Work and get to know Dutch culture, or reunite your family: we can show you the possibilities.

Residence permit

Foreign nationals, wishing to stay in the Netherlands for more than 3 months, must apply for a residence permit for a specific purpose of stay.

Most nationals will need to apply for a provisional residence permit (MVV) allowing them to enter the Netherlands for a period longer than 3 months. Under the TEV procedure (Entry and Residence Procedure) a combined application for the MVV and residence permit is initiated. The MVV and residence permit are granted simultaneously (the denial will also be a simultaneous decision). The purpose of stay must be included in the application.

It may well be possible that for specific purposes of stay, a Dutch Integration Exam must be passed. Legal Crossing will be happy to specify for which grounds this Integration Exam requirement is necessary.

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, the foreign national may pick up the residence permit card. If the permit has not yet been processed, the foreign national must be able to prove the grounds of stay. Please contact our office for the required advice.

Family reunification

Partners, spouses and children younger than 18 years old may apply for a residence permit under the family reunification procedure. The Netherlands maintain strict conditions and extensive documentation must be provided. Salary levels must be maintained and official documents from the country of origin are required, legalisation procedures must be initiated.

Please do not wait too long to initiate the application. Certain countries can be very strict with the legalisation process allowing for a long and tedious procedure. We can provide you with advice on this process and the specific authorities that need to be contacted.

Legal Crossing family reunification

EU nationals

Nationals (and their immediate family members) of the member states of the European Union, Switzerland and Norway may reside in the Netherlands without a residence permit. The passport is sufficient evidence to prove that the EU national may live and work in the Netherlands. Local registration in the municipality where the EU national will be living is necessary.

Family members of EU nationals who do not have the nationality of one of the member states of the EU, Switzerland and Norway- the so-called third country nationals- may require an entry visa to enter the Netherlands. This entry visa will need to be requested from the Dutch Consulate in the main palce of residence. We will be happy to advise if an entry visa is needed. 

Permanent residency may be requested after having lived in the Netherlands for five consecutive years. 

Self-employment and start-ups

Foreign nationals, wishing to work independently in the Netherlands, will receive a residence permit provided that their business is of an added value and interest to the Dutch knowledge economy.

A point system determines whether the residence permit will be issued and consists of different categories. At least 30 points must be reached for each category. Legal Crossing can advise as to which elements can contribute to these points and to reaching a higher score.

The application can take relatively long (between 3 – 6 months) and must be well prepared. The Ministry of Economic Affairs advises the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) in the decision.

A one-year residence permit can be obtained by foreign start up entrepreneurs allowing them to start an innovative business. The entrepreneur must work together with an experienced, recognised, facilitator. After one year, the entrepreneur must pass the strict points-based system to qualify for the self-employed residence permit.

Innovative start-ups may apply for work and residence permits for employees under the Essential Start-up orcedure. We can advise on the possibilities and conditions. 

A recommendation to the Dutch economic authority to support the self- employed residence permit application may be utilised. Please contact Legal Crossing for the possibilities.

Friendship treaties

American and Japanese nationals may obtain a residence permit by establishing a company in the Netherlands without having to demonstrate that their business serves a Dutch interest and has an added value to the Dutch economy. Although the residence permit application seems to be relatively easy, one must be aware of existing pitfalls.

Legal Crossing friends treaty

“Have you spent a year in the Netherlands to find a job? Highly skilled migrants are welcome to stay after the orientation year.”


Student graduates

Graduated students may remain in the Netherlands for an orientation year for the purpose of finding a job as a highly skilled migrant. This possibility also exists for foreign students who have graduated outside the Netherlands at a specific university.

During the orientation year, the graduate has unlimited access to the labour market. If the graduate finds work as a highly skilled migrant with a guaranteed minimum monthly gross salary, the graduate will be eligible for a residence permit after or during the orientation year,

As the Netherlands finds it important to provide highly skilled migrants the possibility to find a job, the authorities have agreed that students may apply for such permits within three years after having obtained the graduation diploma. 

Legal Crossing student graduates

Working holiday scheme

Students from specific countries, younger than 30 years of age, may apply for a one year residence permit allowing them to work under specific conditions in the Netherlands and to become familiar with the Dutch culture. The residence permit may not be extended. It is possible to apply for a new residence permit on specific grounds.

Permanent residence

A foreign national may apply for a permanent residence permit after having resided in the Netherlands for five consecutive years. The Dutch Integration exam must have been successfully passed in order to be eligible for the permanent residence permit.

Although the residence permit is issued as a permanent residence right, a renewal process is required after five years. We will be happy to apply for permanent residency and assist in the renewal process.

Legal Crossing permanent residence