Permit to work and stay in the Netherlands

Work in paid employment

You wish to work in the Netherlands. You need a residence permit for this: a single permit (GVVA), or a separate residence permit and work permit (TWV). Which permit you need, depends on the type of work you are going to carry out.

Paid employment (Single Permit)

You wish to work in paid employment in the Netherlands. You need a residence permit for this. What are the conditions for this residence permit? And how does the application procedure work?

​You or your employer apply for a Single Permit. This is a permit that entitles the foreign national to stay and work in the Netherlands. The Single Permit combines the residence permit and the work permit. You only have to apply for one permit, to one authority: the IND. The IND asks advice from the Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency (UWV) about the labour market aspect. The Single Permit consists of a residence document and an additional document. The additional document states for which employer the foreign national may work and under which conditions.

Your employer can choose to become a recognised sponsor. This is not obligatory. Recognition as sponsor has various advantages.

Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country  or Switzerland and their family members.


There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition, you and your employer have to meet the following conditions:

You are going to earn a sufficient independent long-term income.

Your income is sufficient when your gross monthly income at least equals the minimum wage of a 23-year-old employee. This standard is equal to the standard for spouses/unmarried couples living together.

The wage is in accordance with market conditions.

The organisation of your employer is entered in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce (if required by the Commercial Registers Act 2007).

You have to apply for a residence permit to work on a self-employed basis if you, as director and majority shareholder, meet the following conditions:

You have an interest of more than 25% in the company.

You run an entrepreneurial risk.

You can influence the amount of your income yourself.

Other conditions may apply for Turkish nationals and their family members.

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you have to enclose with the application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.


Immigration Services

• Personal and dedicated support

• Tailor-made advice integrated with tax advice (e.g. 30%-ruling)

• Experienced and reliable professionals

• Transparent and reasonable fees

We are dedicated to assisting our clients with all immigration concerns related to work and residence permit applications as well as with extensions.

We offer an ‘integrated’ approach of the immigration services with our tax practice. Our integrated approach means that we are able to advise directly on the tax implications of working and living in the Netherlands.

What we offer

‘Knowledge migrant procedure’

Knowledge migrants are foreign individuals who earn a minimum monthly gross salary based on the age of the individual. The term of the local contract or assignment agreement must be at least 3 months and the company in the Netherlands firstly must be approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (‘IND’).

Most (international) companies hiring foreign individuals can enroll in the IND’s knowledge migrant program. We can lead you and your company through the registration process. The most valuable benefits of this program are:

• A simplified and faster procedure to legally enter, work and reside in the Netherlands; and

• A ‘Single Permit’ which is a combined work and residence permit in one.

Work and residence permits

Not all foreign individuals who are employed in or assigned to the Netherlands may enter as knowledge migrants. Therefore, we advise employers regarding the optimal basis on which to apply for a combined Single Permit or a separate work and residence permit. For example, the work permit application could be based on an intercompany transfer or a traineeship.

In addition, we advise foreign individuals, their partners/children with respect to the correct residence permit in order to legally reside (and work, if possible) in the Netherlands.

Partner of the Dutch Trade Office Amsterdam

Dutch Office is a partner of the Dutch Trade Office in Amsterdam, owing to our professional approach and expertise. As a partner of this trading office, we work in close cooperation to ensure the needs of Dutch based companies as well as foreign individuals are fully met.

Information request regarding Dutch Immigration Law and non resident entrepreneurs

Anyone who wants to come to the Netherlands for more than 90 days will need to apply for an MVV (Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf).

In your particular case, you want to set up a business in the Netherlands (and want to invite employees to work for you in the Netherlands). Once you have been granted permission to set up your business in the Netherlands you may apply for a residence permit as an entrepreneur.

The Dutch Immigration Service always requires the criterion that your business must serve an essential Dutch interest. To work in the Netherlands on a self-employed basis you have to demonstrate that your company makes a positive contribution to the Dutch economy. You therefore have to enclose a fully substantiated business plan with your application. From this plan, the viability of the business and its activities must be clear.

Question: “Do you have a business plan?” If yes, we need to check the content to make sure it answers to all the requirements. If no, then we will have to comply one for you. Please notice that in order to provide you with this service we will charge you an additional fee.

The business plan must be substantiated by the following documents:

If you have a business in your country of origin, you must submit a deed of incorporation and the articles of association of this enterprise.

Evidence of previous work experience, by submitting references and/or testimonials and previous employment agreements.

Evidence of experience in the Netherlands. This can be demonstrated by including references from Dutch (business) partners or contacts.

A copy of the deed of incorporation, including a list of powers, responsibilities, and the profit allocation between partners (in case of a private or public limited company).

Financial aspects, such as turnover figures, annual accounts, tax returns, payroll statements, wage taxes.


The financial documents must have been prepared or assessed by an independent expert.

Entrepreneurs may supplement their application with the following documents (optional):

Copies of diplomas obtained. If the diploma(s) was/were obtained abroad, the diploma(s) need to be accompanied by a diploma evaluation from Nuffic (the Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education).

Copies of certificates of educational courses in the Netherlands or abroad.

A description of the type of business or product demonstrating the innovative character of the product or service and unique selling points for the Dutch market, for example by submitting a patent or references from knowledge institutes.

Evidence of jobs to be created to set up the business.

Documents showing intended investments in the Netherlands (as opposed to company investments).

The general conditions are:

You hold a valid passport.

You do not pose a danger to public order or national security.

You are obliged to take out a health insurance policy.

The specific conditions are:

You have sufficient and long-term means of support

You have not previously stayed in the Netherlands illegally.

You have not given false information or have withheld important information to support any previous applications.

You meet the requirements for practicing your profession.

Your business activities serve an essential Dutch interest. In general, the IND will submit your application to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency for assessment.

To work in the Dutch healthcare services you have to be included in the so-called BIG register. The provision of healthcare services by individual practitioners is regulated by the Individual Healthcare Professions Act (BIG). When admitted to the BIG register you are then able to use your legally protected professional title.

If you wish to work as a freelancer, the additional condition is applicable to you:

You have (an) assignment(s) for you to carry out as a freelancer in the Netherlands.

As a director and major shareholder you are also seen as an entrepreneur when:

You have at least a 25% interest in the company

You are liable for any company risks, and You can influence the level of your income.

If you do not meet the conditions specified above, you have to apply for the purpose to stay in the Netherlands to work as an employee instead.

Dutch office will assist you through the immigration and work permission process with lawyers and external partners hoe realy care.

Important steps for Non EU residence for starting a business in the Netherlands

Actions to take

- Residence permit

- Company name and domain registeration

- Notary, statements and legalisation documents

- Chamber of Commerce number and activities code

- VAT / TAX number

- Opening a bank account

Action to think

- Company type ( found, limited company, incorporate, branch)

- Business type (products and services)

- Business plan (market and customers research)

- Tax

- Location and kind of address, virtual or physic, post/mail

- Partners, shareholders (local partners and sharholders investments)

- Director and staff (function, and duties and trust)

- The cost minimizing and a better use of service providers (use of accountant)

- managing and mointoring from a broad (use of online facilities)

Send your documents by email to:

Request for the fee click here send your enquiry to Dutch Office.

Resident Permit

Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, will usually require a residence permit for self employed workers.  

All European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are entitled to stay in the Netherlands without needing a Dutch residence permit (verblijfsvergunning). Their passport or ID card is sufficient to prove their rightful stay. The EEA comprises the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. However, Croatian nationals may still apply for a residence permit if they wish to do so, in order to be able to prove their rightful stay in the Netherlands.

All EEA and Swiss nationals may apply for a permanent residence permit after 5 years of uninterrupted stay in the Netherlands.

Nationals from outside the EEA or Switzerland

For nationals from outside the EEA or Switzerland there are several possible situations. To name but a few:

Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, will usually require a residence permit for self employed workers.

If you intend to work in the Netherlands for your foreign company (cross-border services), you need to apply for a residence permit for cross-border services.

Ambitious entrepreneurs (so-called 'start-ups') who want to start an innovative business in the Netherlands, may apply for a residence permit for 1 year as starting entrepreneur. To be eligible for this start-up scheme, various conditions apply. Please be advised by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

If you intend to work as an employee in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, you will usually need a combined permit for staying and working, the so-called single permit (PDF) (gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA). For stays up to 3 months, or in some cases (seasonal work, students, asylum seekers, Croatians), you will need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) as well as a separate residence permit.

Please be advised by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) to find out what applies to your situation.

Provisional residence permit (MVV) first, then residence permit

Before you can apply for a residence permit, you usually require a provisional residence permit (Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or MVV). This is a visa that lets you enter the Netherlands and stay for longer than 90 days. Both an individual or a Dutch employer (sponsor) on behalf of their employee can apply for an MVV. To apply the MVV and residence permit simultaneously, a single procedure exists: the Entry and Residence Procedure (Toegang- en Verblijfsprocedure, TEV).

If you have rightfully lived in another EU Member State for at least 5 years, you will not need to apply for an MVV. Instead you are allowed to enter the Netherlands to apply for a residence permit.

Who issues the residence permit?

Both residence permit and GVVA are issued by IND. You can complete the IND Residence Wizard to see what other requirements apply to your situation.

Point system

If you are an entrepreneur, your business activity must serve an 'essential Dutch economic goal'. A point system has been set up for this purpose. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency checks if the conditions have been met and advises the IND regarding this.


When you apply for an MVV or residence permit, there are costs involved, for instance for drawing up and legalising documents. The costs depend on the country where you come from. Please be advised by the authorities in your country what the costs may be. If your application is denied, you will not be refunded.

Registering with your municipality

As a general rule, if someone intends to stay in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, they must register with the municipality where they are going to live. They must do this within 5 days after arrival. If they decide to leave the Netherlands for more than 8 months, they must deregister from their municipality.

More information

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