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).