vital that the information the IND receives about your immigration status is valid and up to date. Should the basis of your residence permit change, you must report this to the IND.
If you are unsure whether this applies to your situation.

Common questions for the IND
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) are well equipped for answering questions and providing information regarding application processes, the status of your application, supporting documents (such as biometric details), translation and legalisation of documents, and where to send your application. Fear not, your question will have most likely been asked before and the answer will therefore not be hard to find. To contact the IND for answers to general questions visit their main website or via one of their regional offices.
If you need legal assistance related to immigration procedures in Netherlands, please consult our business listing section containing contacts of legal services and immigration consulting companies and specialists who can help you.

Re-entry visa for returning to the Netherlands
If you leave the Netherlands and your Dutch visa expires while you’re abroad, you will need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands.
If your Dutch visa expires while your abroad, or you must travel before a permit application or extension has been approved, you will need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands.
This might happen if you’re waiting for a decision on a change or extension on an existing permit or your current residence permit is due to expire while you’re out of the country.

What is a Dutch return visa?
This is a visa allowing you back into the Netherlands without a valid residence permit. It’s a national visa, not a short-stay visa for visiting the Netherlands, so you are only allowed to enter other Schengen countries in transit, not stay in them. If you wish to stay (even for a day), then you should contact the immigration authorities of the country you wish to visit and ask whether or not you will need a visa.

Who needs a Dutch return visa?
Anyone whose residence permit is due to run out while they are outside the Netherlands, or who is awaiting a decision on a submitted application:
• to extend a visa/permit or change the purpose of stay;
• for a permanent residence permit;
• for a first permit for a child born in the Netherlands;
• or to replace a lost or stolen document.
If you are waiting to hear back about a first residence permit or an appeal/objection about a rejected application, you can only apply for a return visa if you have an urgent reason to leave the Netherlands, such as illness or death in the family, a marriage or for business purposes.

How to apply for a Dutch return visa
You have to make an appointment at your regional Immigration and Naturalisation (IND) office by calling 088 0430 430 (Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm) from within the Netherlands. Call at least two or three weeks before you want to leave the Netherlands.
Documents
When you make the appointment, the IND will confirm which documents you’ll need to bring along but they may include:
• a valid passport/travel ID;
• your current residence permit;
• documents supporting the reason of your trip (if it’s urgent);
• police report if your permit has been stolen;
• appointment code.
Fees
You have to pay EUR 143 for a return visa, in cash or by debit card only, when you go to your appointment at the IND, although fees will be reviewed mid-year. For the latest fees, click here.
Timescale
It takes two weeks to process your application.

What happens next?
If the visa is granted, you will get a sticker in your passport, which allows you to leave and re-enter the Netherlands just once within three months of issue.
If the visa is for business purposes, you may be allowed multiple entries.
How long does the visa last?
Normally, the visa is valid for three months from issue. There are some exceptions, for example, if your residence permit is for ‘study’, and you will be travelling for study purposes, the return visa may be valid for six months. If you have a permanent residence permit, then it’s valid for one year.

Self-employed Dutch visa for freelancers and entrepreneurs
If you want to set up your own business, work as a freelancer or practice a profession in the Netherlands, you can apply for a self-employed Dutch residence permit.
If you want to live in the Netherlands and start your own business, work as a freelancer or practice a profession, you must apply for a Dutch residence permit as an entrepreneur. Certain conditions apply to each situation, which are outlined in this guide.

Immigration updates 2017
• The requirements to work as self-employed in the Netherlands can be rigorous if you are a foreign national. To avoid deterring new businesses, the Dutch government introduced the ‘Startup Visa’, effective as of January 2015, that allows new businesses a preparatory year to prepare the requirements for qualifying for the Dutch self-employment permit.
• Further changes were made to the Startup Visa in 2016, when the Dutch authorities recognised that after the preliminary start-up year many enterprises were still not able to pass the rigorous scrutiny of the standard self-employed application. As of January 2016 startups may introduce a favourable recommendation from their business facilitator that will replace the points-based system.
• The prices for self-employment permits were increased in January 2017 (see below).

Moving to the Netherlands
Different rules apply for citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland – and their family members. Read more in Expatica’s guide for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to the Netherlands.
Otherwise, depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands in addition to a Dutch residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months, although exemptions apply. Find out if you need an entry visa for the Netherlands in our guide to Dutch residence visa (MVV) and permit.

Conditions for self-employed Dutch residence permit
If you’re coming to work as a self-employed person or to set up your own business in the Netherlands, there are certain conditions that must be met to receive approval for your Dutch permit, most notably proving that your business activities serve an essential Dutch interest using a point-based system.
If you are applying for a residence permit to work for your own company, your business will be assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), a division of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, which awards points in three different areas: your personal experience, your business plan and how the business will benefit the Dutch economy.
The points-based review is rigorous; a well-prepared business plan with robust financial projections is a must and your application package should be very carefully put together. You must score at least 90 out of 300 points, of which you must score at least 30 points in each category. Only in very limited cases will an exceptional score in one category compensate for a unsatisfactory score in another category.
You must also prove sufficient and long-term means of support, for at least 12 months from the start of the procedure.
Businesses
To be deemed as self-employed when acting as director or a major shareholder of a company, you must additionally prove you have at least 25 percent interest in the company, be liable for risks and be able to influence the level of your income. If this is not the case, your relationship with the company would be considered as an ’employee’ and you would be required to obtain a work permit for employees.
Freelancers
If you are applying to work as a freelancer you must additionally prove that you have work assignments in the Netherlands at the time that you apply.
Healthcare practitioners
If you intend to provide healthcare services you are subject to regulation by the Individual Healthcare Professions Act (BIG) and you must be included in the BIG register. Upon admission you are able to use your professional title in the Netherlands.

Startup Visa for new entrepreneurs
Since January 2015, certain foreign nationals may be eligible instead to apply for an entrepreneur permit for one preparatory year.
The Dutch authorities acknowledge that many startup companies are not yet in the position to satisfy the points criteria for the standard self-employment visa, and thus the start-up visa was introduced. The start-up visa authorises a one-year preparatory period in the Netherlands, during which the startup entrepreneur works closely with a business facilitator to get the new enterprise ready to satisfy the conditions of the standard self-employed permit. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) keeps a list of recognised facilitators.
The start-up visa cannot be extended. After the first year the facilitator can submit a positive reference to the immigration authorities to support the self-employment permit application. A declaration issued by your facilitator can be equal to at least the minimum score for personal experience, business plan and added value for the Dutch economy of the point-based system. Read the conditions to see if you qualify for the Dutch Startup Visa.

Treaties with US and Japan
US citizens can operate as self-employed under a trade agreement between the US and the Netherlands – known as the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) – if they start a new business representing a US interest in the Netherlands, invest substantial capital in the enterprise and meet residence requirements in the Netherlands (staying at least six months per year). American entrepreneurs applying for a DAFT permit do not have to satisfy the points-based review.
Japanese nationals were also previously granted freedom on the labour market in the Netherlands, however, since 2016 the IND requires that a residence and work permit is obtained for stays longer than 90 days. For Japanese entrepreneurs, the IND currently takes the position that the self-employment permit is the appropriate residence permit. The application process is similar to that for US nationals, as there is also a trade agreement in place between Japan and the Netherlands. This is a situation that is likely to change and Japanese nationals should confirm the latest regulations before applying.

How to apply for a self-employed residence permit
If you require an MVV visa you must file your application at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country or in a country where you are legally residing, before you arrive. Read more about applying for your Dutch provisional residence permit (MVV).
If you only need to apply for a residence permit, you can wait until you arrive in the Netherlands to open your Dutch company and file your application. You can apply by making an appointment at your regional IND desk; contact to find your nearest IND desk, and download the application form here. You can also apply prior to your arrival if you want to start work as soon as you arrive (apply for your residence permit).
If you are applying for the start-up visa, you do not require an entry visa (MVV) regardless of your nationality, provided all the requirements for the permit are met. Read more about the application process; you or your facilitator can apply directly the IND using this application form.
Documents
When you apply for your residence permit, you will need to submit certain documents specific to your business and prove it has an essential Dutch interest. These may include:
• your passport/ID;
• proof of income;
• proof that you are qualified to practice your profession (eg. degree or certification);
• comprehensive details of your business, such as a business plan, legal and financial aspects, organisation, or market analysis;
• a certificate of the registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (if you will be running a company in the Netherlands) – for more information, click here;
• work assignments from Dutch employers (if you’re a freelancer);
• evidence of intended investments in the Netherlands (to demonstrate financial interests in the Netherlands);
• proof of educational qualifications;
• evidence of work connections and experience within the Netherlands.
Fees
You will have to pay a fee to process your application, which is non-refundable even if your application is rejected. Currently the self-employment permit costs EUR 1,319 (or less after having a Startup Visa), or EUR 317 for the initial start-up visa. Fees are reviewed bi-annually (January and July).
Timescale
You should allow 90 days for the IND to make their decision. In some cases the IND can extend the decision period for an additional 90 days.

Once you have your residence permit
Working
If you are self-employed, you can work without a work permit as long as the work you carry out is the same as set out in your residence application (ie. self-employed activity). If you take on any additional employment, your employer must obtain a work permit for you.
How long is the permit valid for?
Your permit is usually valid for a maximum of two years but it’s possible to extend. Find out how to extend your permit when it expires.
If your circumstances change
If you are no longer self-employed, you will need to apply for a new residence permit. Read our complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out which permit could be suitable for your individual situation.
Short-stay visa for visiting the Netherlands
Certain nationalities require a tourist visa to stay in the Netherlands for up to three months, or a transit visa even if only passing through en route to another country.
Depending on your nationality, if you are coming to the Netherlands for up to three months, or even passing through en route to another destination, you may need to apply for a short-stay visa.
What is a short-stay visa?
There are two types of short-stay visas:
• The A-visa is an airport visa for those who are merely changing planes in the Netherlands (i.e. not leaving the airport);
• The C-visa (sometimes called a Schengen visa) is for visitors who will be staying in the Netherlands for up to 90 days/three months, within a six-month period. This may be required for a holiday, to visit friends or family, business trips, or spending a few days in the Netherlands en route to another destination.
Schengen area visa
The Netherlands is one of 26 countries making up the ‘Schengen’ area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. They have one common visa and no border controls between them.

Who needs a short-stay Dutch visa?
A-visa
Nationals from: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Colombia, Congo Democratic Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran , Iraq, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan , Sri Lanka or Syria.
C-visa
Everyone, unless you are an EU/EEA/Switzerland national, or a national from one of the following countries: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong [holders of BNO (British National Overseas) Passports and Hong Kong SAR passports (Special Administrative Region)], Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, the Bahamas, USA, Uruguay, Vatican City or Venezuela.
If you’re a citizen of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia, you will only need a visa if you have the old-style, non-biometric passport.
If you are a citizen of Taiwan, you don’t need a visa if the number of your ID card is also included in your passport.
If you have a residence permit or long-stay visa issued by another Schengen country, you don’t need a visa to visit the Netherlands for less than three months.

Requirements for short-stay visas
• You will need to fulfil the following general requirements:
• You must have a passport or identity document (ID);
• You must be able to give a specific reason for your visit;
• You must have ‘sufficient means‘ for your trip;
• You must have adequate travel medical insurance (not required for A-visas);
• There must be ‘no risk of settlement’. The authorities need some assurance that you have no intention of coming to live in the Netherlands permanently;
• You must ‘not constitute a risk to public order, national peace or national security’ (e.g. not have a criminal record or cases pending – if you need further advice about your own situation, contact the IND).

How to apply for short-stay Dutch visa
Where to go
You have to apply via the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country you’re living in, so check out their website for where to go as they may have a dedicated visa centre. You will have to make an appointment and go in person with a completed application form (usually downloadable from the embassy website), ID and any accompanying documents.
If you’re going to be spending a few days in the Netherlands en route to another country in the Schengen area, you have to apply at the embassy or consulate of the country that will be your final destination.

Documents
Check with the Dutch embassy or consulate in case there are any specific requirements but as a rule, you’ll need to take two passport photos and the following original documents along with you:
• A valid ID document, for example, a passport, which should be no more than 10 years old and valid for three months longer than the date specified at the end of the visa period;
• Information about the reason for your trip, for example, a hotel reservation, invitation from a company to attend a conference or a ‘proof of sponsorship’ form completed by a person sponsoring (vouching) for you;
• Proof that you have enough money for the trip – at least EUR 34 per day. You could take bank statements or traveller’s cheques, for example. If you don’t have enough money yourself, you will need a relation to complete a ‘proof of sponsorship’ form (see above) and include evidence of their own income (click here for current amounts), their employment contract and three payslips;
• Proof that you have medical insurance for the duration of your trip, with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000;
• Some evidence of reasons why you will be returning to your country of origin, for example, an employer’s declaration, home rental agreement or proof of home ownership;
• Your travel reservation/ticket, although it’s safest to confirm your reservation only after your visa has been granted.
Fees
There’s a fee to pay for the application itself, which is not refunded if your application is refused. The embassy or consulate might charge additional administrative fees, and if you have a sponsor who is sending a sponsor’s declaration, there may also be a fee back in the Netherlands to ‘legalise’ the signature.
Currently, an adult visa costs EUR 60. The visa is free if you are:
• under six years old;
• a student or teacher coming to study or for training;
• an academic researcher;
• aged 25 or under and coming to take part in non-profit organisational events;
• a family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
Fees will be reviewed mid-year.
Timescale
Under Dutch law, it should take no more than eight weeks to get a decision, although the exact timescale for processing visa applications may vary, so check with the Dutch embassy or consulate handling your application.
The earliest you can apply is three months before you want to travel. Don’t make a firm booking for your trip until you’re sure the visa will be granted.

What happens next?
Application accepted
If your application for a visa is successful, the embassy of consulate will put a sticker into your passport. This will specify the start and end dates of the visa, and the number of days starts from the first day you enter the country.
Application rejected
If your application is rejected, and you’re eligible to register an objection, the letter that comes with the rejected application will tell you how to do this. You usually have four weeks to write to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), setting out the reasons why you disagree with their decision. You can do this yourself, or have a legal/authorised representative or lawyer do it on your behalf. You can apply for legal aid if necessary. Allow 12 weeks for this procedure to take place.

Once you have your short-stay visa
On your arrival
When you arrive in the Netherlands, if you’re staying for more than three days, you must report to the Aliens Police where you are staying within three days of your arrival – it’s a punishable offence not to do so.
If you’re booked into a hotel, they will contact the police on your behalf (you don’t have to do anything).
If you’re going to be in the Netherlands for less than three days, there’s no requirement for you to go to the police.
Working
You can work on this visa but only if your employer has obtained a work permit (TWV) for you.
How long do short-term visas last?
The A-visa is for transit only while the C-visa allows you to enter the Netherlands and stay for up to three months in a six-month period.
Extending or applying for another visa
You cannot extend this visa, apply for a residence permit once you’re in the Netherlands on this visa, nor return home and immediately re-apply for another short stay visa to return to the Netherlands for a further three months (i.e. you can’t use a series of short-stay visas to prolong a stay in the Netherlands).
If you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than the three months, you must return to your country of origin (or country of continuous residence, i.e. where you have official permission to live for more than three months – this is not a short stay visa) and apply for an MVV and/or residence permit through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV). You can find out how to apply for these visas by reading Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.

Dutch residence permits for exchange programmes
Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders can apply for one-year working holiday schemes; other nationalities can live in the Netherlands for one year under private exchange programmes.
The Working Holiday Programme (WHP) for Canadians and Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) for Australians and New Zealanders are bilateral exchange programmes, which allow young people to stay in each other’s countries for a year. Everyone else has to take part in privately run schemes. Read on to find out about the requirements for both types. As of 1 June 2014 South-Korean nationals may also take part in the WHP.
If you’re taking part in a WHP/WHS exchange, you will only need a residence permit, although certain conditions apply.
If you’re taking part in a private scheme, depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and/or a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, the exchange organisation (your sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).

To find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit, read Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.

Conditions for exchange programme residence permits
There are different conditions for the official WHP/WHS and private exchange programmes.

WHP and WHS in the Netherlands
You can apply to take part in one of these programmes if you:
• are a Canadian, Australian or New Zealand national with a valid passport/ID;
• are aged between 18-31;
• have a return ticket (or the money to buy one);
• have not had a residence permit for exchange purposes before.
You must not be asked to pay a security deposit or sign a contract with a penalty fee to an agency or exchange organisation, nor sign a contract to perform any task for which specialised skills are required.

Private exchange programmes in the Netherlands
If you want to come to the Netherlands on a private scheme, you must:
• be aged between 15 and 30;
• have a valid passport/ID;
• not have stayed in the Netherlands on a residence permit before;
• be taking part in an IND-approved exchange programme;
• be staying with a host family (that’s at least two people) for whom you’ve never worked before;
• agree to take a tuberculosis test when you arrive, if required.
You must not be asked to pay a security deposit or sign a contract with a penalty fee, nor perform any task for which specialised skills are required.

Your sponsor
The exchange organisation (who must be recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service or IND) is your sponsor. The sponsor can apply on your behalf, and lodge objections and appeals (if your application is rejected). The sponsor has to sign a declaration that you fulfil all the required conditions, and they have certain legal obligations:
• They must ensure that participants are carefully selected and recruited and that the programme itself is run correctly;
• They have a duty to inform the IND of any changes during your stay (either in your situation or their own);
• The must keep certain administrative records;
• If you are found to be staying illegally in the Netherlands after the end of the programme, they have to pay for you to be sent home.

How to apply
If you’re taking part in WHP/WHS, you can apply for your residence permit in the Netherlands at the IND office where you’re going to live (you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad, or visit your nearest IND desk). You can also apply through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) via the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country.
If you’re taking part in a privately run scheme, then the exchange organisation (your recognised sponsor) can submit an application for an MVV and/or residence permit on your behalf through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) before you come to the Netherlands.
Supporting documents
If you’re a WHP/WHS participant, you’ll need:
• Copies of pages from your passport/ID;
• Copies of your return ticket (or evidence that you have the funds to buy one).
If you’re going through a private organisation, check with them about which specific documents you’ll need to submit but you will definitely need to provide copies of your passport/travel ID. You’ll need to make sure any foreign documents are legalised/authenticated and in English, Dutch, German or French – if not, they must be translated. For more information on this, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
There’s a non-refundable fee of EUR 53 to process the application. Fees will be revised mid-year, so check the latest fees here.
There may be additional fees for legalising documents and costs incurred by the embassy to process your application.
Timescale
Two weeks when the organisation is recognised by the IND.

Once you have your permit
Working
If you’re with a WHP/WHS you can take on work to cover your living costs without the need for your employer to hold a work permit in your name.
If you’re part of an exchange programme run by a private organisation, you cannot work. The only exception to this may be when voluntary work is part of the exchange programme.
How long does the permit last?
The permit is valid for one year only and cannot be extended. If you want to stay in the Netherlands after the permit has expired, then you have to apply for a new residence permit with a new purpose of stay.
Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.
The information given here is for guidance only and you should seek specific advice from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country.

Dutch residence permit for au pairs
An au pair agency can sponsor and apply for your Dutch residency permit so you can live and work as an au pair in the Netherlands for up to one year.
You can work as an au pair for one year with a host family, carrying out light household tasks in exchange for board and lodging. But you – and your host family – have to fulfil certain specific conditions. Only an au pair agency can lodge your application, who acts as your recognised sponsor/employer.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and/or a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, you (or a sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
To find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit, read Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.

Conditions for au pairs
In addition to the general requirements for MVV/residence permit to enter and stay to the Netherlands for longer than three months, as an au pair you must:
• be aged 18–30;
• have not held a residence permit in the Netherlands for exchange purposes before;
• stay with a host family (ie. at least two people) for whom you have not worked (abroad) before, with ‘sufficient long-term means’ to support you all;
• you must be registered with the Municipal Personal records database (BRP) at their address;
• undertake no more than 8 hours per day or 30 hours per week of light household duties, with a previously agreed daily schedule
• not pay more than EUR 34 to any au pair agency as a registration fee.
Your agency
Your sponsor must be an au pair agency recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Contact the IND for a list of recognised agencies. As well as submitting an application on your behalf, your sponsor can also put forward objections and appeals if the application is refused.
The sponsor has to sign a declaration that you fulfil the criteria for your stay, provide information about you and your host family (for example, the latter’s income) and has a legal obligation to report any changes to the IND while you’re in the Netherlands, for example, if you change host families. The agency must also pay repatriation costs if au pairs overstay their visa.

How to apply for an au pair residence permit
The au pair agency will submit your application to the IND on your behalf.
Documents
The sponsor will tell you which documents they need to send to the IND but they will definitely require copies of your passport/travel ID. Foreign documents will need to be authenticated or ‘legalised’ by the appropriate authorities in the originating country and be in Dutch, English, French or German. For more information, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
The agency will have to pay a fee to process your application, which is non-refundable if your application is rejected. The current fee is EUR 614. Fees will be reviewed mid-year, so check the latest fees here.
There may be additional costs for legalising or translating documents or administrative costs incurred by the embassy or consulate in processing the application.
Timescale
The IND aims to take two weeks to assess your application.

Once you have your residence permit
Working
You can only work for your host family, carrying out the daily tasks previously agreed. You cannot undertake any other type of work.
How long is the permit valid for?
It’s valid for one year only and cannot be extended. If you want to stay in the Netherlands when the permit ends, you have to make an application for a new residence permit with a new purpose of stay, and the IND will assess you to see if you meet the conditions. You should make the application before your initial residence permit runs out.

Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.
If your circumstances change
If you change host families, for example, your au pair agency must inform the IND in writing.

Dutch residence permits for employees
If you want to work in the Netherlands as an employee (a labour migrant), there are multiple options for obtaining a Dutch residence permit, outlined in this guide.
If you want to live in the Netherlands to work as an employee, your type of work will dictate which Dutch residence permit you need and whether you require an additional Dutch work permit or not.
For most types of labour, your employer must get work authorisation for you in addition to your application for a Dutch residence permit (for the purpose of employment) if you plan to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days. Typically, an employee will qualify to apply for a single permit, which combines both the residence and work permits into one application process. For certain categories of workers, work authorisation is included in their residence permit, for example, highly skilled migrants or ‘blue card’ residents. Some categories of employment do not qualify, however, and separate residence and work permits are required.
Who can enter the Netherlands?
The requirements for entering and staying in the Netherlands depend on your nationality and the duration of your stay.
Certain nationalities require an entry visa (MVV) plus a Dutch residence permit if they plan to live in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. Find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need a Dutch residence permit in our guide to provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.
If you don’t require an entry permit for the Netherlands, you can enter the country with your passport. After you have arrived, you must apply for a residence permit for stays of more than 90 days.
Citizens from member states in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland do not need a residence permit to live in the Netherlands, although other registrations apply. Read more in our guide for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to the Netherlands.
Below is an explanation of the different types of Dutch residence permits for the purpose of employment.

Highly skilled migrants
If you are a highly skilled worker, your employer can obtain a ‘highly skilled migrant’ or a ‘blue card’ residence permit which includes work authorisation for you. To qualify, typically you must meet the applicable salary threshold; in 2016, it was set at EUR 3,108 for under 30s and EUR 4,240 for over 30s.
To obtain the highly skilled migrant permit, your employer must be recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The IND aims to process these applications in two weeks. For the blue card permit, your employer does not need to be recognised by the IND, but the process will be quicker for recognised sponsors. Read more about the requirements and application process in our guide to residence permits for highly skilled migrants.

Who qualifies for the employee single permit?
As of April 2014, most labour migrants coming to the Netherlands for more than three months will receive the single permit GVVA (gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid), which combines the Dutch residence permit and work permit.
You or your employer can apply for the single permit through the IND, who sends the application to the Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV). The UWV then checks if you fulfil the conditions set out in the Foreign National Employment Act (Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen, Wav), and advises the IND on your application. With a positive recommendation from the UWV, the IND will proceed to assess your residence permit application.
Generally the single permit is issued for one year, although for some categories of employees the permit is issued for three years.
Employees who qualify for the single permit are:
• Regular labour migrants
• Interns
• Practitioners
• Certain foreign nationals working in the Asian restaurant industry
• Teachers in international education
• Ministers of religion and spiritual leaders.

Who requires separate residence and work permits?
Some categories of employees cannot obtain the single permit. Employers must apply for a separate work for the following labour migrants:
• Labour migrant working in the Netherlands for less than three months
• Seasonal workers
• Students who take up work
• Asylum seekers
• Croatian nationals
• Intra-company transferees
• Service providers (if not work permit exempt)
• Refugees
• Graduates on an orientation year permit
• Family members of single permit holders
• Croatians
• Seafarers.
For these foreign nationals, employers need to obtain a separate Dutch work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) issued by the UWV. The foreign national – or the employer on their behalf – must also apply for a Dutch residence permit for stays of more than 90 days, with an entry permit (MVV), if applicable.

Conditions for empoyee residence permits
The conditions and documents required for the labour migrant residence and work authorisation depend on your category of stay.
For a regular labour migrant work permit (ie. not falling within any of the specific categories), the following conditions apply:
• You must earn at least the Dutch minimum wage for employees over the age of 23.
• You must earn a ‘competitive salary’ while working in the Netherlands.
• Your employer must submit information about the recruitment process to show that the positions could not be filled by an EU/EEA/Swiss national (labour market test).
• You must have sufficient long-term means of support, for at least for 12 months or for the duration of contract if less than a year – you can check the current income requirements here.
For some work permit applications, the labour market test is not required, for example, intra-company transfers, interns, and refugees.
You will need to submit certain documents to support your application, depending on the category you apply for. These include copies of your passport/travel ID, and in some cases your educational diplomas – check with your employer for the specific documents required. The employer will also need to submit information about the company itself, your employment contract and, if required, the recruitment process. Also, there can be specific salary requirement for certain categories. Some foreign documents will have to be legalised and be in Dutch, English, French or German. For further information, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.

How to apply
Application for employee single permit
You, or usually your employer, can submit the single permit application to the IND. The IND will forward your application the Dutch employment agency (UWV), and based on the UWV’s advice the IND will make the final decision on your permit.
If your application is successful, the IND will notify your employer. You will then be required to go to the IND to collect your single permit in person. The permit consists of two documents: a residence document and a separate work permit supplement stating for which employer and under which conditions you may work. Your employer will receive a copy of the latter.
Application for an employee residence permit
If you are not eligible for the single permit, you and/or your employer will need to make two separate applications: a residence permit application, with an entry permit (MVV) if applicable, to the IND plus a separate work permit application to the UWV. Only your employer can apply for your work permit, but either you or your employer can submit your residence permit application.
The IND will then wait for a copy of the work permit before approving your residence permit application. The original work permit is sent to your employer directly; to obtain your residence permit you will need to visit the IND in person.
Fees
The fee (EUR 881 in 2016) is a non-refundable fee for processing your application. You will not receive a refund if your application is refused. Fees are reviewed yearly, however, so check here for the latest information.

Timescale
The IND has three months to process your application.
There’s a simplified fast-track procedure for employers who are IND recognised sponsors. If your employer has registered, the IND aims to process your application within two or seven weeks, depending on whether a separate work permit is required.

Once you have your Dutch residence permit
Working
Your work permit (supplement) will indicate your work status. You will be able to work as long as your employer holds work authorisation or a work permit in your name.
How long does the permit last?
The single permit is valid for up to one year and can be extended. A separate residence permit will be valid for the same length of time as the work permit obtained by your employer (usually up to one year) but can be extended as long as you still fulfil the conditions. Find out how you can extend your permit.
Some categories of employees, however, can get a permit for up to three years.
If your circumstances change
Whether you have a single permit or separate residence and work permits, the IND must be informed of any changes relevant to your residence status within four weeks, for example, if you change employers. The IND will assess whether your changed situation still meets the requirements of your residency.
If you leave paid employment but wish to stay in the Netherlands under different circumstances (for example, to study, be with a relative or partner or to work as self-employed), you will have to apply for a new residence permit and prove that you fulfil the new conditions required for that purpose stay. You can read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

Study in the Netherlands: Dutch student visas
Foreign students can apply for a Dutch student permit for the duration of their course – plus an additional one year ‘orientation visa’ upon graduation to look for work.
Foreign students who have been accepted into higher education study programmes in the Netherlands are eligible for Dutch residency for the duration of their course. They are also eligible to apply for an additional one year residency before their course to prepare, plus are allowed to stay one year after graduation to look for work.
If you want to move to the Netherlands to study for more than three months, once you have been provisionally accepted into a course, the educational establishment will apply for a Dutch student residence permit on your behalf.
Dutch student visa
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands, in addition to a Dutch residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. Since 2013, the educational establishment (your recognised sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV). You can find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands in Expatica’s guide to Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.
Different rules apply for citizens from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland – plus their family members. If this applies to you, read Expatica’s guide for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to the Netherlands.

Conditions for Dutch student residence permit
In addition to the general requirements for applying for the MVV and temporary residence permit, you must fulfil certain other conditions. The educational institution will apply on your behalf, so they may also have their own specific requirements.
Students must also prove they have sufficient, long-term financial means to support their stay in the Netherlands: see the latest government financial requirements for students.
Secondary and vocational education
You must have (provisional) proof of registration in a full-time course at a recognised secondary or vocational educational institution in the Netherlands, and be able to prove that the Netherlands is the most appropriate place to take your course (for example, if the course is not available in your home country).
In addition, you must meet at least two of the following criteria:
• have family connections in the Netherlands;
• be able to speak, understand, read and write in Dutch (the school or college may ask you to pass a test or take a course);
• be a national from Suriname, Indonesia or South Africa and live there at the time of application;
You will also have to prove that by taking the course you will be make a ‘positive contribution’ to your home country and its labour market – the school or college will have their own way of testing this.
Higher education and university
You must have already been provisionally accepted as a student into a full-time higher education course or programme at a recognised Dutch university, university college or university of applied sciences. You can see the IND’s list of recognised sponsors (select ‘Educational Institutions’).
You can also apply for a student residence permit if you are enrolled in an educational programme in preparation for higher education or university. You are allowed to come to the Netherlands for a year before your higher education course starts in preparation for the course or entry exam – this year is added onto the duration of your residence permit.
Additionally, check with your educational institution if they have their own requirements for accepting foreign students into a course. For example, you may need to demonstrate a knowledge of the Dutch language or take part in a transfer programme.

How to apply for a Dutch student permit
The education institution must apply on your behalf so you need to contact them for details of the procedure. However, below are some general requirements to help you prepare for the application.
Documents
The educational institution will need legalised (authenticated) copies of your passport or travel ID and certain documents, all of which need to be in Dutch, English, French or German. For information on legalising and translating documents, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
It currently costs a non-refundable fee of EUR 311 to process an application for an MVV and residence permit for the purpose of studying in the Netherlands. The fees are reviewed twice yearly, and are subject to change mid-year. For the latest fees, click here.
You may also have to pay to legalise (authenticate) any documents in your home country or have them translated.
Timescale
If the educational intuition is a recognised sponsor, the IND strives to make its decision within two weeks of your application.
Working as a student in the Netherlands
With this permit, you are only allowed to work limited hours, either:
• up to a maximum of 10 hours a week; or
• seasonal labour during June, July and August.
In both cases, your employer must have a work permit (TWV) for you, unless you are a Japanese citizen.
If you have to work as an intern as part of your course, your employer won’t need to get a work permit for you but will need to sign an internship agreement with you and your university or college.

How long does the study residence permit last?
For secondary and vocational courses
Your residence permit will be valid for the duration of your course up to a maximum of five years, plus an additional three months. Before your permit expires, you can apply for an extension for the rest of your programme of study (read what to do when your residence permit expires or you want to leave the Netherlands).
After your course has finally ended, your permit will expire. You will have to leave the Netherlands unless you wish to apply to stay for another purpose.
For higher education and university
Your residence permit will be valid for the duration of your course up to a maximum of five years, plus an additional three months, and the preparatory year if you need this.
If you change your course part way through and start a new one, the number of years you’ve already studied will be deducted from the maximum duration of the new course.
The residence permit may be withdrawn if you do not maintain sufficient progress – at least 50 percent of the required credits each academic year – in working towards your degree.
Before your permit expires, you can apply for an extension of your stay for the rest of your programme of study.
After your course has finally ended, your permit will end too. You will have to leave the Netherlands unless you wish to apply to stay for another purpose, for example, if you find a job. You can find a list of different residence permits here.

After your course finishes: Graduates’ orientation year permit
Graduates of higher education or university studies (bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degrees) can apply for an orientation year for graduates’ permit within three years of graduating. This gives you one year to look for employment, during which time you can work without any restrictions or the need for an employer to hold a work permit for you. For more information, read about Dutch residents permits for graduates’ orientation year.

If your circumstances change
If, during the duration of the permit, you change college, university or other educational establishment, you must inform the IND in writing within four weeks after the change has taken place.
If you are no longer studying at any Dutch institution, the basis on which you were granted your residence permit will have changed, so if you wish to continue to stay in the Netherlands, you will need to apply for a new residence permit. Read Expatica’s complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out which permit could be suitable for your individual situation.
For the duration of a university course, the educational establishment will monitor your performance and inform the IND if certain standards are not met or you fail a course – this can lead to your permit being rescinded.

Dutch residence permit for Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degree graduates
Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree graduates from both Dutch and leading foreign universities can apply for an ‘orientation year’ permit to live in the Netherlands for one year to look for work.
Foreigners who are highly educated graduates can legally live in the Netherlands by applying for a Dutch residence permit for the purpose of taking one ‘orientation year’.
If you’ve been awarded a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree from a Dutch university or abroad at one of the world’s top universities within the last three years, you can apply for a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands for one year to look for work.

Who can apply for an ‘orientation year’ Dutch permit?
To apply for this permit, in addition to holding a valid passport/travel ID, and not being a ‘threat to public order’ (ie. no criminal record or cases pending), you must:
• have been awarded, no more than three years ago, a Master’s degree or PhD in the Netherlands or at one of the universities listed in the top 200 of the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings or Academic Ranking of Word Universities (also known as the Jiao Tong Shanghai ranking);
• have a written diploma evaluation from Nuffic (a Dutch organisation for international cooperation in higher education), if your qualification is from outside the Netherlands;
• not have previously held a Dutch residence permit to seek work (ie. you can only apply for this permit once);
• score at least 35 out of 40 points on a points system assessed by the IND (eg. you can score 25 points for a Master’s degree, 5 points for being aged 21–40, 5 points for either working or studying in the Netherlands for the previous six months, or 5 points for holding a Dutch language diploma level A2).

How to apply for your Dutch residence permit
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and/or a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. Different rules apply to citizens from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA; EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland.
Since 2013, it has been possible for non-EU/EEA citizens to apply for both permits in one application, known as the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV), which can be submitted by you or a sponsor on your behalf. This has made the process easier.
Find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit: Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.
Where to go
If you’re applying for the MVV and/or residence permits through the TEV procedure, you can apply through the Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country.
If you don’t need an MVV, you can still apply through the TEV procedure via the Dutch embassy, so that your permit is ready when you arrive in the Netherlands.
If you have a sponsor in the Netherlands, they can submit an application on your behalf at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) while you’re still in your home country.
To apply, you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad; in most cases, you need an appointment to visit your nearest IND desk (with the exception of picking up your residence permit). The IND answers questions and provides information at @IND_NL. Sponsors or those already in the Netherlands can submit an application by post: the address is listed on the application form.
Form
If you’re applying through the TEV procedure, see the website of the Dutch embassy in your home country for an application form before you arrive. If you are not, then you can the download application form from the IND.
Documents
You will need to show with your passport/ID, and a legalised (authenticated) copy of your Master’s diploma or doctorate from the Dutch or foreign university – and, if the latter, you’ll also need a Nuffic diploma evaluation. All documents must be in Dutch, English, French or German.
For information on legalising and translating your documents, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.

For the points system, you’ll need (where applicable) to submit an employment contract if you have previously worked in the Netherlands, proof of any previous study in the Netherlands (of at least six months) or a copy of the Dutch language diploma ‘Nederlandsetaal NT2, level 2′.
If you received your qualification outside the Netherlands and in a non-English-speaking country, then you will need a copy of the certificate English IELTS (International English Language Testing System) level 6, and a copy of a Master’s/Bachelor’s diploma from an institute of higher education from one of the 47 ‘Bologna’ countries.
Fees
The non-refundable permit fee (EUR 622 at 1 January 2016) is payable when you submit your application. Fees are reviewed at the beginning and middle of the year.
Timescale
You must allow up to 90 days for the IND to make a decision.

Once you have your Dutch residence permit
How long is the permit valid for?
The permit is valid for one year only and cannot be extended. If you wish to stay longer in the Netherlands, you have to apply for a new residence permit, depending on the reason for your stay.
Working
You can work without any restrictions on this permit for one year, but to keep working in the Netherlands after that you will need to get a new permit based on a different purpose (for example, as a highly-skilled migrant, an employee or self-employed worker). Depending on your new Dutch permit, you may or may not need a work permit.
If you have found a job as a highly skilled migrant or scientific researcher, then your potential employer (not you) can apply for a new residence permit as a highly skilled worker and won’t need a work permit for you.
If you have found a job but not as a highly skilled worker, you can apply for a permit as an employee or ‘labour migrant’ – but your employer will need to hold a work permit for you.
Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits
Certain nationalities require a Dutch visa to enter the Netherlands, plus a Dutch residence permit to live in the Netherlands for longer than three months.
If you want to enter the Netherlands or live in the Netherlands longer than three months, you will need to see if you require a Dutch visa or residence permit for legal stay.
To be allowed entry into the Netherlands, you may need to obtain a provisional residence permit (MVV) before you leave your home country, although some nationalities are exempt. Additionally, you may also need to apply for a Dutch residence permit to be able to continue living in the Netherlands long-term.

Who doesn’t need a Dutch permit?
If you are a citizen from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland you can travel freely to the Netherlands without requiring any visa or residence permit. However, you will need to register with the local authorities if you plan to stay long-term. Read more about EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to the Netherlands.
If you are a family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, you can also come to the Netherlands but must apply for verfication against EU law. Read about the application procedure in our guide for joining EU/EEA/Swiss family.
If you are not from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, nor a family member of someone who is, you will typically need a Dutch residence permit.

Entry permits and residence permits for the Netherlands
If you are not an EU/EEA or Swiss national, and you intend to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, you will typically require a Dutch residence permit. However, if you do not fall in an exempt category (listed below), instead you are required to apply for a combined provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands plus a residence permit, and you may be required to take an integration exam beforehand.
Since 2013, you (or a sponsor in the Netherlands) can apply for the MVV and residence permit in a single application via the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV). If you are exempt from the MVV requirement, you or your sponsor can apply for a residence permit while you are still abroad, or you can opt to apply for your residence permit once you are already in the Netherlands, since you do not require a provisional residence permit to enter the Netherlands.
It is important to note, however, that if you are MVV exempt, you must apply for your residence permit within 90 days after your arrival in the Netherlands or any country in the Schengen area. After 90 days you must be in possession of a residence permit, or have applied for a residence permit, or you will be in the Netherlands illegally.

Do you need an entry permit (MVV)?
Not everyone needs an MVV in order to enter the Netherlands and apply for a Dutch residence permit.
You will need to apply for an MVV unless:
• you (or a close relative) are from the EU/EEA/Switzerland;
• you already hold a valid Dutch residence permit;
• you already hold a ‘long-term residence permit EC’ issued by another European Community (EC) state;
• you already hold a residence permit in another country that is part of the Schengen area;
• you already hold a residence permit/Blue Card for 18 months in another EC state;
• you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States of America or the Vatican City;
• your child (under 12) was born in the Netherlands and you have lawful residence in the Netherlands.
As mentioned above, if you do not require an MVV, you can apply for a residence permit directly, either abroad or in the Netherlands.
If you do require an MVV but don’t apply for one, and instead only apply for a residence permit, your application will be refused.

Before you apply: Civic integration exam abroad
If you are aged 18–65, and your nationality requires you to apply for an MVV, you may need to pass a civic integration examination in your home country beforehand. This is a three-part test of your knowledge of the Dutch language and Dutch society, which you can take via a computer at your Dutch embassy or consulate.
There are exemptions to this requirement, including:
• Turkish nationals;
• those applying for a residence permit for adoption, paid employment, as independent persons under an international treaty, exchange, au pair, study or medical treatment;
• those holding certain qualifications, including higher education diplomas/university degrees, civic integration certificates and Dutch language qualifications.
The exam currently costs EUR 150. To find out what the exam entails and how to prepare for it, see www.naarnederland.nl. To find practice exams and how to register, see en.inburgeren.nl. Once you have passed the exam, you have one year to apply for the MVV.

Sponsors
In many cases, you will have a sponsor, which is a person or organisation – such as an employer or educational establishment, or a family member – with an interest in you coming to the Netherlands. The sponsor can – and in some cases, must – apply on your behalf and can lodge objections or appeal if your application is refused. Sponsors also have certain legal obligations, such as informing the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) if your circumstances change, keeping administrative records about you and even paying repatriation costs if you outstay your visa and have to return home.

General requirements for Dutch residence permits
To qualify for the MVV and/or Dutch residece permit, you will need to fulfil certain general conditions:
• You must have a passport or identity document (ID) valid for the duration of your stay.
• You must ‘not constitute a risk to public order, national peace or national security’.
• You must be able to prove you have ‘sufficient means’ during your stay, by providing evidence of your income with pay slips/salary statements, official documents showing shares if you are a company director, or a letter from your benefits agency if you’re receiving benefits. For the latest figures on expected level of income.
• To travel to the Netherlands you must have travel insurance for the entire Schengen area, and upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must have or obtain health insurance that will cover you while you are residing in the Netherlands.
• You must have a ‘purpose of stay’ – and prove it. For example, if your purpose is work, you will have to produce your employment contract, or if you are coming to join a partner or relative (for the purpose of family reunification), you will have to show a marriage or civil partnership certificate or proof of family ties.
• You must agree to take a test for tuberculosis within three months of your arrival in the Netherlands, and to have treatment if you are found to have the disease. If you do not take the test within this time your resident permit could be withdrawn. You are exempt from this obligation if you:
• are a national from an EU/EEA state, or from a country that is on the list of exempted nationalities;
• have a valid resident permit from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland; or
• have an EC residence permit for long-term residents issued by another EU state (or are a family member of a long-term resident who has been allowed entry into another EU county on that basis).
There will also be additional specific requirements according to your purpose of stay and individual circumstances. See below.

How to apply for a Dutch permit
MVV and residence permit combined
You can submit your application yourself using the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) via the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country or ‘country of continuous residence’ (ie. where you have legally stayed continuously for at least three months).
Alternatively, if you have a sponsor in the Netherlands, the sponsor can apply for the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) on your behalf by filling in the application form, collecting the relevant documents from you and sending it all to the IND.
In certain cases, your sponsor must apply for the TEV procedure on your behalf, for example, if your purpose of stay is study, or employment as a highly skilled migrant.
Residence permit only
You or your sponsor can opt to apply for a temporary residence permit with the IND while you are outside the Netherlands. Otherwise you should apply within 90 days of your arrival in the Netherlands.
You will need to go in person to your local IND desk, or apply for the residence permit via post See www.ind.nl for contact details.
Completing the form and accompanying documents
You (or your sponsor) will have to provide information about your purpose of stay, provide evidence to support your application, and you and/or certain people associated with your stay (sponsors/employer/accountant/medic) must sign various declarations contained within the appendices of the application form. For specific information about what is required for different types of permits, there are links below for each type of purpose of stay.
Completing the form and accompanying documents
You (or your sponsor) will have to provide information about your purpose of stay, provide evidence to support your application, and you and/or certain people associated with your stay (sponsors/employer/accountant/medic) must sign various declarations contained within the appendices of the application form. For specific information about what is required for different types of permits, there are links below for each type of purpose of stay.
If you are submitting foreign documents, these must be legalised or authenticated by a government authority in the originating country. All documents must also be in Dutch, English, French or German. If not, they must be translated by a translator sworn in by a Dutch court, and submitted along with the original documents. For more information on legalisation and translating documents, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
You must pay a fee to process your application. The fee is not for the permit itself, so it’s important to be aware that if your application is rejected you will not receive a refund.
If you’re applying at a Dutch embassy or consulate, you will need to confirm with the diplomatic post the payment method that will be accepted. If you apply to the IND by post, they will send you payment instructions once your application is received. If you apply in person at an IND desk, you are required to pay the fee in full, by cash or Dutch debit card at your appointment.
Timeframe
The IND’s legal processing time is 90 days but if your application is filed by a sponsor recognised by the IND, processing times can be as short as two weeks. To check progress during this time, you can call the IND public information centre (make a note of your V-number or case file number beforehand to speed things up).
For general and specific queries, you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad. The IND’s twitter account @IND_NL is also for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.

What happens next?
Application accepted
If you are granted the MVV/residence permits, you (or your sponsor) will receive written confirmation that your application has been successful. You must collect your MVV within three months after the approval at the Dutch embassy or consulate. The MVV sticker will be put into your passport (make sure your passport is valid for at least an additional three months longer than the MVV). Once you have collected the MVV, you will have three months from the commencement date shown on the sticker to travel to the Netherlands.
If you are granted a residence permit, you will be required to collect it at an IND office in the Netherlands. The permit will contain your personal information, V-number, purpose of stay, end-of-stay date, and your work status (whether and how you are allowed to work).
Application rejected
If your application is rejected, and you are eligible to register an objection, the letter containing the decision to reject your application will state the next steps to file an objection. You usually have four weeks to write to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), setting out the reasons why you disagree with their decision. You can either file the objection yourself, or have a legal/authorised representative or lawyer file it on your behalf. You can apply for legal aid if necessary. The IND’s legal processing time for objections is 19 weeks. If the IND rejects your objections, you can take your case to appeal to a Dutch court.

If your residence permit is not ready
If you have applied for a Dutch residence permit only and it’s not ready, you can get a ‘residence endorsement’ sticker put into your passport from the IND. This will allow you to stay in the Netherlands while you await the outcome of your application. The sticker will state whether you are authorised to work during your application process.

Once you have been granted your residence permit
Once you have entered the Netherlands and once you have received your residence permit, all non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals must register at the Municipal Administration (BRP) in their area within five working days.
Working
You can only start work once you have collected your residence permit with authorisation to work or have the ‘residence endorsement’ sticker in your passport stating you are authorised to work. Not all residence permits grant work authorisation automatically; whether or not you can work will depend on your personal circumstances. In certain cases your employer will need to hold a work permit in your name. Working in the Netherlands without proper work authorisation can lead to significant fines.
How long is the residence permit valid?
Once you have collected the MVV, you can enter and leave the Netherlands (and other Schengen countries) for a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days. Your Dutch residence card should be available during that time, and once collected it will replace the MVV.
The residence permit can be granted for up to five years, depending on individual circumstances. It may be possible to extend your residence permit but in some cases you cannot, for example, if your purpose of stay is to work as an au pair, as a seasonal worker, on a working holiday exchange programme, or to gain work experience after graduating. Find out if you can extend your permit.
If you cannot extend your existing permit and you want to stay in the Netherlands, you must apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay. Our complete guide to Dutch visas and permits will tell you if you’re eligible to apply for a residence permit with a different purpose of stay If your circumstances change
Certain changes – for example, if you get a new job or change university – require you (or your sponsor) to inform the IND but do not require you to change your residence permit.
Other, more substantial changes – for example, changes in your family/marriage situation or a change in purpose of stay, for example, from employment to study – may require you to apply to the IND for a new residence permit. The IND will assesses your application to determine whether or not you fulfil the requirements of the new purpose of stay.
Residence permits for different categories of people and different purposes of stay each have their own requirements, conditions, restrictions and length of validity. Read more in complete guide to Dutch visas and permits

Dutch residence permits for scientific researchers
If you have access to a doctoral programme and have been selected to work on a scientific research project, you and your family can apply to live and work in the Netherlands.
Under the Directive 2005/71/EC, if you hold an educational qualification that gives you access to a doctoral programme, and you’ve been selected to work on a scientific research project in the Netherlands, a recognised research institution can submit a fast-track application on your behalf.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and/or a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, you (or a sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
To find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit, read Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.
Conditions for scientific researchers
In addition to the general requirements for MVV/residence permit (such as holding a valid passport), you must have entered into an agreement with a research institute recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). This agreement should confirm that:
• you have the appropriate qualifications for access to a university doctoral degree programme;
• the research project you will be working on has been approved by the research institute;
• the legal relationship between you and the institute and your terms of employment have been set.

How to apply for a scientific research residence permit
The research institute will apply on your behalf.
Documents
Check with the research institute about which documents you will need to submit but you will at least need your passport/travel ID. Any foreign documents will need to be legalised or authenticated by the appropriate authority in the originating country, and be in Dutch, English, French or German. For information on how to do this, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
The fee (currently EUR 307) is a non-refundable fee for processing your application. You cannot get a refund if your application is refused. There may be other fees, for example for legalising documents in your home country.
Timescale
Research institutes recognised by the IND qualify for a fast-track procedure, whereby the IND aims to come to a decision on the application two weeks of receipt.

Once you have your residence permit
Working
You are allowed to work as a scientific researcher in the Netherlands and the research institute does not need a work permit in your name. If you carry out any other type of work then the employer must have a work permit in your name.
Any family members are free to work without a work permit (but do need to get a residence permit, see Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits).
How long does the permit last?
The permit lasts for the same time as the research project, up to a maximum of five years, but is extendable if you continue to fulfil the conditions of the permit. Find out how you can extend your permit.
If your circumstances change
If you change research institutions during this time, the institute must inform the IND. If you leave the research project but wish to stay in the Netherlands for another purpose (as an ordinary employee, or a self-employed person for example), you have to apply for a new residence permit.
Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

A guide for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens moving to the Netherlands
A guide to the rules and registration required for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens coming to live and work in the Netherlands.
If you are a national from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA; EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit to come to, or stay in the Netherlands so long as you have a valid passport or national travel ID and are not deemed to be a risk to public order or national security. If you are staying for more than four months, you need to register with the personal records database in your local area and get a Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer or BSN); see details below.
Different rules apply, however, for the newer EU member Croatia. Croatian citizens need a work permit for their first 12 months of employment; they can also opt to apply for verification against EU law if staying longer than three months.
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can also bring family members to the Netherlands. If you are coming to the Netherlands with relatives who are not EU/EEA or Swiss citizens, you also have to register with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and your relatives will also have to apply for verification against EU law.
Verification against EU law
Anyone from the EU/EEA, Switzerland and Croatia can come to the Netherlands freely with a valid passport or travel ID. If you wish to stay for longer than three months, you can choose to apply for verification against EU law and request a certificate of lawful residence, but this is not obligatory. Fees typically apply. Details on how apply for verification against EU law are provided in Expatica’s guide to long-term residence for Croatian nationals in the Netherlands.
If an employer needs proof of your lawful stay in the country you can download a letter (in Dutch) from the IND to give to them; it explains that obtaining verification against EU law is not an obligation as of 2014.

Registration in the Netherlands
If you plan to be staying in the Netherlands for longer than four months, you have to register with the municipal personal records database (BRP, formerly the GBA) via your local municipality (gemeente) within five days of your arrival in the Netherlands. You must register in the town where you’ll be living as the registration is connected to local taxation. Your partner/spouse and children need to register too.
You’ll need to show proof of your identity such as your passport or national travel ID document – a driving licence is not acceptable – and evidence of your address in the Netherlands, such as a property lease agreement or letter from a person you are staying with. You may also be asked for a certified copy of your birth certificate. Registration is free but you may need to contact the gemeente beforehand to make an appointment.
After registering, you will be issued with a Citizen Service Number (BSN).

Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer or BSN)
Everyone living in the Netherlands has a Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer or BSN), which was previously known as the Tax and Social Insurance Number (sofi or sofinummer). This number is needed to register with the tax authorities and you may also be asked for it by your GP, in hospitals and pharmacies.
Your BSN is a unique number needed for all official matters in the Netherlands, such as opening a Dutch bank account, paying tax and social security contributions, applying for benefits, using the healthcare system, enrolling your children in a school. You must inform the authorities of any change of address.
If you’re staying in the Netherlands for less than four months you do not have to register with the local authorities, but you can still apply for a BSN at the non-resident desk of your local municipality, or call the government information service on 1400.

Registering with the IND – for those with non-EU/EEA/Swiss relatives
If you are coming to the Netherlands with relatives who are not EU/EEA or Swiss citizens, you will have to register with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). You will need to contact the IND and complete a form. See the IND website for more information and to find your nearest IND desk; you need to make an appointment if you want to visit an office in person. Your relatives will also have to apply for verification against EU law using a form.
Dutch health insurance
Most people will need to apply for compulsory Dutch health insurance even if they are covered by insurance from their home country. Everyone staying in the Netherlands is obliged to have a basic health insurance policy in order to access the Dutch healthcare system. You have four months to take out insurance after arriving in the country. You can choose your own insurance provider and you may wish to extend your cover with additional private insurance.
Dutch companies are obliged by law to offer everyone the same basic package and can’t deny any application on the grounds of a pre-existing health condition or age.
There are some exceptions. You may not need to apply for Dutch health insurance if you:
• are staying in the Netherlands temporarily (for less than a year) and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), although you should get an S1 form to prove your entitlement to healthcare.
• are a student or researcher, in which case you need to have either an EHIC, insurance from your home country or private insurance specially for students/researchers.
• have been seconded to the Netherlands by your company and are covered through the employer.
• have a policy from your home country which is acceptable to the Dutch authorities.
To apply for Dutch health insurance you will need your Citizen Service Number (BSN), proof of residence and your passport or national travel ID document when you apply to an insurer. You can apply online or over the phone.
For more information on Dutch health insurance, what it covers and how to find an insurer, read Expatica’s guide to health insurance in the Netherlands.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens working in the Netherlands
Unless you’re a citizen of Croatia, citizens from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland can work freely in the Netherlands in any type of work.
There are work restrictions for Croatian nationals
As a Croatian citizen, you can only work in the Netherlands if your employer has a work permit for you for the first 12 months. After 12 months’ continuous, legal employment, you can work freely in the Netherlands without a permit. These restrictions will be reviewed in 2018 and could remain in place until June 30, 2020.
DigiD – accessing online government services
You can register to access online government services though the DigiD website. You’ll need your BSN to do so.

Permanent residence for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens
After five years’ continuous residence in the Netherlands, EU/EEA and Swiss citizens (including Croatian citizens) and their family members can apply to stay in the Netherlands permanently. For more information, see Expatica’s guide to Dutch permanent residence in the Netherlands.

Preparing supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications
Learn about the process of getting your documents certified before applying for permanent residence in the Netherlands.
When applying for residency in the Netherlands, you’ll need to provide supporting documents from your home country to prove your identity. Generally speaking, these will need to be certified by your government before they’ll be accepted by the Dutch immigration authorities.
In this guide, the business planning and invoicing agency Payingit International explains how you can get a identification document certified ahead of your move to the Netherlands. A important word of advice: it pays to get started with the process right away to avoid delays later.

Documents required for a Dutch visa: the basics
When you apply for a permit to visit or stay in the Netherlands, you will be asked to provide supporting documents. These must be properly authenticated in your home country, and be provided in a language approved by the Dutch authorities: Dutch, English, French or German.
Find out more about residence permits in the Netherlands in our full guide on Dutch visas and permits.

How to get an apostille stamp
You can get your documents – a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate, bank statement, etc. – legalized with an ‘Apostille’ (pronounced ‘a-poss-teel’) certificate or stamp. This stamp means your documents will be recognized as authentic in a whole host of countries.
That’s because there is a reciprocal agreement between 105 member states signed up to Convention 12 of The Hague Convention, whereby member states recognize foreign documents ‘apostilled’ by other member states.
Generally, certification services can only be provided by your home country’s government. For example, this is carried out by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK, and the Department of State in the US.
You’ll usually need to pay a fee to have documents certified – and how much it’ll cost you varies significantly from country to country.

How to get your documents legalized
Unfortunately, the process isn’t always as simple as getting in touch with the relevant government department. Before a document can be legalized by the government, it will usually need to signed by an official from the issuing body (e.g. a medical report should be signed by a doctor from your country’s professional medical association) and/or certified by a lawyer or notary public. Only then can you submit a document for official legalization (the Apostille stamp).
This sounds cumbersome, but the situation was much more complicated before the agreement (and still is for countries not part of The Hague Convention). Documents required certification from several agencies, authorities, schools, etc. in both your home country and the country of destination. The process is much more streamlined now.

How to find an apostille in your country
To find out how to get a document legalized, you should check your government’s website. While some countries provide fast service, you should try to start this process a few months before you apply for your permit to ensure everything is ready in time.
Below, we explain how the certification process works, and where to go to get more information in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia.
Finding an apostille in the United Kingdom
In the UK, you’ll need to apply to the government’s Legalisation Office to confirm a signature or stamp is from a certified UK public official.
The service costs a fee of £30 (€34) per document, plus courier costs of £5.50 (€6.25) per 1.5kg. To have the document delivered to a European country, the courier cost increases to £14.50 (€16.50) per 1.5kg,.
The UK government says it takes two working days to process documents on its standard service (4-5 days in October due to high demand). It also offers a £75 (€85) same-day business service, for which documents must be taken to and from an office in London.
You can find out more by using the UK’s document legalization service.
Finding an apostille in the United States
In the USA, apostilles and authentication certificates are provided by the US Department of State’s Office of Authentications.
Authentication services can be requested by mail, appointment (for urgent cases) or pick up and drop off at the Office of Authentications. The postal service takes around 12 business days once the Office of Authentications has received your documents.
In the US the prices are much lower than in the UK, with a fee of $8 (€7) for each document you submit.
You can find out more on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
Finding an apostille in Australia
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade deals with authentications in Australia, though staff in Australian Passport Offices are also authorized to provide these services.
Certification services are available by mail or in person, and if you choose the latter option you’ll need to make an appointment at the Passport Office.
The government doesn’t provide specific details of how long the process takes, though it does say that you should expect delays during peak holiday periods and the end of the school year.
Apostille and authentication services in Australia cost AUS$81 (€50).
You can find out more on the Australian government’s smart traveller website.
General apostille information
For more information about legalization of documents in the Netherlands, you can call the Ministry of General Affairs on +31 77 465 6767, email info.consulair@minbuza.nl or visit www.rijksoverheid.nl / www.government.nl.

How to get your documents translated
All documents provided to authorities in the Netherlands must be in Dutch, English, French or German.
If they’re not in one of these languages, they must be translated by a translator sworn in by a Dutch court, and submitted along with the original documents. If this process doesn’t take place in a Dutch court, the translation will also have to be legalized in the country of origin, as above.
You can find a list of interpreters and translators who have been sworn in by Dutch courts on the WBTV website

For more information on apostille stamps
Complete guide to Dutch visas and permits
The Immigration & Naturalisation Service (IND)
See the IND website for more information and to find your nearest IND desk.
For general and specific queries, you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad.
The IND’s twitter account @IND_NL is also for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.

PayingIt Services
PayingIt helps so-called knowledge migrants/highly skilled workers get here and get started. They work with you to get visas, residence permits, and work permits. They can’t create the documents for you or do the legwork (that has to be done by you, in your home country, before you come to the Netherlands), but they can make everything else much clearer and less stressful, by taking on all the administrative tasks necessary to get you here and started in your job. In about six weeks from the moment the employment agreement is signed, they will have your invitation letter. That is what you use to get your entry visa to be able to travel to the Netherlands.
If you have a signed employment contract, here’s what they need from you:
• Photocopy of your passport;
• Signed antecedents certificate (statement regarding any criminal history);
• Copy of education certificates/diplomas. They must be in English;
• Résumé/CV;
• Job description;
• List of required job skills.

Dutch residence permit for highly skilled migrants
Employers can apply for Dutch entry/residence permits on behalf of highly skilled migrants before they arrive in the Netherlands.
If you want to work in the Netherlands as a ‘highly skilled migrant’, your employer can submit a fast-track residence application on your behalf, even before you move to the Netherlands.
‘Highly skilled migrants’, sometimes called ‘knowledge workers’, are foreign nationals who are deemed to make a contribution to the knowledge-based economy in the Netherlands. In general, to be classed as a highly skilled migrant, you have to earn a certain level of income. Your employer must also be an IND recognised sponsors.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. Your employer (your sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, known as the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
Find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit: Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.

Immigration updates 2016
• The salary levels required to qualify as a highly skilled migrant were raised: for those under 30 years old, the threshold is EUR 3,108; for those older than 30, it’s EUR 4,240.
• The permit fee was raised to EUR 881.
• Highly skilled migrants and scientific researchers who have applied for a permit extension can now retrieve their residence document at an expat centre. Before, residence documents were only issued at the centres at the time of the first issuance.

Conditions for highly skilled migrant residence permits
In addition to the general requirements for the MVV and/or residence permits, to qualify for the highly skilled Dutch permit you must:
• have an employment contract (or written agreement) with an employer (sponsor) who is recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The IND holds a list of recognised employers/sponsors;
• be earning a ‘competitive income’ – prices are reviewed twice-yearly, but as of 1 January 2016 if you’re older than 30, you’ll need to be earning at least EUR 4,240 per month; if you’re under 30, the threshold is EUR 3,108 per month. If you have been in the Netherlands for a graduates’ orientation year permit, this level is reduced to EUR 2,228 per month. For more information on income levels. If you’re going to work as a scientific researcher or a medical doctor undertaking specialist training, these amounts don’t apply and you only have to earn the Dutch minimum wage;
• be included in the BIG register (an organisation regulating healthcare profession in the Netherlands) if you’re going to be working in the health field.

How to apply
Your employer will apply on your behalf.
Documents
Check with your employer about which specific documents you need to give them to support your application. Any documents you do submit should be legalised (authenticated) and be in Dutch, English, French or German.
For more information on how to legalise and translate documents, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
It costs a non-refundable fee to process the application, so you don’t get a refund if your application is refused. The current fee is EUR 881, although prices are reviewed at the beginning and middle of the year.
Timescale
The IND will process your application within two weeks.

Once you have your permit
When can you start work
You can work as soon as you have your residence permit. If you need an MVV to enter the Netherlands, you can collect your residence permit once you arrive in the country. If your residence permit is not ready, your MVV sticker should include the employment status that you are allowed to perform work as a highly skilled migrant or scientific researcher, so you can start working as soon as possible. If there’s no employment status, an IND or expat office can do it for you.
If you don’t need an MVV, your employer will apply for your residence permit through the same TEV procedure so that your permit is ready for you to start work immediately. If for some reason there is a delay in processing the residence permit, you can go to an IND desk and get a ‘residence endorsement’ sticker put into your passport. This sticker allows you to work while your residency permit is being processed.
Highly skilled migrants can seek information and submit and retrieve residence documentation via specialised expat centres. Find your nearest expat centre in the Netherlands.
You can also visit the IND website for more information or contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad. You need to make an appointment if you want to visit an IND office (except when picking up your residence permit); find your nearest IND desk. The IND’s twitter account @IND_NL is also for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm, or you can email.
Your employer does not need to get a separate work permit for you. Members of your family can work, too, without the need for a work permit, as soon as their residence permit has come through. They can also use the services at an expat centre in the Netherlands.
For information on getting residency permits for your spouse, partner or family members, click on the link that is relevant to your nationality:
• EU/EEA/Swiss nationals: Residence permits for family members/partners
• Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals: Residence permits for family members/partners
How long does the permit last?
The permit is valid for the same length of time as your employment contract, up to a maximum of five years. It can be extended. Find out how to extend your permit.
Family members’ permits are valid for the same duration.
If your circumstances change
If you change employers your sponsor has an obligation to inform the IND. If you leave all employment and want to stay in the Netherlands on another basis (you want to study for example), then you will have to apply for a new residence permit.
Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

Moving to the Netherlands to join a partner or family member
If you have a family member living in the Netherlands find out if you’re eligible to join them with a ‘family reunification’ Dutch residence permit.
If you have a partner, spouse or relative who is residing in the Netherlands – either from the European Union (EU) or a third national country (non-EU) – you can typically apply for a Dutch residence permit to join them. However, the application process and the conditions to qualify will depend on your nationality and the nationality of your family member living in the Netherlands. Different processes apply depending on whether you and your family member are from the EU or outside the EU.

Who can move to the Netherlands to join family?
If you are the spouse, partner or close relative of a national from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA – the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you are eligible to apply for a residence certificate that allows you to live and work in the Netherlands on the basis of EU law. Certain conditions apply, which are listed below. If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland yourself, you do not need any permit but a different procedure applies.
If neither you nor your family member is from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will typically need to apply for a Dutch resience permit, although different conditions must be met. Proceed to the second part of this article to learn how you can qualify for a Dutch family reunification residence permit.

Moving to the Netherlands to join EU/EEA or Swiss family members
Even if you are not an EU/EEA or Swiss national yourself, you have the right to apply for a residence permit to come and live in the Netherlands with a family member who has EU/EEA or Swiss citizenship.
Certificate of lawful residence
If you want to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months, you may apply for Verification against EU law and obtain a certificate of lawful residence (proof of legal residence). This is a document that demonstrates that you are allowed to live in the Netherlands legally and that you can work without restriction in any sector, without the need for an employer to hold a work permit in your name.
Conditions for joining EU/EEA/Swiss relatives
You are eligible to apply for verification against EU law and the certificate of lawful residence if you are the spouse, (registered or unregistered) partner, child under 21, parent or grandparent of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who has lawful residence in the Netherlands.
If your family member is a Dutch national, in most cases the EU verification procedure will not be available to you, even though the Netherlands is a member of the EU. Instead, you must apply for a residence permit. See the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to see which permit could apply to your situation.
The exception to this is if you have already lived with that person while they were living in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, and they are now back in the Netherlands. If your partner can be considered as having ‘lived as an EU citizen’ in another EU country, the EU verification procedure will be open to you.
How to apply for EU verification
You must apply in person at your local IND office. Make an appointment by calling the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) at 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad.
Although EU citizens are no longer required to complete any immigration formalities in the Netherlands, your EU family member must complete a ‘notification’ to sponsor your verification. You can then file your application.
Documents
For your appointment, you should prepare the following documents:
• your valid passport/travel ID;
• proof of your relationship with the relative who is the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen (eg. a marriage or partnership certificate, a tenancy agreement to prove you have lived with your partner for at least six months before applying, or a declaration from a recognised authority regarding your relationship);
• proof of your relative’s lawful residence in the Netherlands (eg. EU registration);
• proof that your relative has sufficient funds to cover your stay – see the income requirements.
• proof that you are registered in the Dutch municipal personal records database (BRP).
Foreign documents must be legalised (authenticated) and in Dutch, English, French or German. For information about legalising documents and translation, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Form
You have to complete the form called ‘Application for Verification against EU Law (certificate of lawful residence)’.
Fees
It currently costs EUR 50 to apply, and if your application is refused, you won’t get a refund. Fees are reviewed bi-yearly.
Timescale
The IND can take up to six months to make their decision.

EU/EEA/Swiss family members: Your rights once you hold a certificate
Your certificate will give you the same rights as your relative with EU/EEA/Swiss nationality.
Working
You can work without any restrictions in any sector without a work permit.
How long does the certificate last?
You will be issued with a certificate valid for five years.
Shortly before it expires, the IND will inform you that you can apply for an extension (find out how you can extend your permit). After five continuous years of residence, however, you may be eligible to apply for Dutch permanent residence or Dutch citizenship.
If your circumstances change
You may be allowed to continue living in the Netherlands even if your circumstances change. For example, if you separate or get divorced from your partner, you can still stay in the Netherlands if you can prove you were together for three years before the separation/divorce and had been living for at least one year in the Netherlands.
You should contact the IND about your individual situation; you can call 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad. The IND’s twitter account @IND_NL is also open for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm. You can also read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

Dutch residence permit to join non-EU/EEA or Swiss family members
If you do not have a relative who is an EU/EEA or Swiss national and you want to join your family member in the Netherlands, you’ll need to fulfil certain specific conditions to be allowed to live there.
If you’re a close relative (eg. spouse, partner over 21 or child under 18) of a third country national who is already or will live and work in the Netherlands, and you want to remain with them in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days, you will typically need a Dutch residence permit to stay. In addition to the residence permit, depending on your nationality, you may also need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands.
Read about Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits to find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit. If you need both permits, you or your relative (your sponsor in the Netherlands) can apply for them in one application process, known as the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
If you are over 18, you cannot come to the Netherlands for the purpose of staying with your parent but must have another basis of stay, for example, you have a job, want to work as an au pair or are enrolled in study (see below for permits for different purposes of stay).
Conditions to apply
To join your spouse or partner in the Netherlands, you must fulfil the following:
• You and your spouse/partner must be 21 years or over (there is an exception for Turkish nationals).
• You must be married or in a civil partnership, or be able to prove that you are both single and in an exclusive, long-term relationship.
• You must live together as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands, run a joint household and be registered at the same address at the Municipal personal records database (BRP).
• Your partnership must also be registered in the Netherlands at the BRP.
• If your spouse/registered partner holds a temporary permit with non-temporary purpose of stay, he or she must have been in the Netherlands for at least one year (this doesn’t apply if the permit is for an employee, entrepreneur, highly skilled migrant, study or scientific researcher).
• Your spouse or registered partner must prove he or she is able to support you financially for at least one year at the start of your application. Currently there is a monthly minimum threshold of EUR 1,646.57 for a couple, but amounts are reviewed bi-yearly.
If you’re a minor joining a parent, you must be:
• the biological or legal child of your parent(s) and have a parental relationship with them;
• under 18 and single;
• going to live with your parent(s), who must have sufficient means to support you for 12 months.
Depending on your nationality, you may be required to take the ‘Civic Integration Abroad’ exam before you can go to the Netherlands, although exemptions apply. The exam tests your knowledge of Dutch language and culture and comprises three tests: knowledge of Dutch society, speaking skills and reading skills. In principle, if you are required to obtain an MVV (Dutch entry permit) and if you are older than 18, you are required to take the exam. You can be exempt if your sponsoring family member is in the Netherlands for the purpose of employment, alongside a number of other exemptions. You should confirm whether you must take the exam as far in advance as possible, to avoid delays in your travel plans.
How to apply
If you’re applying for an MVV/residence permit through the TEV procedure, then you need to apply to your Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country. There is an exception if your family member is working in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant.
If you only need to apply for a residence permit, then a sponsor (such as your family member in the Netherlands) can apply to the IND on your behalf while you’re still in your home country, or you can wait until you arrive in the Netherlands and make an appointment at your regional IND desk. You should file your application as soon as possible – the IND strives to make a decision within 90 days but it can take even longer, and you will not be able to work until a residence card has been issued.
Documents
These include:
• copies of the identification pages of your spouse/partner/parent’s passport or ID card;
• copies of your spouse/partner/parent’s residence permit;
• proof of your spouse/partner/parent’s income (eg. employment contract);
• copy of your marriage/partnership certificate, or signed declaration of your unmarried status if you are not married or in a registered partnership, or your birth certificate if joining your parent(s);
• a sponsor’s declaration – for example, a letter confirming your relationship.
Any foreign documents must be authenticated or ‘legalised’ by authorities in your originating country and be in Dutch, English, French or German. For more information on how to legalise or translate your documents, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
Fees
Application costs depend on nationality, but in nearly all cases the fee will be EUR 233 for a spouse/partner and EUR 50 for each dependant child, although prices are adjusted annually. See the latest fees here.
The fee is to process your application, so you won’t get a refund if your application is rejected. There may be additional administrative fees payable to the Dutch embassy or consulate handling your application, for the civic integration exam and for legalising documents etc.
Timescale
It can take the IND 90 days to process your application.

Third-national citizens: Once you have your Dutch residence permit
Working
As a rule, family members receive the same work authorisation as their sponsoring relative. Therefore, if your spouse/registered partner is allowed to work on the basis of a work permit, then you will also require a Dutch work permit. If your family member is a highly skilled migrant and is free on the labour market, you can work without limitation and without a work permit, too. Read more about Dutch work permits.
How long does the permit last?
Your permit will be valid for the same time period as the relative/spouse you are joining, up to a maximum of five years, and can be extended. Find out how you can extend your permit. After five continuous years of residence, you may be eligible to apply for Dutch permanent residence or Dutch citizenship.
If your situation changes
If you came to the Netherlands to be with your partner or spouse but you no longer live with them, you will have to apply for a new residence permit if you want to stay in the country. Any changes to your situation that affect the residence rights of you or your family must be reported to the IND within four weeks. Failure to do so could lead to penalties for you or your relative.
Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.

Moving to the Netherlands: Guide to Dutch visas and permits
Which Dutch visa or permit do you need to visit, live, work or study in the Netherlands? Here’s an essential guide to apply for the correct Dutch visa or permit for your individual situation.
You may need to apply for a Dutch visa or other permit with IND Netherlands if you are considering moving to the Netherlands to live, study, work or join a relative or partner. This guide explains the requirements and conditions of the different types of Dutch visas and permits to help you choose which permit you need for your individual situation. Typically, your nationality and reason for coming to the Netherlands will dictate the Dutch visa or permit you need.
The information given here is for guidance only and you should seek specific advice from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) (contact details are provided below), or from a legal immigration expert such as Expat Management Group, a group of recognized legal experts in the Netherlands who deliver specialized services in all professional aspects of expat mobility management. Read on to find out which Dutch visa or permit you need to visit, live, work or study in the Netherlands.

Who needs a Dutch visa or permit?
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens
The Netherlands is one of 26 countries making up the ‘Schengen’ area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. They have one common visa and no border controls between them, so citizens in the Schengen area can travel freely to the Netherlands.
If you’re a citizen from one of the countries in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA; EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you don’t need a visa to visit, live, work or study in the Netherlands ¬– however long you stay – unless you’re from the newer EU member, Croatia (see below).
If you have dual nationality (and passports), whether or not you need a visa depends on which travel document you’ll be using to travel to the Netherlands (even if you’re not living there at the time of travel).
For stays longer than four months, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are expected to register with the personal records database (BRP) and get a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer or BSN), which is a social security and tax number.
If you’re staying for less than four months, you are not obliged to register but you will still need to get a BSN for all official matters. Ask at your municipality or you can call the government information service on 1400 (from within the Netherlands) or +31 77 465 6767 (from outside the Netherlands).
For more information, see our guide for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens moving to the Netherlands; different conditions exist for long-term residence for Croatian nationals.
Partners and close relatives of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens
If you want to join a close relative (eg. spouse, partner, grandparent or child under 21) of an EU/EEA/Swiss national who is living in the Netherlands (but are not an EU/EEA/Swiss national yourself), you also have the right to live and work in the Netherlands without the need for a permit.
However, you will need to apply for verification against EU law to receive a certificate of lawful residence; it is a document proving you are allowed to legally stay in the Netherlands and work without a permit. Details are provided in our guide.

Which Dutch visa or permit do you need?
Short-stay Dutch visas: transit and up to three months
For those stopping briefly in the Netherlands (even for a few hours) en route to another destination or staying for up to three months, depending on your nationality you may need to get a short-stay visa.
There are two types of short-stay visa:
• The A-visa is for transit only and is needed by passengers of certain nationalities who are making a stopover in a Dutch airport en route to another country, outside of the Schengen area. It only allows you into the international zone of a Dutch airport. If you are leaving the airport, even for a day, you will need to get a short-stay C-visa.
• The C-visa (sometimes called a ‘tourist visa’) allows you to stay in the Netherlands (or any other country in the Schengen area) for up to three months (90 days) within a six-month period. During this time you can work if your employer has a work permit in your name but you can’t apply for a residence permit on this visa. You have to leave the Netherlands and apply from your home country.
Find out how to apply in our guide to short-stay visas for visiting the Netherlands.
Long-stay Dutch visas and permits: more than three months
If you want to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months, unless you’re a national from an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, you may have to apply for a long-term entry visa (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit – plus you may have to take an integration exam.
Not everyone needs an MVV. If you do, you can apply for the MVV and the residence permit at the same time in one single process called the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) procedure. Both permits are granted at the same time; you are issued with the MVV, which allows entry into the country, and you collect the residence document from an IND desk within two weeks of your arrival.
If you don’t need an MVV, you can still apply for a residence permit through the TEV procedure from outside the Netherlands, or from the IND after you arrive. To check whether you need an MVV or residence permit, and for information on the application process, see our guide to Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.

Dutch residence permits for different purposes of stay
You must apply for a residence permit depending on your purpose of stay. Each Dutch permit has its own conditions, requirements, restrictions and length of validity.

Return visa
If you’re already in the Netherlands and wish to leave the country temporarily but your current residence permit expires while you’re away, or you have a pending visa application (say to replace a lost residence document or a change of purpose of stay), you may need a return visa to get back into the Netherlands. The validity of the visa depends on your circumstances, and can range from three months up to a year. Read more in our guide to return visas to re-enter the Netherlands without a valid permit.
Permanent residence
Once you have been living in the Netherlands for five uninterrupted years, you can apply for permanent residence:
• Dutch permanent residence in the Netherlands

Dutch work permits: Who can work in the Netherlands?
All EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, with the exception of Croatians (see below), can work without restriction in all sectors. If an employer asks for proof of lawful stay in the Netherlands, show them this document from the IND which explains that EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are no longer required to register their long-term stay in the Netherlands. Should you or your employer still have questions, here is our guide on when and how to contact the IND Netherlands.
For the time being, there are work restrictions for Croatian citizens: you may only work in the Netherlands if your employer has a work permit for you for the first 12 months. After 12 months’ continuous, legal employment, you can work freely in the Netherlands without a permit. These restrictions are due to end on 1 July 2018. For more information, please read long-term residence for Croatian nationals.
Third party nationals (ie. those from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland) will usually only be able to work in the Netherlands if an employer has obtained a work permit in their name. The IND Netherlands now offers a single permit that acts as a combined residence and work permit, known as the GVVA, which is generally issued for employees coming to the Netherlands for more than three months. Usually it is the employer who applies for it and the permit is issued for up to three years.
Some people cannot qualify for the single combined permit, and employers must apply for a separate work permit (TWV). Read Expatica’s guide to Dutch work permits.

Exceptions: Who doesn’t need a work permit?
If you come to the Netherlands on a residence permit as a ‘highly skilled migrant’, or as a graduate spending a year searching for work, you can work without the employer needing to organise a separate work permit for you. If you come as a scientific researcher, the research institution doesn’t need to get a work permit for you, however, if you work for another employer at the same time, your other employer will need to get one.
In some cases, family members enjoy the same rights as their relative living in the Netherlands; so if their relative or partner has already been granted permission to work, they can also work without the need for an employer to hold a work permit in their name. You can read about each type of residence permit (below) to find out whether you will or won’t need a work permit, depending on which permit is applicable to your situation.

Dutch citizenship
Once you have lived in the Netherlands for five uninterrupted years (three years if you’ve been with a Dutch spouse or partner for three years), you can become a Dutch citizen through naturalisation. You must fulfil certain conditions, such as proving you can write and speak Dutch, renouncing your previous nationality (with some exceptions), and proving that you have had no criminal convictions in the past 5 years. You apply via your local municipality although the application is processed by the IND Netherlands. The process can take up to a year. More detail is explained in Expatica’s guide on how to get Dutch citizenship.
What is the IND Netherlands and why would I need to contact IND?
The IND Netherlands is the final decision maker on applications for residency permits, naturalisation applications, and persons seeking asylum. The IND Amsterdam, IND Rotterdam, IND Eindhoven and the IND in other major Dutch cities are able to help with your individual situation and can be contacted via various methods. For more information on contacting the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service please find our helpful guide here.

Sponsors
Many people will have a sponsor ¬¬– a person or organisation – who has an interest in them coming to the Netherlands (such as an employer, education institution or family member). The sponsor may act on your behalf, submit residence permit applications and lodge objections or appeals if an application is rejected.
There are two types of sponsors: non-recognised and recognised. Only organisations, institutions and companies can be recognised sponsors (fees apply); individual persons cannot. Certain organisations must register (be ‘recognised’) with the IND to hire foreign employees (see below). Registration is optional, however, for permit applications for those in paid employment, seasonal labour, traineeships or holders of a European blue card.
A recognised sponsor can be a:
• mandatory recognised sponsor – for the purposes of study, exchange (including au pairs), highly skilled migrants and certain scientific researchers.
• voluntary recognised sponsor – employers who have foreign employees in paid employment, for seasonal labour, traineeships or holders of a European blue card can apply for recognition voluntarily; recognition is not obligatory but optional.
For Turkish citizens with a highly skilled migrant permit, a mandatory sponsor is not required.
Recognised sponsors have certain legal obligations, including a duty to inform IND of any changes (eg. change of employer), keep administrative records, and be responsible for repatriation costs if someone overstays their visa. Find the IND’s list of recognised sponsors, which can also be a useful job-hunting source.

Renewing or changing your residence permit
If you hold a residence permit, the IND will contact you shortly before it expires and you may have the opportunity to extend it (although not all permits are extendable). If you can’t extend it but want to stay in the Netherlands, you will have to apply for a new residence permit – or leave the country. Find out what to do when your residence permit expires or you want to leave the Netherlands.

Lost or stolen documents
If your permit is lost or stolen, you can apply to the IND for a replacement. You’ll have to submit a copy of your passport, the police report and a passport photo, along with other documents pertinent to your own situation (eg. proof of employment). All foreign documents must be translated and legalised; read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
It costs a fee to process this – currently €132 for adults and €51 for children under 18 in most instances. For the latest fees, click here. Allow eight weeks for the IND Netherlands to respond.

Costs of Dutch visas and permits
See here for the up-to-date costs for handling different types of applications and for the latest information on income requirements to obtain certain permits. Prices are reviewed bi-yearly: on 1 January and 1 July.

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