What is the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT)?

What is the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT)?

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De Vreede Advocaten is a young and dynamic law firm specialising in immigration and international employment law for both businesses and individuals.

Are you living in the U.S. and are you considering immigrating to the Netherlands? Or are you a student or highly skilled migrant looking at the possibility of setting up a business in the Netherlands? The Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) might be your solution.

What is the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT)?

The Dutch American Friendship Treaty aims to promote the economies of both the United States of America and the Netherlands and to stimulate trade and business on a bi-lateral basis.

Via the DAFT, self-employed U.S. citizens can make use of a rather favourable ruling to work and reside in the Netherlands.

The DAFT applies to U.S. citizens seeking to open a qualifying business with a primary residency in the Netherlands. Consultancies, yoga teachers, artists, IT specialists; the range of applicants in our practice are rapidly growing.

DAFT requirements

The DAFT requirements include registering your company with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) and there must be a minimal capital investment of 4.500 euros in a Dutch business bank account for the entire duration of the DAFT permit.

The DAFT permits are issued on a two-year renewable basis. Under certain circumstances the favourable 30% tax ruling is applicable. The DAFT permit does allow you to work on an employment basis next to your business. However, a work permit is required for employees, which is difficult to obtain.

The highly skilled migrant programme

For employees, the highly skilled migrant procedure is advised. 

There is no requirement to learn the Dutch language or pass a civic integration exam, although a language test will be required should you decide to apply for permanent residency after five years of continually residing in the Netherlands.

Your partner and children are permitted to join you in the Netherlands. They need to follow the same rules concerning your residency rights, meaning that they are not allowed to work without a work permit either.

De Vreede Advocaten can assist American nationals seeking to establish a company and obtaining a DAFT residency permit; from registering a qualifying company in the Netherlands and opening a bank account, to ultimately getting your residence card.

For more information, please contact the USA Desk. They are happy to assist you.

De Vreede Advocaten

Ester de Vreede


Ester de Vreede

Ester combines an extensive knowledge of employment law and immigration law, which proves to be an asset and of specific interest for highly skilled expats and companies that employ them....

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