Immigration to the Netherlands

Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland have the right to live and work in the Netherlands without applying for any kind of immigration permit or visa. (They do need to register with their municipality once they have moved – see below). The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is responsible for assessing and granting residence permits (verblijfsvergunningen) and/or visas for people of other nationalities. In most cases, getting a residence permit will require a ‘sponsor’. Employees are sponsored by their employer, students by their educational institute. There are residence permits and visas available for a range of reasons for moving to the country. Each permit has its own requirements, for example regarding income or civil status. 

If you are representing a foreign government or working at an international treaty organisation, you do not need to apply for a residence permit. You and your family members will be allowed to work and live in the Netherlands without a permit. This right is based upon various treaties. People with this special status are known as geprivilegeerden (residents with privileged status). You are registered by your Protocol Office with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and issued with a diplomatic ID card. 

As well as complying with immigration requirements where applicable, everyone staying in the Netherlands for longer than four months must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP). You normally do this at your local town hall. Once you have registered in the BRP, you will be issued with a Dutch Citizen Service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN). If you are staying for less than four months, you can register in the Non-residents Records Database (RNI).  

Types of Migrant Permits

The type of permit you need to live and work in the Netherlands depends on your nationality, the length of your stay, and the reason for your stay. If you will be working in the Netherlands for less than 90 days, you may only need a work permit (TWV). For stays of longer than 90 days, you will need a residence permit. Permits are available for a range of circumstances and reasons to come to the country, such as work, study, and family reunification. 

Non-EU nationals may need to apply for a provisional residence permit (MVV) before arriving in the Netherlands. There are some exceptions to this rule

There are also special permits available for highly skilled migrants and scientific researchers, as well as the orientation year permit (zoekjaar) for recent graduates. 

Immigration and Visa Procedures

Moving to another country can be complicated and, at times, feel overwhelming. At The Hague International Centre, we can help you get off to a good start and make the most of life in The Hague as an international. We can deal with immigration formalities and procedures for highly skilled migrants, scientific researchers, entrepreneurs, people with diplomatic privileges, and international graduates. From legalising your documents before arriving to the moment you decide to stay permanently in The Netherlands, we are here to help. Our services are provided in close collaboration with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).