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Famous for its welcoming and dynamic atmosphere, the Netherlands attracts young people who wish to study or try their luck at starting up a business. Investors planning to open start-up companies in the country need a residence permit in order to do so. The document is issued if certain conditions are fulfilled. The application is submitted to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for approval. International residents interested in immigrating to the Netherlands may ask for assistance before starting the procedure.

Application requirements for a Start-up Visa

The general conditions related to the application for a start-up visa include possession of a valid document for travel, no criminal background and performed tuberculosis test (the test is not obligatory under particular circumstances).

The applicant must also have a Dutch “facilitator” (business mentor) in order to obtain a start-up visa/residence permit. The details about the cooperation between the applicant and the facilitator must be discussed in advance and the parties have to agree on the terms in written (by signing an agreement). Additionally, the applicant needs to offer an innovative service or product, have a detailed start-up business plan, be financially capable of living in the country and finally, complete the registration procedure at the Dutch Commercial Registry (the mentor must also have a registration).

The business mentor or facilitator must also meet particular conditions to qualify as such. Our consultants are familiar with the Dutch law on immigration. They can explain to you the conditions prior to the submission of the application and prepare the necessary documents. Any papers in a language different from Dutch, German, French or English need to be translated.

Procedures after application for a Dutch Start-up Visa

Entrepreneurs planning to open local businesses often have to be present for longer periods and therefore need a long-term visa. You can simultaneously apply for this document and the permit for a residence. If you meet the specified conditions, you will obtain the visa for start-ups within a period of ninety days from the submission of your application. You have to collect your residence permit no later than fourteen days after your arrival in the Netherlands.

Our local experts on immigration can give you more information on the process of application for a start-up visa. If you are planning to immigrate, be aware that you must take out a health insurance and register at the municipality. If you need detailed information on the possibilities to obtain Dutch residence as an owner of a start-up business, contact our specialists in immigration.

Read here if you are looking for information on the Dutch self-employed visa.

Legal residence / short stay visa's

Legal residence is always the basic requirement for working in the Netherlands, which may mean obtaining a residence permit, and often also an entry visa/permit.

The law on residence differs for EU/EEA citizens and those of other countries.

Citizens of EU states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway (known as the European Economic Area states, EEA) and Swiss citizens do not need a residence permit to enter, stay, live and work in The Netherlands. Passport or ID card are sufficient proof of rightful stay.

Citizens of other countries intending to stay longer than 90 days usually need an entry permit, (MVV), and a residence permit, issued by the Dutch Immigration Authority, IND, (Immigratie en Naturalisatie Dienst), the authoritative source on residence permits.

Non-EU/EEA or Swiss nationals, who want to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months will typically require a Dutch residence permit. Unless exempt, an entry permit (MVV) is also required, as well as an integration exam beforehand.

You do not need an MVV if:

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.
You apply for a provisional residence permit in person at a Dutch embassy or consulate in any country, as long as you have lawful residence in that country. With just a tourist visa, you do not qualify as a lawful resident.

You 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.

Within 90 days of your arrival in the Netherlands or any country in the Schengen area you must apply for a residence permit. After 90 days you need to have a residence permit, or you must have applied for a residence permit. If not you will be in the Netherlands illegally.

Citizens of member states of the EU and other countries planning to immigrate to the Netherlands have to become familiar with the regulations and rules regarding immigration and visa issue. There are certain conditions you need to consider if you are intending to immigrate to the country. Our local experts in immigration can provide you with thorough information and guidance on the ins- and outs of immigration Netherlands.

The Dutch short-term visa

Non-EU citizens willing to visit the Netherlands for business purposes or tourism need a C-type visa, also called Schengen visa. It is a significant document whose issue requires the provision of the following information and documents by the applicant:

Please, note that the granted short-term visa is represented by a stamp in your passport. In case you plan a longer stay in the Netherlands, the local Service of Immigration and Naturalization (IND) can issue a permit for residence, provided that you meet all relevant requirements. Dutch companies intending to hire employees from overseas are able to apply for the necessary visas and work permits so that the international staff can work legally in the country.

Immigration Netherlands: The Dutch long-term visa

The long-term Dutch visa is suitable for individuals who intend to study, travel or live in the country. It is accompanied by an IND-issued permit for permanent residence granted together with the ninety-day long-term visa. Individuals who do not come from member states of the European Union (EU) or Economic Area (EEA) and want to immigrate in the Netherlands have the option to submit an application for a long-term visa through the self-employed visa program. This document grants rights comparable to those of EU citizens with unrestricted entry to the country.

Application for Schengen visa

Immigration to the Netherlands has increased significantly in the past ten years. People with various backgrounds and origins look for better education, work opportunities and quality of life in countries that value such attributes. You can obtain a Schengen visa by applying at the Embassy or Consulate of the Netherlands in your country of residence. The document grants a 90-day unrestricted entry in the Schengen area with a 180-day time frame and a possibility for extension. The visa provides a number of benefits, including multiple entries in many Schengen countries without border control.

Our local immigration lawyers can provide you with additional details on the procedure for obtaining a Dutch start-up visa for the Netherlands.

The Netherlands attracts migrants from worldwide with its democratic traditions and high living standards. Many Dutch Skilled Migrant program participants migrate through the program to the Netherlands. Our consultants and immigration lawyers in the Netherlands can provide you with important details on the Authority for Dutch Immigration (IND) and the requirements for residence permit issue.

Status of Dutch skilled migrants program

Employed highly qualified migrants receive wages matching their profession and qualification level. Persons who have completed their university education in the Netherlands or have a recognized proof of qualification benefit from different regimes that make immigration attractive for highly skilled individuals.

If you hold a Dutch education diploma and you plan to immigrate to the Netherlands, you need to find a job with a salary of at least EUR 2 272 to obtain a permit for residency. If you have achieved excellent results at university, you will be allowed to apply for a residence permit within 3 years after your graduation.

Our local immigration experts can provide you with all important information regarding your situation in the country.

Residence permit for highly skilled migrants

The Netherlands permits immigrants to work, regardless of whether they have decided to stay in the country for one year or more. The country puts efforts in providing knowledge migrants with adequate work conditions even for short-term stays. Skilled migrants are even provided with a tax exception to get 30 percent of their salary tax-free. Read more on the 30 percent tax ruling.

Permits for work valid for a year cannot be extended. Migrants are allowed to a “search year” during which they are supposed to find a job. Then the purpose of stay should change; otherwise, the immigrant will be obliged to leave the Netherlands.

Many people who wish to immigrate to the Netherlands also consider the self-employed visa program.

Our legal experts can provide you with essential information on the immigration system and help you find an adequate solution for your particular situation. If you have any questions regarding immigration to the country, please, contact us.

In line with the Dutch legislation on immigration, independent entrepreneurs who would like to start a business in the Netherlands first need to obtain a Netherlands residence permit for self-employed individuals. The same Dutch self-employed visa is required for freelancers and people who would like to practice a profession in the country.

How to qualify for the Dutch self-employed visa?

Entrepreneurs who want to obtain a Netherlands self-employed visa need to receive a certain number of points. The point system was established in 2006 with the purpose to attract international entrepreneurs who can contribute significantly to the local economy.

Self-employed American and Japanese citizens do not need to obtain points for the Dutch residence permit because their countries have special agreements signed with the Netherlands. We have a team of experts in Dutch immigration who can provide you with further details regarding these agreements.

The scoring system includes the following elements:

A local immigration lawyer can give you more information on the point evaluation system.

The 1-year start-up Dutch visa

Since the start of 2015 foreign citizens can qualify for a permit for entrepreneurship, issued just for one prep year.

The authorities in the Netherlands know that many owners of new businesses are unable to comply straight away with all criteria for issue of a residence permit for self-employed. Therefore, this start-up visa was introduced. It enables non-residents to work and live in the Netherlands for a preparatory year. In this period they collaborate with business facilitators in order to achieve compliance of the start-up with the requirements for obtaining a regular visa for self-employed persons.

Read more on the Dutch start-up visa. 

If you would like to obtain a Self-employed Dutch visa, you can contact our local consultants on immigration. We can also provide you with information and assist you in applying for the Dutch highly skilled migrant program.

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