Apply for a residence permit (MVV)
If you want to live in the Netherlands (permanently or for more than 90 days) you need a residence permit (verblijfsvergunning). If and how you apply depends on your reason for moving to the Netherlands, the duration of your stay, or what your country of origin is.
Reasons to apply for a residence permit
There are many different reasons for seeking residence in the Netherlands. It is important to choose the purpose that best fits your situation as this influences which permit application you select and submit.
EU and Swiss citizens
If you are a citizen of the EU or a Switzerland national, you don’t need a residence permit to live and work in the Netherlands. Expats from these countries are not required to register with the IND. If you are from one of these countries and you want to stay for more than four months in the Netherlands, you need to register at your local municipality (gemeente).
Duration of your stay
When you would like to stay in the Netherlands for less than 90 days you don’t need to apply for a visa. If you are from a country that has a non-visa agreement with the Netherlands you apply for a Short-stay visa before you travel. More about this visa you can read here
If you plan to stay in for more than 90 days then you will need to apply for a residence permit. Some internationals can apply for a residence permit directly at the IND after they arrive in the Netherlands. Others will need to apply for a residence permit and provisional residence permit (MVV) at the Dutch embassy or consulate in their country of residence before they travel to the Netherlands. With a MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) you can travel to the Netherlands as a potential resident rather than a tourist. The MVV is not an official residence permit. It’s a provisional residence permit. On the IND website you can read if this applies to you.
Sponsorship for a Dutch residence permit
For an orientation year for graduates or most working holiday programs, no sponsorship for a residence permit is needed. In most other cases it is.
If you are coming to study in the Netherlands, your educational institution is your sponsor. Your employer is your sponsor if you are coming to the Netherlands as an employee, researcher, or highly skilled migrant. If you are coming for family reasons, then your relative in the Netherlands is your sponsor.
The application process
All Dutch residence permit applications are processed by the IND (Dutch department of Immigration and Naturalisation).
If you are applying for an MVV and a residence permit at the same time, you can follow the TEV procedure before you come to the Netherlands. Your sponsor can do this, or you can do this yourself at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country.
To support your residence permit application you will certain documents. With each type of application the required documents can differ. All the documents must be in Dutch, English, French, or German. Other languages will need to be translated by a sworn translator in the Netherlands. All the documents also need certified stamps to prove their authenticity.
After submitting your form and required documents you need to pay a fee. This fee depends on the type of application. After paying this fee, the IND will assess your application. The assessment time can vary because the IND is legally permitted to take up to 90 days to reach a decision on your application.
If your application is approved you or your sponsor will receive a letter of confirmation and you can make an appointment to collect your permit at the IND or Dutch embassy.
After receiving the permit you can register at your local municipality. Some internationals also need to take a tuberculosis test and an integration exam (inburgeringsexamen).
The maximum duration of a Dutch residence permit is five years. Three months before your permit expires, your sponsor will receive a letter of notification (and extension application form).
If you meet the conditions for an extension you may be able to extend your residency, or if you have changed your purpose of stay. It is essential to resolve your residency status before the expiration date of your permit to avoid an illegal stay or potential entry ban.
If you have spent sufficient time in the Netherlands and are eligible, you may apply for permanent residence or Dutch citizenship.
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