Obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in the Netherlands

Updated on Thursday 23rd September 2021

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Obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in the Netherlands Image
Individuals who have lived continuously in the country for five years are able to apply for a permanent residence permit in the Netherlands. This document is issued if the individual is compliant and if he satisfied all of the requirements needed to those who want to immigrate to the Netherlands.

The eligibility criteria for obtaining Dutch permits and visas differ according to the nationality of the individual and whether or not he comes from an EU/EEA country or not. An immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can guide you through the permit application process or he can give you advice and counseling on family reunification matters. 

Our specialists invite you to watch a video that summarizes the characteristics of the Dutch permanent residence permit


Permanent residence in the Netherlands

Individuals who have lived in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of five years, according to the current requirements for living and working in the country, can apply for a permanent residence permit regardless of the fact that they are students, employees or business owners. This is a natural step for any individual who, up until this point, has been working or staying in the country based on a valid residence permit for non-permanent purposes.

Apart from the two conditions of having lived for an uninterrupted period of five years in the country and having had a valid and lawful residence permit during this time, individuals must also prove that they can sustain themselves in the country, that they are not a risk to society and that they are well integrated in the Dutch society (including the fact that they are able to read, write and speak Dutch).

One of the most important advantages of applying for a Dutch residence permit if you do comply with all of the requirements is that you will no longer need to obtain a work permit in the country. This document gives you almost the same rights as any other individual who has Dutch nationality. An important difference is that the residence permit does not allow its holder to vote in national elections or apply for a certain job, like those in a police department or in the army. Individuals who wish to have these further rights will need to apply for Dutch nationality.

A Dutch immigration lawyer or our immigration consultants can help you during the application procedure. The success of the application depends on the particular case of the individual but also on delivering the right documentation. Our advisors who are specialized in immigration and naturalization issues in the Netherlands can provide you with valuable help in this particular case.

Requirements for permanent Dutch residence according to nationality - presented by our immigration lawyer in Netherlands

Permanent residence in the Netherlands can be awarded for both EU/EEA or Swiss citizens but also for those individuals who are coming from different countries. For the latter, the Immigration Department will perform a separate check in order to determine if the provisions of certain EU Directives are met. In some cases, it is important for non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizens to also meet the criteria set forth in the national Dutch legislation.

The general conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Netherlands are the following:
  • - having lived in the country for five years: as previously stated, the Immigration and Naturalization Department will check if the applicant has lived in the country legally for five or more years.
  • - having stayed in the country for the previous five years: an important condition is that the applicant has not stayed outside of the country for more than six months or more months in those five years that are being evaluated; alternatively, he should not have stayed outside the country for three years in a row for more than four months.
  • - valid residence permit: when applying for the permanent residence, the applicant must have a valid and non-temporary residence permit.
  • - registered with the BRP: the applicant must be registered with the Municipal Personal Records Database.
  • - earning income: the applicant must prove that he has sufficient and long-term income; it can also be the income of a family member if the applicant lives with the said relative. When the applicant has lived for 10 years or more in the country and has had a residence permit he is not required to show proof of income.
  • - civic integration: the applicant must have a civic integration diploma that proves the level of understanding, talking and writing in Dutch is satisfactory.
A number of general conditions will also apply to those who are interested in applying for a permit regardless of the purpose of stay. These concern the following:
- having a valid passport;
- signing the antecedents certificate (proof that the applicant has not committed any crimes);
- the medical test: this is performed after arrival in the country and it is done for tuberculosis (it does not apply for all types of applicants).

The following documents are needed for all applications to obtain a permanent residence permit in Netherlands:
-    travel document copy;
-    proof of stable income in the Netherlands;
-    diploma attesting civic integration.

Certain fees are applicable for obtaining a residence permit. The usual application assessment and processing time is around eight weeks or a maximum of approximately six months. There are three possible outcomes once the application for a permanent residence permit has been submitted:
- the applicant received a long-term resident EC permit (type V) (a special status that makes it easier for the holder to apply for a residence permit in another EU country);
- the applicant receives a type II permanent residence permit;
- the applicant receives an extension of the current residence permit.

Individuals who do not receive a residence permit can apply for a review of the IND’s decision. In order to avoid this situation, we recommend that you get in touch with one of our Netherlands immigration agents. They can help you obtain residency and even citizenship by making an investment in Netherlands. American citizens can obtain a special residence permit under the Dutch American Friendship Treaty - the DAFT visa and our team can help them apply for this type of residence permit.

The residence document can be renewed after it expires. Its validity is five years and the renewal is available for permanent regular residence permits but also for other documents like the permanent asylum residence permit or the permanent residence permit for EU citizens. Long-term citizens in the Netherlands can also apply for a renewal of their Type V permit.

The renewal is not mandatory but individuals are advised to do so for a number of reasons, including the fact that once issued, the residence document can also be used as an official ID card. Our Netherlands immigration experts can give you additional information about the renewal or how to replace the residence permit in case the initial one was lost, stolen or damaged. In the case of theft or loss, it is important to report this to the police and use the V-number provided by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Individuals who need help submitting their applications for permanent residency in the Netherlands can contact our immigration consultants in the Netherlands. Exactly like a immigration lawyer in Netherlands, we can answer all of your questions concerning visas, DAFT visas, permits, and naturalization.


Sponsors of Residence Permit Applicants in the Netherlands

Most types of residence permits (MVV) in the Netherlands require specific sponsors, for instance, if you come to work in the country, then your employer will be referred as a sponsor. The educational institution where you will study is the needed sponsor for your residence permit in the Netherlands. Our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can offer detailed information and suitable help if you want to apply for a residence permit in the country.

What you need to know about the sponsors in the Netherlands

The sponsor or the guarantor in the Netherlands can be the employer, the family member or an educational institution who will take care of the financial matters while living in the country and can also prepare and put forward your residence permit application. It is good to know that there are two types of sponsorships in the Netherlands:

•    the recognized sponsors: institutions, enterprises, organizations, educational centers;
•    the non-recognized sponsors; the natural persons.

The highly skilled migrants, the scientists, the students need to have mandatory recognized sponsors, in order to obtain a residence permit and to legally stay in the Netherlands. The voluntarily recognized sponsor is necessary for overseas employees who work at a specific time of the year and have registered incomes. Also, the ones who have a European blue card and come for particular training sessions in the Netherlands can apply for a voluntarily recognized sponsor. The immigration authorities in the Netherlands are in charge of any information about the available sponsors in the country and need to be informed about all the changes regarding the employers.

As a reminder our experts in immigration in the Netherlands can offer assistance when preparing the documents for a residence permit in the country, such as:

•    a valid passport;
•    details and financial statements from your bank, to prove you can support yourself during your stay in the Netherlands;
•    a letter from your sponsor which offers details about the job, the income and the duration of the employment;
•    travel insurance available for Schengen area;
•    a copy of the employment contract which proves the purpose of your stay;
•    proof of the paid fee.

According to the rules and regulations related to the immigration in the Netherlands, the non-EU or non-EEA citizens are obliged to take the tuberculosis test. The application for the residence permit can be submitted at the Dutch consulate or embassy from your home country. It is good to know that your sponsor (family member settled in the Netherlands, company or college) can apply for the Entry and Residence Permit after gathering the necessary documents. The Dutch department of Immigration and Naturalization (IND) is in charge of issuing the residence permits after a suitable verification of the sponsor. 

Details about the Dutch residence permit extension

In order to avoid the status of an illegal immigrant in the Netherlands, it is recommended to verify the identification card you own and to apply for an extension of your Dutch residence permit. It is recommended to apply in time, within three months, to avoid the residence gap and to continue with your residency in the Netherlands.

The IND notices foreign nationals with three months in advance of the expiration date of the Dutch residence permit. The foreign national will have to complete a special form of extension containing different appendices for different situations. You will only have to fill those sections which are relevant for your particular case. 

The IND will verify if your extension application for a residence permit in the Netherlands meets the mandatory requirements or if you must apply for a different type of permit. It is good to know that you can stay three days after the expiration date of your residency permit, and if you do not want to extend it, then you are obliged to leave the country. For a re-entry, you will need a new visa related to the reasons for your stay or visit. Our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands will help you prepare the important documents for your extension application related to the Dutch residence permit. In case you need information or specialized assistance in other immigration matters, such as Dutch citizenship by investment, our team of lawyers can definitely help you. We can give you more details about the investor visa Netherlands, as needed.

What happens if you won’t extend the residence permit in the Netherlands?

Citizens with expired residence permits should consider revising the rules and the regulations about the immigration in the Netherlands. For instance, if a person won’t apply for a residence permit extension, the authorities and the immigration office in the country have the legal permission to ask individuals if they are going to leave the Netherlands and have knowledge that they are illegal immigrants. It is also possible not to qualify for a new entry visa in the Netherlands.

If you don’t intend to extend your permit in the Netherlands, the authorities require that you leave the territory of the country before the expiry date of your permit. There is also the option to change your residence permit, case in which you won’t extend the old one, but you will apply for a new permit on other grounds – such as a change in your status (for example marriage to a local citizen). Any individual is granted one month to inform the authorities after a change occurred in his/her circumstances.  

FAQ on the Residence Permit Extension

1.  When do I need to extend the residence permit?

If your Dutch residence permit is about to expire, make sure to extend it before the last day, to avoid the status of illegal immigrant. The IND (Immigration and Naturalization in the Netherlands) recommends to all foreign citizens who live in the Netherlands to extend the residence permit with three months before the expiration date.
2. How long can I stay with an expired residence permit?

According to the rules and regulations in the country, you cannot stay more than three days without a Dutch residence permit. The authorities can force you to leave the country if you haven’t extended the residence permit in the Netherlands. If you want details about the immigration in the Netherlands, you can ask for support from our consultants.
3. What types of residence permits cannot be extended?

The au pair, trainee, working holiday scheme, seasonal work, orientation year for graduates permits cannot be extended in the Netherlands. But you can apply for a new one and respect the main conditions as for the first application you’ve made. We remind that the travel documents, the diploma, and the bank statements need to be provided when applying for a Dutch residence permit extension.
4. What other conditions need to be considered when extending the Dutch residence permit?

A foreign citizen who lives in the Netherlands and want to extend the residence permit needs to make proof of his address in the country, to present the available residence permit and to explain the purpose of his/her stay in the country. It is good to know that if your situation has changed, you must announce the IND. Our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can offer complete and suitable assistance when extending the residence permit.
5.  Can I extend my Dutch residence permit with six months before the expiration time?

No, you cannot extend the residence permit if you have a six-month validity, but it is recommended to submit your application within three months earlier.

Our team can answer any other questions you may have. We also assist individuals who have been living in the country with adequate residence permits and are ready to apply for Dutch citizenship.

Situations that can grant you a Dutch residence permit

The Dutch residence permit is the legal document attesting your right to stay and work within the country. Nevertheless, there are other advantages entitled by this residence permit. We provide you with a list of other reasons for obtaining a Dutch residence permit:

•    EU resident – if you are a EU citizen you are entitled to apply for a Dutch residence permit
•   Medical treatment – you can apply for a Dutch residence permit in order to benefit from a specific medical treatment which is not available in your country of origin;
•    You are a victim of honor related or domestic violence;
•    You are a witness or a victim of human trafficking;
•    You wish to return to the Netherlands as a former Dutch citizen or any other national who has lived in the country on the basis of a residence permit;
•   You want to stay in the Netherlands based on Article 8 ECHR - the right to private and family right can help you obtain a residence permit in the Netherlands, although you don`t meet the technical requirements for a residence permit;
•    Placement in an institution or a foster home based on the Hague Convention on Protection of Children – this allows children to obtain a Dutch residence permit until they become of age;  
•    You are unable to leave the country due to no fault of your own;
•    You find yourself in a non-temporary humanitarian situation.

Our immigration agency in the Netherlands is part of Bridgewest, an international company specialized in company formation and legal matters in numerous jurisdiction across the world, from European countries to Asian ones, such as India, Vietnam and Philippines or even to countries situated in Central America, such as Belize. In case you need legal services in a European country, for example in Ireland, we can put you in contact with our partners from LawyersIreland.eu.