Immigration Services in the Netherlands
Our Dutch immigration lawyers are specialized in residence permits, citizenship applications as well as all sorts of visas in Netherlands, including the DAFT visa. Our immigration lawyers in Netherlands are here to assist you in preparing the needed documentation and submitting it to the Dutch authorities. We can help you regardless of the fact that you are in the country for business or study purposes or for family reunification.
Foreign nationals choose to immigrate to Netherlands for a number of reasons, among which working in the country is a top priority. When first deciding to move to a Dutch city, individuals have to take care of a few arrangements, according to the purpose and the length of their stay. It is always advisable to seek professional immigration services in the Netherlands. Understanding the requirements will be easier when working with a team of experts and will shorten the visa or residency application time.
| Quick Facts || |
| Entry visa requirement (from EU) (YES/NO) || |
Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (YES/NO)
|Yes, with certain exceptions for short-term stays (U.S. citizens, for example). |
|Types of visas available |
|Airport transit visa |
Short-stay visa (Schengen or tourist visa, allowing for stays for up to 90 days)
Carribean visa (for the Carribean parts of the Kingdom of Netherlands).
|Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.) || |
Generally all companies. A special scheme is available for small businesses, with a turnover of less than EUR 17,500 in the previous tax year and not expected to exceed EUR 50,000 in the current tax year.
|Validity of temporary residence permit ||Up to 5 years |
|Time frame for obtaining permanent residence || |
|Investor Visa Availability || |
|Sponsorship requirement ||No |
|Time frame for obtaining citizenship ||5 years |
|Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability ||Investor residence permit followed by citizenship through naturalization. |
|Tax benefits for expats ||A tax exemption on up to 30% of an expat's salary, valid for 5 years. |
Dutch visas and permits for the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a member of the EU and the Schengen area and this means that individuals who are citizens of one of the EU or EEA countries and who want to study, work or live in the Netherlands will not require a visa for their stay. There is also no need to obtain a visa for travel purposes. EU/EEA nationals who wish to remain in the Netherlands for more than four months will be required to obtain a citizen service number. EU or EEA citizens also enjoy working in all business sectors in the Netherlands. For those who are interested in moving here, our dedicated team of immigration lawyers in Netherlands
can provide the needed assistance.
Non-EU/EEA nationals who wish to stay in the country will require a visa in order to enter. In those cases in which the duration of stay is longer than three months, they will need a long-stay Dutch visa
, also known as a long-term entry visa. They will also need a provisional residence permit. Different rules apply to the same individuals concerning employment.Residence permits in the Netherlands
are issued according to the purpose of the stay. They can be issued for:
- family reunification;
- employment or self-employment as well as seasonal workers;
- highly skilled migrants or scientific researchers;
- study purposes and exchange programmes.
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Services offered by our Dutch immigration lawyers
Our team has experience in working with foreign nationals who what to immigrate to Netherlands regardless of the type of visa they wish to obtain. We provide professional services and support to clients who wish to move to the country either as employees, investors or simply to reunite with their families, to list just some of the possible scenarios. Having a timely understanding of the requirements set forth by the Dutch authorities is invaluable for many individuals and this is why our consulting services treat each case with dedication and attention, as per the particular situation of the client applying for a visa or permit.
Below, we list some of the most important services offered by our Dutch immigration lawyers:
- Work purposes: we advise employees who wish to work in the Netherlands irrespective of the business field; we also provide information to highly skilled migrants.
- Student services: we offer counsel for those foreign students who are interested in continuing their education in the Netherlands.
- Family support: we provide information to foreign nationals who are already in the Netherlands and are interested in bringing their families to the country as well.
- Status extension: we can help individuals who are already living in the country under a certain status extend or change it.
- Becoming a citizen: once you have lived in the country for the minimum period, you can request our services for citizenship application assistance.
- Others: we provide various other services to expats who may encounter unique situations while in the country.
A special category of services that can also be provided by our team is those for asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Our agents can help interested individuals submit their application in Ter Apel, the central reception location for refugees, located in the northeast of the country or to report their arrival in the country (when they have arrived via airplane) with the Schiphol Registration Centre. We remind interested individuals that they can apply for asylum when they have had real reasons to flee their home country.
Moving to a new country does not come without its challenges. Having the right team of professionals by your side can ease the transition and make the new start more pleasurable. We encourage foreign nationals to reach out to our team that consists of various experts, including immigration lawyers in the Netherlands, to find out more details about the services we offer and the general immigration process. Individuals who decide to reach out to us should provide our team with the relevant details about their current status, nationality, and reason for their long-term stay in the country so that we can provide tailored services.
Living in the Netherlands permanently
Permanent residence can be obtained in the Netherlands if you have been living in the country for five uninterrupted years. Becoming a Dutch citizen through naturalization is possible after this period, provided that the applicant meets the existing criteria.
An important process for foreign nationals who wish to move to Netherlands and stay in the country permanently is civic integration. For the purpose of Netherlands immigration, this is an essential issue and there is one other situation, apart from naturalization, when this may be needed. This is the humanitarian non-temporary stay (following a five-year stay with a family member).
The exam is not required when the individual is younger than 18 years, when he or she has lived in the country for at least eight years during the mandatory school period, when the applicant has Belgian or Luxembourg nationality or when the applicant has certain types of diplomas or certificates. One of our agents specializing in immigration in Netherlands can provide a detailed list with these types of diplomas and the situations in which the civic integration exam is not required.
Individuals can prepare for the exam using a self-study pack that may be purchased specifically for this purpose (however, it is entirely optional). When taken abroad, the exam has a participation fee.
The main sections of the exam include reading and speaking competence, listening and writing competence as well as a test of knowledge of the Dutch society. The results of the exam are issued in approximately eight weeks.
Individuals who are interested in becoming Dutch citizens are advised to ask for the assistance of a immigration lawyer in Netherlands or another specialist in immigration matters.
Our team of immigration consultants in the Netherlands can provide a number of services, tailored to the needs of our clients:
- Dutch visa applications for transit and short stay and long-term visas;
- Dutch work permits applications;
- obtaining a residence permit in Netherlands for foreign entrepreneurs;
- obtaining permanent residency in the Netherlands;
- DAFT visa;
- obtaining the Dutch citizenship and details about the naturalization process.
The DAFT Visa is a special type of visa available to U.S. investors, due to the fact that the Netherlands and the United States of America have concluded a special treaty that encourages US investors in the Netherlands as well as Dutch investors in the United States. If you are an American citizen, our team can give you complete details about the requirements and how you can apply for a visa.
Working in the Netherlands
Many foreign nationals are looking for work opportunities in the Netherlands. The quality of life and the geographical location, close to other major European capitals are two great advantages for those interested in immigration in Netherlands. Before deciding to start the process, it is useful to know that there are several types of residence permits for working in the Netherlands, that are suited to those foreign nationals who wish to stay in the country and work for more than 90 days. Some of these permits have been mentioned before in this article, however, the list below is one that presents them all together so that applicants may quickly determine the situation that applies in their case.
Foreign citizens who would like to relocate to the Netherlands should know that the following are the types of residence permits for working in paid employment in this country:
- Intra-corporate transfers: for individuals who work at a non-EU company and are transferred at a Dutch branch; the employer is the one who applies for this permit.
- Highly skilled migrant: this is for individuals who work in high-level positions or as a trainee doctor, scientific researcher or lecturer; the employer must be a recognized sponsor.
- European blue card: for employees who engage in highly skilled work in the EU; specific conditions apply.
- Researcher: this is for researchers as per EU Directive 2016/801.
- Others: all other permits for work in paid employment; some of them may have additional rules such as those for spiritual counselors, working as a mass media correspondent, working in the Asian catering industry and others.
Applicants should know that their task is to find a job in the Netherlands or apply for a residence permit that will allow them to look for a job while being in the country. It is important to note that the employer is the one who applies for the residence permit once the employment contract has been secured. Whether or not a future employee decides to come to the country immediately after or before he or she has found employment is a personal decision.
Our Dutch immigration lawyer can provide more details about each of these permits and the conditions under which they are granted. For some of the positions, the applicant will need to bring forward proof of competence or qualifications.
Once the permit is applied for, there are several steps that need to be taken into consideration. The Immigration and Naturalization Department issues a decision for an application within 90 days. If the response is a negative one, the applicant may lodge an objection to this decision. When the decision is positive, the applicant may travel to the country and pick up the permit. Upon receipt, the new permit holder will be asked to give biometric details. The mvv permit allows the holder to travel within the Schengen area.
Once an individual commences work as a foreign employee in the Netherlands, there are several conditions that apply both to him or her and to the employer. The company is legally obliged to provide information on the employee and his right of residence, to keep relevant records and to observe the duty of care (applicable to recognized sponsors). The new employee is also obliged to report any change in the address or municipality as well as any other relevant changes about his status. One of our agents specialized in immigration Netherlands can provide more details on these legal obligations.
Obtaining Dutch citizenship
If a foreign citizen acquired a temporary residence permit in 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. An immigration lawyer in Netherlands from our team can help applicants with additional information, relevant to their particular case.
Obtaining Dutch citizenship through naturalization is one of the ways in which a foreign national can become a Dutch citizen (the other options include becoming a citizen by birth, acknowledgment or option). Apart from being over 18 years of age and having lived uninterruptedly in the country for at least five years, the applicant must also not have received a prison sentence and have no ongoing criminal proceedings against him. An important condition to take into consideration for obtaining citizenship is the fact that the applicant is required to renounce his current nationality (although some exceptions can apply).
Understanding the rights and obligations as an EU or non-EU national living in the Netherlands for non-temporary purposes is important in order to allow for a lawful and pleasant stay in the country. Working with our team can help you better understand the requirements related to personal taxation, renewing permits or having a sponsor.
Individuals who are in need of personal counseling on the Dutch Immigration Law, as well as those who need personalized assistance for applying for the various types of permits, can contact an immigration lawyer in the Netherlands from our team.
Reasons to choose to emigrate to the Netherlands
Living in the Netherlands is a unique experience, and expats will find that, while their effort to relocate to a different country is never easy, the process of moving to the Netherlands can seem less complicated because the country is a multicultural one that is acceptant towards foreign nationals. Our immigration lawyer in Netherlands presents below the main reasons for living in this country.
The country is beautiful and welcoming in many different ways, however, we do want to highlight some of the top reasons to live in the Netherlands below:
- Lifestyle: the Netherlands is a country that is constantly included in the world happiness reports and the values, as reported by the inhabitants, include a balanced social environment and good institutional support. What’s more, in a society that puts such a great accent on bicycles, migrants are bound to adapt to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
- Location: the country is well connected in any possible way, with Amsterdam being located only a few hours away from other important European capitals like Brussels or Paris.
- Transportation: besides having a good location in Europe, the country’s internal transportation system is well developed and reliable.
- The work environment: many international corporations have set up offices in Amsterdam and other cities; the work environment is cross-cultural and presents multiple opportunities to foreign workers. Another important factor is that the population is mostly bilingual and English is widely spoken.
According to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics, some of the top reasons why immigrants choose to relocate to Netherlands include the following:
- Labor: one of the top reasons to move in the country is related to work reasons. These types of migrants will often arrive from Western Europe but also the United States.
- Family migration: or family reunification is one of the reasons why more migrants have chosen to come to the Netherlands. People migrate with the spouses or partners, they choose to rejoin their families.
- Asylum: some individuals come to the country seeking asylum and their family members usually join within the following years.
The Netherlands is a country that offers different opportunities for study, employment, and business development. EU citizens and individuals from other different countries decide to move to the Netherlands to study, to find convenient employment or to start their own business. The Ministry of Security and Justice, through its Immigration and Naturalization Service, handles all of the applications for short-term stays and long-term stays in the Netherlands, for individuals or businesses. A Dutch immigration lawyer from our team can help you obtain the right type of visa for staying in this country.
What to consider when deciding to immigrate to Netherlands
The purpose of the stay and nationality are two factors that need to be taken into consideration when starting the necessary procedures to make the arrangements needed to live in the Netherlands. The immigration process
varies according to the particularities of each case and our team of immigration lawyers in Netherlands
is able to provide you with complete information about the requirements. We can also offer guidance on contacting the Dutch authorities after an initial evaluation of your application.
Before coming to the Netherlands, individuals must apply for a visa or a residence permit or, depending on whether or not they come to the country after they have taken a job interview, have their employer apply for a work permit. The visa applications are made in the country of residence and individuals must have these steps in mind when deciding to immigrate to Netherlands
. It is also useful to make some of the home arrangements in advance, as a home address will be needed for registration with the municipality.
The language can seem a barrier for many migrants, however, learning Dutch is a process that can start on an individual level, before moving to the country, and then continue in a classroom with available options for a loan for this course (only in some situations).
Our team of experts will work diligently and closely with you so that you can apply for and obtain the necessary visas or permits as fast as possible. Handling all of the needed arrangements in order to move to the Netherlands is simpler if you request the help of our immigration lawyer in Netherlands.
You can contact our immigration experts in the Netherlands
if you have any questions about short or long term stays in the Netherlands.
The process of becoming an immigration lawyer in Netherlands
The role of an immigration lawyer in the Netherlands is to help foreign citizens move and legally reside in this country, from family members who wish to reunite to entrepreneurs who intend to move their business to the Netherlands. They can also defend immigrants who face deportation from the Netherlands before the courts of justice. Our lawyers are experts in handling Netherlands immigration cases and can assist clients in numerous immigration matters. In case you need legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.
An individual can become an immigration attorney in the Netherlands by completing these 3 stages:
- complete a three-year undergraduate law degree - during this period you study the Dutch Laws and learn how the legal system works;
- complete a Master of Laws - in this stage, students can choose various modules depending on the area of law they wish to specialize in, for example Immigration Law;
- complete the three-year apprenticeship in law - this a complex training which consists of working at a law firm under the supervision of a lawyer, attending mandatory classroom courses during the first 9 months of the program and studying other courses during the last two years of the training; during this two-year period the trainee lawyer specializes in a certain area of legal practice.
After finishing all the stages described above the trainee lawyers receive permission to practice and become members of the Bar Association. Every Dutch lawyer must be a member of the Netherlands Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten - in Dutch).
Reasons for working with an immigration lawyer in Netherlands
Foreign citizens who intend to live or work in the Netherlands need to satisfy a number of conditions in order to be allowed to live in the country and settle here. Each type of immigration situation is assessed by the Dutch authorities and working with an immigration lawyer in Netherlands, even before coming to the country, can offer valuable information about the general conditions for settling in as well as the overall applicability of the Dutch immigration law.
Individuals who plan on arriving in the country 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 - it is the authority in charge with the assessment of the applications for resident permits and the visas required for different purposes of stay.
An immigration lawyer in the Netherlands from our team is able to provide applicants with the essential information about the governing law as well as answer specific questions, according to their own motives for coming to the country and their particular family or employment situation. The Dutch immigration law, comprised of the Modern Migration Policy Act as well as the National Visa Act, as well as other relevant acts addressing immigration issues, are important legislative resources for all individuals interested in knowing the policies and the conditions for staying in the Netherlands for more than three months. Knowing the different requirements that apply to a particular category of individuals is important when deciding to move to the country and an immigration lawyer can help you understand the legal requirements in their updated form.
The Dutch immigration system
The Modern Migration Policy Act contains the policies for admitting foreign nationals in the country. It is an Act that amended the former Aliens Act of 2000 and concerns those foreign individuals who arrive from all other countries except the EU/EEA/Switzerland as well as all those foreign nationals who plan on staying in the country for more than three months.
The Act does not apply for a short-stay visa which may be needed for visiting the family, short business purposes or a stopover in the country. It is important to remember that the short-stay visa only applies to some nationals (including those from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, North Korea, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen, and other countries). Entrepreneurs or employees who are in the country for short-stay business purposes can talk to an immigration lawyer in Netherlands from our team who will offer the solution for sorting the short-stay visa according to their needs. An entrepreneur who initially plans on staying in the country for a short time but then decided to lengthen the period can also talk to one of our experts.
It is important to note that the procedures for being able to live and work in the Netherlands are conditioned both by the length of stay and the nationality of the applicant. In case you want to immigrate to Netherlands, please send us details about your situation and our lawyers will reply with a personalized offer.
Staying in the Netherlands for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals
Individuals who are nationals from an EU/EEA member state or from Switzerland are not required to obtain a temporary residence permit in Netherlands or the TWV (the needed work permit for those who are not nationals qualifying to one of these categories). These individuals may work in the Netherlands based on the passport or the ID card issued by their resident state. In case of family members with a different nationality, the registration with the IND will be needed.
EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who wish to come to the Netherlands to live and to work should take the following issues into consideration:
- register with the Municipality: this is required for those who wish to stay in the country for more than 4 months and the registration is performed with the Municipal Personal Records Database in the area where the applicant will reside.
- subscribe for health insurance: this is required within 4 months after the arrival in the country.
- permanent residence: those who have stayed in the country for five uninterrupted years can apply for permanent residence.
Those who have been living in the country legally for the same period of five years can alternatively apply for Dutch citizenship; it is important to remember that special conditions apply for naturalization, including having a satisfactory level of civic integration.
An immigration lawyer in Netherlands who is part of our team of experts can help all EU/EEA Swiss nationals who wish to know more about their rights and obligations once they decide to work and live in the country on a long-term basis for the purpose of immigration. Once you have been living in the country for the minimum time, our team can help you apply for Dutch citizenship.
Staying in the Netherlands for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals
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.
Another manner in which a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national can come and work in the Netherlands is by having an EU Blue card – a combined work and residence permit for highly qualified individuals (third country nationals, not EU nationals). Those interested in these two options, the highly skilled migrant program and the EU Blue card program can consult with an immigration lawyer in Netherlands.
Family reunification is another manner in which a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national can come to the Netherlands. For example, an individual who has a valid Dutch residence permit can reunite with a spouse with whom he/she is married or whith whom they have entered into a registered partnership. A child under 18 can also reunite with a parent who is in the Netherlands for non-temporary purposes.If you are interested in finding out more details on various Netherlands immigration matters, our team is at your disposal.
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals can also come to the Netherlands for study or exchange purposes. In these cases, they must have been provisionally accepted to a university for a full-time day programme (with accreditation) and the university must be a recognized sponsor. Another condition for those coming to the Netherlands for study purposes is to be able to sustain themselves financially.
Netherlands immigration statistics
The high quality of life and the various employment opportunities, as well as the fact that living in the Netherlands provides quick and easy access to other European capitals, has made the country an attractive option for immigrants. During the first three quarters of 2018, the country’s population grew by approximately 81,000 individuals, with foreign migration being the major contributing factor.
The following statistics apply to the Netherlands’s population growth in 2018:
- total population growth Q1-Q3 2018: 80,500 net growth;
- out of the total, 11,200 was via natural growth (127,000 births and 115, 800 deaths);
- the rest, 69,400 net migration was divided as such: 185,900 immigration and 116,500 emigration.
According to the available statistics, there are more European, American and African immigrants while the number of Asian ones is decreasing. It is estimated that 92,000 immigrants from Europe have moved to the Netherlands up to this date. Polish immigrants in the Netherlands make up the largest share of European ones, with more than 16,000 immigrants. Another two countries from which the number of immigrants has increased in the Netherlands are Bulgaria and Romania, with larger numbers of individuals after the two countries have joined the EU.
Immigrants from other European countries as well as those member states of the EEA face a simpler immigration process compared to individuals from South American or African countries, for example, as they can freely travel between EU states without a mandatory visa. Our team of Netherlands immigration specialists
offers services irrespective of nationality and can provide suitable information for those foreign nationals who need to apply for a Dutch visa with the embassy or consulate in their country of origin, before coming to the Netherlands. For specialized immigration services
, we invite you to contact our team of immigration lawyers in Netherlands.