Individual Immigration Planning

Foreign nationals, wishing to stay in the Netherlands for more than 3 months, must apply for a residence permit for a specific reason of stay. In view of our excellent immigration law network, we can assist you in this maze of Dutch immigration rules.


Most nationals will need to apply for a provisional residence permit (MVV) allowing them to enter the Netherlands for a period longer than 3 months. Also, partners, spouses and children younger than 18 years old may apply for a residence permit under the family reunification procedure under strict conditions.

EU Nationals (and their immediate family members) of the member states of the European Union, Switzerland and Norway may reside in the Netherlands without a residence permit. This however does not apply   to family members of EU nationals who do not have the nationality of one of the member states of the EU, Switzerland and Norway- the so-called third country nationals- do require an entry visa.

Permanent residency may be requested after having lived in the Netherlands for five consecutive years.


Self-employment and start-ups

A point system determines whether the residence permit will be issued and consists of different categories. The Ministry of Economic Affairs advises the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) in the decision.
A one-year residence permit can be obtained by foreign start up entrepreneurs allowing them to start an innovative business. The entrepreneur must work together with an experienced, recognised, facilitator. After one year, the entrepreneur must pass the strict points-based system to qualify for the self-employed residence permit. A recommendation to the Dutch economic authority to support the self-employed residence permit application may be utilised.


Self employment via Friendship treaties

Because of the friendship treaties, such as the important Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT), American and Japanese nationals may obtain a residence permit by establishing a company in the Netherlands without having to demonstrate that their business serves a Dutch interest and has an added value to the Dutch economy. Although the residence permit application based on these treaties seems to be relatively easy, one must be aware of existing pitfalls.

 Permanent Residency

A foreign national may apply for a permanent residence permit after having resided in the Netherlands for five consecutive years. The Dutch Integration exam must have been successfully passed in order to be eligible.