Dutch Immigration Law

Updated on Friday 16th December 2016

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Foreign citizens who intend to live or work in the Netherlands are recommended to get familiarized with the Dutch immigration legislation which regulates the procedures of acquiring a visa or a work permit in this country. The main governmental body in charge of the visa or residence permit issuance in the Netherlands is the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from the Ministry of Security and Justice. Please confer with our immigration specialists in the Netherlands for further details or specific inquiries. 

The Dutch immigration system

According to the immigration laws in the Netherlands, upon the foreign citizen’s origin and length of stay in the country, he or she will have to be issued a visa or a residence permit to be able to reside here. If the foreign citizen intends to stay in the country in excess of 90 days, he or she will have to notify the INS. 

The main legislation which governs the Dutch immigration system is the Law on Integration (in Dutch, Wet inburgering). In order to immigrate in the Netherlands, this legislation provides that most foreign citizens who do not originate from EU countries, Switzerland, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Turkey should learn the Dutch language and pass an examination in several years after they arrived in the country. 

Temporary residence permit in the Netherlands

In order to live or work in the Netherlands, the Dutch immigration legislation rules that foreign citizens who originate from non-European countries must obtain a temporary residence permit to do so. There are, though, certain non-European countries for which a residence permit is not required. An immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can provide further details on this matter.

Dutch residency and citizenship

If a foreign citizen acquired a temporary residence permit in the Netherlands for at least five consecutive years and still holds a valid residence license, he or she can apply for permanent residency. The person in question has to be able to speak Dutch and pass the Civic Integration examination. Just like any Dutch immigration lawyer, one of our consultants can help you become a permanent resident in the Netherlands.

After obtaining the residency and residing in the Netherlands for another five consecutive years, the permanent resident can apply for the Dutch citizenship. If the individual is married to a Dutch citizen, this time period is reduced to only three years. The Dutch citizenship is awarded by attending a citizenship ceremony and pledging an oath of allegiance to the Netherlands.

In case you require more information on the local Dutch Immigration Law, please get in touch with a immigration specialist in the Netherlands for legal counsel.


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