If you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than three months, you may have to apply for a Netherlands Residence Permit. A Dutch residence permit allows you to stay in the country for up to five years. Whether or not you need a residence permit for the Netherlands depends largely on your nationality.
In some cases, you will also need to apply for an MVV visa.
Who needs to apply for a Netherlands residence permit?
You will have to apply for a residence permit for the Netherlands unless you are a citizen from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
If you are a family member of a citizen from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit for the Netherlands, but you will have to apply for Verification against EU Law (certificate of lawful residence).
If you do not need a Dutch residence permit, you will be required to register with local Durch authorities if you are planning on staying long term.
If you do not fall under one of those two categories, then you will need a Dutch residence permit to stay in the Netherlands long-term.
Conditions for a Netherlands Residence Permit
In order to be eligible for a residents permit for the Netherlands, you will have to be able to fulfill the following general conditions:
- Your passport/identity document must be valid for the duration of your stay
- You must have sufficient financial means. This could be payslips/salary statements, documents showing you own shares in a company, or a letter from a benefits agency.
- You must have health insurance. It has to cover you for the entirety of the time you will be living in the Netherlands.
- You must not pose “a risk to public order, national peace or national security.”
- You must show proof of purpose of stay. For example, an employment contract in the Netherlands, a document from a Dutch educational institution, or a marriage or civil partnership certificate.
- You may have to enter a tuberculosis test. This should be done within three months of entering the Netherlands. If you have the disease, you must receive treatment for it. If you do not enter the test within three months, your residence permit could be taken away.
Exempt from a tuberculosis test are: EU/EEA nationals; individuals with a valid resident permit from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland; individuals with an EC residence permit for long-term residents from another EU country and their family members.
Keep in mind these are just general conditions. Based on the purpose of stay, you will be required to meet additional conditions. For example, a student visa has different requirements and restrictions than a work visa.
Will I need a sponsor for a Netherlands residence permit?
Yes, you will most likely need to have a sponsor if you want to get a Netherlands residence permit. Your sponsor is the person or organization who has an interest in you going to the Netherlands.
For example, if you are applying for a residence permit to stay with family (family visa), a family member or partner can be your sponsor. If you want to get a residence permit to study in the Netherlands (study visa), your educational institution is your sponsor. If you want a residence permit to work in the Netherlands (work visa), then your employer is your sponsor.
How to apply for a Netherlands residence permit?
Check to see if you need an MVV
In some cases, in order to apply for a Dutch residence permit, an MVV visa (long-stay or type D visa) is required. Whether or not you need one depends on your nationality.
An MVV visa allows the holder to enter the Netherlands while they wait for their residence permit application to be processed. An MVV is also called an authorisation for temporary stay or a provisional residence permit.
If you need an MVV visa, you (or your sponsor) can apply for both the MVV and the Dutch residence permit through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
If you are applying yourself, this is done at your country’s Duch embassy/consulate. If your sponsor is applying for you, they can apply directly to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
The civic integration exam
If you need to get an MVV, you will have to enter a civic integration exam beforehand. The civic integration exam is a three-part exam that tests your knowledge of the Dutch language and society. Adults aged 18-65 have to enter the exam except:
- Turkish nationals
- If they are applying for a residence permit adoption, paid employment, au pair, exchange, study, medical treatment, or as independent persons under an international treaty
- If they have certain qualifications, like a university degree or Dutch language qualifications
The exam is taken through a computer at the Dutch embassy/consulate you are applying from.
If you do not need an MVV
If you are not subject to an MVV visa, you will have to apply for your Dutch residence permit within 90 days after entering the Netherlands. If after 90 days, you have not applied for a residence permit, it means you are staying in the Netherlands illegally.
You can also apply for a residence permit while you are in your home country or your sponsor will have to apply for you at the IND.
Complete the application form and necessary documents
Based on the purpose of your stay, you and your sponsor will have to provide several documents in order to apply for a Netherlands residence permit.
The documents and other requirements differ based on what type of Netherlands residence permit you are applying for.
The documents have to be in Dutch, English, French or German. If they are not, they have to be translated by an official Dutch translator and submitted along with the originals. Any foreign documents have to be legalised or authenticated by a government authority in your country.
All your documents, including birth and marriage certificates, bank statements, employment contracts etc., have to be legalized with an apostille stamp.
Before that, they also have to be signed by an official from the issuing party and/or certified by a lawyer or notary public.
Pay the application fee
When you submit your application, you have to pay a fee for it to be processed. The fee price depends on your purpose of travel and it is non-refundable. You can see the list of the current Netherlands long-stay visa fees here.
Wait to see if your application has been accepted
The Netherlands residence permit application usually takes up to 90 days to be processed. After that, you will be notified whether or not you have been granted your residence permit.
If your application is accepted, you can collect your Dutch residence permit at an IND office in the Netherlands. The permit contains your personal information, purpose of stay, validity, V-number, and work status.
For How Long is the Netherlands Resident Permit Valid?
The validity of your Dutch residence permit depends on the purpose of your stay, but it can be as long as five years.
After your Netherlands residence permit expires, in some cases you can apply for an extension. But in other cases, like if you are there to work as an au pair, a seasonal worker, on an exchange programme etc., you cannot.
If you are not allowed to extend your Netherlands residence permit, you have to apply for another permit with a different purpose of stay.
Types of Netherlands Residence Permits
Based on validity
- Temporary Residence Permit. This permit allows the holder to remain in the Netherlands for up to five years. After five years, they may extend their permit, though that is not always allowed.
- Permanent Residence Permit. If you have been living in the Netherlands for five consecutive years, you may be eligible for a permanent residence permit. This allows you to stay in the Netherlands indefinitely.
Based on purpose
You can apply for a temporary residence permit in the Netherlands based on your purpose. These types of temporary Dutch residence permits or visas include:
- A Netherlands Work Visa
- A Netherlands Study Visa
- A Netherlands Family Visa
- Netherlands Au Pair Visa
- Netherlands Working Holiday Visa
Please click on the relevant visa in order to get more information regarding its conditions, requirements, restrictions, and validity.