Residence permit in the Netherlands

If you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months as either an expat or an immigrant for study, work or another reason and you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national (or a family member of one), you do not need to apply for a residence permit.

After three months, however, all internationals need to register with their municipal administration (GBA or gemeente) and also with the Department of Immigration and Naturalisation (IND), who will put a sticker in their passport. Check IND registration for EU citizens for more information.

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national and you wish to stay for more than three months in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Eindhoven or any other Dutch city, you will need a residence permit (verblijfsvergunning).

Requirements for a residence permit in the Netherlands

Different requirements apply to different nationalities and reasons for coming, so check the IND brochure "Residence in the Netherlands" for an overview. You can download more case-specific brochures on the IND website too.

You can also check your situation with the IND Residence Wizard or visit one the IND offices and desks or call them on 0900-1234561 (+31 20 889 30 45 if you are abroad).

Broadly, however, there are two procedures: one for those who first need a provisional residence permit (MVV) and one for those who don’t.

Application procedure for a Dutch residence permit with an MVV

Most nationalities will first need to apply for an MVV or provisional residence permit (check IND website for specifics) in their home country before applying for a residence permit.

The MVV is a special permit that allows you to enter the Netherlands as a potential resident, rather than a tourist. You should submit an application both for an MVV and a residence permit at the same time, a process which is called the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV procedure).

 Civic integration examination (inburgeringsexam) outside the Netherlands

To be eligible for an MVV, you will first need to take a civic integration examination (inburgeringsexam) at a Dutch embassy or consulate where you are living.

There are some exemptions to this, so check the website of the Dutch government on the civic integration examination abroad for more information or read the form.

 Tuberculosis examination - TB test (Tuberculosetest)

Most expats and immigrants must also be prepared to undergo a tuberculosis examination (tuberculosetest or TB test) and, if necessary, treatment for tuberculosis.

To do this you (or your sponsor) must fill in and sign a declaration of intent to undergo a TB test and submit it with your application. This means you will need to undergo a tuberculosis examination within three months - if you fail to do so, your residence permit may be withdrawn.

TB tests can be taken by making an appointment with the Municipal Health Service (GGD). You can find your local GGD by searching here by postcode.

 Collecting your residence permit

If your application for an MMV is granted, the IND will then immediately issue your residence permit. You can collect your residence document from an IND desk within two weeks after you arrive in the Netherlands.

If your permit is not ready when you arrive in the Netherlands, you will receive an endorsement sticker (verblijfsaantekening) in your passport. This is your proof of lawful stay in the Netherlands and states if and under which conditions you are allowed to work. You will need to make an appointment to receive this sticker.

Note: if you are a highly skilled migrant or scientific researcher, the government will put your employment status on your MVV sticker (which you receive from the Dutch consulate/embassy where you applied), meaning you can start working immediately after arriving in the Netherlands, even if the resident document has not yet been issued.

To check IND desk locations all over the Netherlands please visit our IND section.

Application procedure for a Dutch residence permit without an MVV

You do not need to apply for an MVV (or have a TB test) if you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States of America or Vatican City, or you have an EC permanent residence permit, issued by another EU member state.

You may apply for a residence permit directly in the Netherlands at an IND desk within three days after entering the country.

residence permit netherlands
Photo by Flickr user Victor1558

 Staying in the Netherlands during residence permit processing

The IND will put an endorsement sticker (verblijfsaantekening) in your passport during your appointment. This is your proof of lawful stay in the Netherlands and states if and under which conditions you are allowed to work. If you have posted your application, you need to make an appointment to get the endorsement sticker in your passport.

Note: The sticker cannot be placed in a passport which is no longer valid and the validity of the sticker cannot exceed the validity of your passport.

 Applying for a residence permit outside the Netherlands

You might also wish to use the TEV procedure at your Dutch embassy if you are exempted from the MVV requirement and aren’t sure that you will be granted a permit, as it will save you the cost of travelling to the Netherlands to apply directly at an IND desk.

 IND response time

The speed of response from the IND varies, depending on your case, the time of year you applied and the workload of the office you applied in. The IND is allowed 90 days to assess your application, after which you will receive a letter from the IND with its decision.

Sponsorship for a Dutch residence permit

In most cases, internationals will need a sponsor in the Netherlands: the person with whom you wish to stay or the organisation that is arranging your stay. They can put in the application on your behalf.

Not all expats will need to be sponsored. If you are a recent highly skilled migrant, you may be eligible for the Orientation year highly educated persons that allows you to come for a year for the purpose of setting up a business or finding a job in the Netherlands.

Note: if you have a sponsor for work, then you will be able to apply for the GVVA or Single Permit, which combines the work and residence permits. You do not need to apply for a separate residence permit, although you will still need to register with your municipality.

If you do not have a sponsor in the Netherlands, you can start the TEV procedure at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country (country of origin) or the country of continuous residence (the country where you have been staying lawfully for more than the past three months).

Supporting documentation for a residence permit in the Netherlands

Depending on your situation, you will need to supply some supporting documentation with your application, such as a birth certificate. Check your application for details.

Note: you will need to get an apostille from your home authorities to authenticate any official certificates. See the IND website on legalising foreign documents for more.

Dutch residence permit costs

There is a cost charged for the residence permit procedure whether you apply for the MVV or not. This fee is non-refundable and should be paid at the time of the application submission or before the tuberculosis examination.

The IND has an overview of current administration fees that lists the various costs for the different residence permit application processes.

Rejection of a Dutch residence permit

If your application for an MVV or residence permit was rejected, you will receive a letter setting out the IND’s reasons for the rejection. If you disagree with their decision, you are able to register an objection.

Renewing a residence permit in the Netherlands

Residence permits are renewed annually. You will receive a letter from the IND three months before your permit expires, advising you to extend your residence permit, along with the extension application form.

You can also download the form on the forms section of the IND’s website. If you do not receive this letter three months before, contact the IND as soon as possible to request the extension form. You should also contact IND as soon as possible if you have not received a response regarding your application.

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