Netherlands Investor Visa

Updated on Tuesday 17th November 2020

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The Netherlands Investor Visa is a type of residence permit that is granted following a certain type of investment. In most cases, this is a substantial investment or an innovative business that is to be incorporated in the Netherlands. 

Entrepreneurs, both EU and non-EU nationals can use this option if they are planning on living in the Netherlands. The country has much to offer to expats and it is seen as one of the beneficial locations in which one can base a business. This is due to its favorable position in Europe as well as the general good business environment.
 
The Netherlands Golden Visa is suitable for those entrepreneurs who have the capital to make an investment in the country that complies with a few conditions. Foreign investors thus have a simple option for obtaining a residence permit that will also allow them to bring their families to the Netherlands if this is the case.
 
The investment for the Golden Visa is assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the applicant also needs to comply with all of the requirements from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service.
 
Entrepreneurs who want to immigrate to the Netherlands can read this guide on obtaining the Golden Visa and adjust the nature of their investment in the country to meet the requirements and qualify for the residence permit. This option is an attractive one for those individuals who are interested in doing business in the Netherlands. The country is a suitable location to base various types of businesses because of the favorable business climate and its geographical position in Europe. 
 
The main conditions for obtaining the Golden Visa in Netherlands are described in this article and investors who need assistance for applying can reach out to our team of immigration lawyers in the Netherlands. 

Our immigration lawyer in Netherlands talks about the investor visa and answer below some of the most commonly asked questions about this type of residence.
 

What are the general conditions for the Investor Visa in the Netherlands?


The investor visa  or the Golden Visa in Netherlands can be granted regardless of nationality, however, there are some conditions that apply separately according to the nationality of the applicant. Our team of immigration lawyers in the Netherlands details those differences in the next question. Here, we highlight the general conditions that apply for this type of residence permit:
  • there is a minimum investment amount for an investor visa in Netherlands: it is of 1,250,000 euros in a Dutch company or an investment fund approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs; entrepreneurs are not allowed to obtain this permit when they invest in Dutch real estate for private purposes.
  • the deposit: the amount invested in the Netherlands is to be deposited in a bank account or a branch of a foreign bank in the Netherlands.
  • the value of the investment: the investment made by a foreign entrepreneur who applies for this visa needs to add value to the Dutch economy. This means that it will be subject to an assessment from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
  • the investment is legitimate: this refers to the means in which the entrepreneur gains the capital that is offered for investment; in some cases, the applicant can be asked to allow the Dutch authorities to investigate the origin of the capital. 
  • no previous illegalities when applying for an investor visa in Netherlands: the applicant needs to not have stayed illegally in the Netherlands and also he needs to not have given false information or have withheld information for a precious residence permit application. 

 

Conditions for applying for the Dutch Golden Visa

 
Investors who wish to obtain this type of permit will need to travel to the Netherlands to submit their application and have their investment reviewed. For this purpose, they may need a provisional residence permit depending on nationality. When this permit is not needed, the applicant can travel to the Netherlands and stay in the country for three months during which he can address all of the formalities for applying for the investment visa.
 
Once the application is submitted, the Immigration and Naturalization Department issues a decision in approximately 90 days. When the decision is positive, the applicant can collect his residence permit and then register in the Municipal Personal Records Database in the municipality where he will live. It is mandatory for all expats in the Netherlands to take out health insurance once they settle in. The validity of this residence permit has a maximum period of three years. A foreign national who has this type of permit can also work in the Netherlands.
 
The Netherlands Golden Visa can also allow other family members to obtain a residence permit. We recommend that you talk to our immigration lawyers in the Netherlands if you need more information about how to obtain a residence permit for children or other family members.
 
Contact us if you are planning on investing in the Netherlands and are interested in obtaining the Golden Visa in Netherlands.

 

The value of the investment

 
The chosen investment needs to bring added value to the Dutch economy. This is one of the most important conditions for the Netherlands entrepreneur visa. Understanding the criteria for business project evaluation is important and, in summary, this refers to criteria such as job creation and the innovation level of the business (technological and non-technological innovation).
 
Some of the criteria that are taken into consideration are the following:
 

  • job creation: the new business will create at least 10 jobs within 5 years; investors can benefit from the fact that the fixed number of jobs is not required from the beginning and they can hire more employees as the business expands, within the mentioned time limit;

  • innovation: the business needs to be an innovative one and this can be achieved through a patent, investing in technological and non-technological innovation as well as investing in a company that operates in a top sector (detailed below by our specialists in the Netherlands business visa).

  • other value: the new company is able to produce another type of value, non-financial, such as clients or the active involvement of the investor as well as specific knowledge.

 
The top innovative sectors that need to be taken into consideration by those who apply for the Golden Visa in Netherlands are:
 

  • horticulture and propagation materials;

  • agri-food;

  • water;

  • health and life sciences;

  • chemicals;

  • high tech;

  • energy;

  • logistics;

  • creative industries.

 
Investors who have experience in one of these nine sectors can apply for the investor visa in Netherlands as the Government wishes to strengthen their development. This is done through a collaboration between the government, universities, research centers and the private sector to make the aforementioned sectors even stronger. This collaboration takes the form of the Top Sector Alliance for Knowledge and Innovation and its mission is to search for ways to innovate products and services on the market. The Dutch Government further encourages innovation in the nine top sectors through competitions, innovation exhibitions (expos) and other means.

One of our agents who specialize in Netherlands immigration matters can give you detailed information about the points system used to assess the value of the investment. It is useful to note that the investment is assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
 

Incentives and schemes for investments in the Netherlands

 
The Dutch Government not only has a policy for the investor visa in the Netherlands, but it also has tax credit schemes for research and development activities and it supports ambitious startups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
 
The Innovative Future Fund is such an initiative that targets acquiring money and making the funds available to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises that engage in vital research for the future. 2020 was the year planned to review this fund.
 
Ambitious entrepreneurs who are interested in obtaining the business visa in Netherlands should know that the Government also encourages them as well as startups and new businesses that are just incorporated. The ambitious entrepreneurship action plan allows those that qualify to access capital, innovation and knowledge and for this purpose the Government has planned allotted more than 70 million euros (please note that this amount can be subject to change and those interested should always verify the available update information in the Ambitious Entrepreneurship Action Plan). The Government has the following goals through the Plan:
 
  • provide early-stage finance for ambitious entrepreneurs;
  • strengthen the international position of startups and growing businesses;
  • provide temporary residence permits for non-EU entrepreneurs;
  • develop the platform created for ambitious entrepreneurs, allowing them to be able to grow their business faster;
  • provide funding under relevant European Commission programmes and Eurostars projects.
 
Those interested in the Netherlands business visa can talk more about accessing these plans and fast schemes for development with the help of our specialist lawyers.
 

Regulations for foreign investors in the Netherlands

 
Coming to the Netherlands to open a business is an important decision and expanding a business and creating new jobs is a task that requires careful preparation and a sound business plan. Apart from the issues concerning the business itself, individuals also need to be mindful of other aspects. Our agents who specialize in the Netherlands entrepreneur visa list some of these below:
 
  • foreign investors can bring their families to the Netherlands under the family reunification visa and they are not required to take the civil integration course; this is not  a mandatory condition for obtaining the residence permit for the purpose of investment;
  • residence permits cannot be offered for past investments; the investment agreement clearly stipulates when the said investment was made;
  • for the purpose of the business visa, a startup company is one that is less than three years one and must present a substantial business plan (including the background of the entrepreneur, market analysis, product/service presentation, organization and financing, etc.);
  • investments are not possible with borrowed capital; the investor needs to bring his own capital.

What are the application documents for an investor residence permit?


For the golden visa in Netherlands, the costs for the application will be around 2,000 euros and the applicant will need to prepare the needed documents. The documents will include both information about the applicant (the personal details, biometric information, antecedents certificate) and information about the value of the investment and/or proof of income for those applying as a wealthy foreign national. When the investment is an innovative company, the applicant will be asked to bring forward additional details and information. In general, the needed evidence will depend on the type of investment.
 

How do the conditions differ according to nationality?


The application procedure for the investor visa in Netherlands, for those foreign nationals who can afford this investment, differs according to nationality. One of the most important issues refers to the obligation to apply for an MVV or a long-stay visa. For example, applicants from Canada fall into the category of foreign nationals who do not need to apply for the MVV – they can travel to the Netherlands without a visa and apply for the residence permit within three months.

Below, our team of Netherlands immigration agents summarizes the steps for the application procedure for a foreign national for whom the MVV is not required:
 
  1. Travel to the country: when an MVV is not required, an applicant can arrive in the country and apply for the residence permit within three months;
  2. Submit the application: once he arrives, he gathers the documents and submits them to the Immigration and Naturalization Department;
  3. Provide biometric data: once the application is received, the applicant will make an online appointment with the Department and present for the collection of biometric information; this is required from all applicants, not only those who apply for the investor visa in Netherlands;
  4. Receive the decision: once all of these steps are complete, a positive or a negative decision is issued by the Department.
 
By contrast, a foreign national who has a nationality for which the MVV is required (for example, Chinese), will need to apply for this provisional residence permit (the MVV) with the Embassy or Consulate in his city or region and then wait for the Immigration and Naturalization Department to forward its decision. The MVV (which is a sticker that the Dutch Embassy or Consulate places on the passport) can be collected within three months and the passport that is used for this must be valid for at least 6 months from the date on which the sticker is placed. Once the passport is collected, the holder can travel to the Netherlands and will remain within the sticker’s validity period for 90 days. The holder should note that two dates are inscribed on the sticker: the effective date as of which it becomes valid as well as the end date after which it is no longer usable. The MVV also allows the holder to travel within the Schengen Area. The following steps also include collecting the residence permit, registering with the municipality, and taking out health insurance.

One of our immigration lawyers in Netherlands can help you submit the application with the authorities irrespective of your nationality and whether or not you do need to apply for the MVV. Interested investors can reach out to our agents from the earliest application stages and we can help perform a complete checklist of the needed documents as well as assist investors in drawing them up when needed. The files are to be sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Department only in an A4 paper copy form, single-sided. All copies must be legible and provide complete information. USB sticks, CDs, or DVDs are not accepted. All original documents are kept by the applicant and presented to the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in his country of origin where the initial application is made.

As a general rule, irrespective of the nationality, we recommend handling any document translations before you travel to the Netherlands.

The approval of the Netherlands investor visa is subject to checkups and requirements. Entrepreneurs should understand the criteria before submitting the application in order to avoid rejection.

After an applicant submits the required documents, the Dutch authorities have to make a decision within 90 days. Once approved, the individual can register with the municipality, take out health insurance (mandatory), and engage in the respective business or entrepreneurial activities.
 

Netherlands immigration statistics

 
The country’s population has seen more significant growth in 2019, compared to the provisional data for the first quarter (the same time period) in 2020. Thus, as per the numbers released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the population growth can be summarized as follows:
 
  • more than 59,000 immigrants settled in the country during the first quarter of 2020 and they registered with a Dutch municipality;
  • by contrast, in 2019 there were almost 113,000 immigrants who registered with a Dutch municipality in the first quarter;
  • in 2018, the number of immigrants who registered with the authorities was slightly higher than 101,000 individuals.
 
According to the same source, the highest percentage of immigrants is from Poland, followed by Indian immigrants as the second-largest group, followed by Turkey. The data is compiled based on information from the Personal Records Database. Individuals who stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, such as those who are interested in Netherlands immigration, are required to register with the Dutch municipality in which they reside and asylum seekers may register after six months or even earlier, after they have obtained a residence permit. The data is also based on the fact that deregistration is performed when a foreign national who was registered has lived abroad for more than eight out of twelve consecutive months. Our team can provide more details about the registration with the municipality as well as the situation in which the deregistration can take place.
 
The investor visa in Netherlands can be a suitable option for immigrants from these countries, as well as others, provided that the applicant can comply with the existing points system. We remind possible investors that this relies on the business plan, the added value of the investment as well as the experience of the investor himself (whether or not he has higher education and whether or not he is a company owner or an employee with seniority).

Contact our team of Dutch immigration lawyers for more details on the Golden Visa in Netherlands and information on how we can assist you. We can also provide complete services to expats in the Netherlands.