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The types of visa or residence permit (temporary or permanent) you need for the Netherlands will depend on whether you are an EU citizen or not. This section examines the different requirements for each type of worker, which are based on the purpose of their stay. For example, expats who meet the requirements to be highly skilled workers do not need an additional work permit. Self-employed entrepreneurs can also inquire about the additional documentation they need to obtain a Dutch visa.
Citizens of the United States, Australia, South Korea, and some other lucky countries can breathe a little easier, as they do not need to apply for a Dutch visa to immigrate. However, they do need to obtain a residence permit, which they can get once they are in the country.
European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) Citizens of the Netherlands, as well as expats from Switzerland, should have it even easier. They do not have to go through any Netherlands visa or residence permit application process. Your travel document is sufficient to live and work in the Netherlands.
Work permits and employment-based visas
The type of work permit and employment visa you need to live and work in the Netherlands depends on the country you come from. However, unless you are an investor or entrepreneur, you do not have to apply for a work permit or an employment visa yourself. The application process is the responsibility of the employer who acts as your host in the country.
What documents do you need?
There are three documents you may need when moving to work in the Netherlands. Are:
- Work permit.
- Residence permit.
- Long-term visa (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf, or MVV).
You may need all or a combination of them, depending on your knowledge and where you come from. All applications are processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). The necessary documents must be presented in English, Dutch, German or French, and be legalized. As the process can be complex and confusing, it is best to enlist the help of professionals with local expertise.
Please note that if you are a citizen of the EU / EEA or Switzerland, you do not need any of these documents. A passport or an identity document is sufficient proof to live and work in the Netherlands.
Requirements for a work permit in the Netherlands
In most cases, if you move to the Netherlands for work purposes, you will need a work permit (sometimes called TWV). The only exception is if you apply for a highly qualified immigrant visa. In this case, you do not need an additional work permit.
Netherlands work permit application form
The application form for a work permit in the Netherlands is filled out and submitted by your company. They will tell you what documents to submit.
Do you need a residence permit in the Netherlands?
All citizens who are not from EU / EEA Member States or from Switzerland need a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands. How and when you should apply depends on whether or not you need a long-term visa.
In most cases, you will need both a work permit and a residence permit. You can submit a joint application for both, called GVVA, or the Single Permit. Please note that unless you are self-employed, your employer will take care of your residence permit.
Long-term visa for the Netherlands
The Netherlands long-stay visa, also known as a temporary stay authorization or MVV, is only required for nationals of certain countries. If you are a national of the following countries, you do not need a visa to stay in the Netherlands:
- Member countries of the EU / EEA
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United States
- Vatican City
Long-term visa application
There are two ways to apply for the MVV in the Netherlands: Do it yourself at an embassy or consulate, or have your host apply for it on your behalf. The purpose of your stay determines the approach you should take when requesting it.
Your host (employer, university, family member, etc.) has to submit their visa application form for the Netherlands if the reason for your stay is:
- Marriage to a Dutch citizen.
- Family reunification.
You can apply for the MVV yourself if the reason for your stay is:
- Job search as a highly qualified migrant (year of orientation).
- Independent entrepreneurship.
- Creation of companies.
When you apply for a long-term visa, you automatically apply for a residence permit at the same time. The work permit application remains independent.
To get a long-term visa in the Netherlands, you may have to take a civic integration test. It tests your knowledge of Dutch society and the Dutch language (oral and written expression). The cost of the exam is 150 EUR (175 USD).
Work visa requirements in the Netherlands
The requirements for a work visa in the Netherlands depend on the type of business you do. It can be an intra-company transfer person, a highly qualified immigrant, or a European Blue Cardholder. However, there are some general conditions that you must meet in order to apply. These are:
- Have a valid passport or another travel document.
- Declare that you have a clear criminal record and that the information you provide on the application is true.
- Get a TB medical test once you arrive.
The additional requirements are usually to have sufficient income for this type of visa and that your company is recognized by the government of the Netherlands.