Persons with a non EU nationality, who wish to establish and work in The Netherlands, will need to follow the immigration procedures from the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) in order to maintain a residence and/or work permit.

During all below steps and phases ACT can be at your service. The possibilities are numerous and can be as intensive needed.


Step 1: Listing of the needs and requirements


  • Persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland do not need a residence permit or work permit (TWV) to live and work in the Netherlands. They don't need to report to the IND.
  • Persons with the nationality of a non-EU/EEA Member State face several criteria that decide if a permit and which permit is required.

Duration of the stay

  • Less than 90 days: short stay visa (depending on the nationality). Usually the employer applies for a work permit (TWV);
  • More than 90 days: (again usually) the employer needs to request a residence and work permit, which normally can be combined into one permit (GVVA).

Residence permit and Work permit
There are various residence permits for working in The Netherlands. Which residence permit can be applied for depends on the job you find in the Netherlands.

  • Intra Corporate Transferees
  • Highly Skilled Migrants (HSM)
  • European Blue Card
  • Researcher
  • Work in paid employment
  • Work experience as trainee or apprentice
  • Cross border service provider

For the Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) and Researcher permit, the employer must be recognized as a sponsor by the IND. If the company is not yet a sponsor recognized by the immigration services of The Netherlands, ACT can apply for this sponsorship on your behalf.

Step 2: Collect and check the documents required for the application

ACT informs the company and the expat about the documents that are needed. We will launch, prepare and submit the application procedure. We do all in correspondence with the previously discussed needs.

ACT can also advice, assist or take over the procedure of legalising (birth and marriage) certificates in the country of origin.

Step 3: Submit application, arrange appointment

ACT submits the application, either on behalf of the company or the person, and will arrange the appointment at the IND.

In case the expat needs to travel to The Netherlands on forehand, ACT can apply for a long term entry visa (MVV) if needed.

ACT can apply a residence permit for non EU spouses of EU residents. This is called the Verification against community law (married partners) (unmarried partners).

Step 4: Maintain contact with IND concerning the progress of the application

After the application has been received, the IND will send the confirmation of receipt. It will state the date on which the IND received the application and within which time limit (normally 90 days) the IND will take a decision.

Normally, the IND checks whether the application is complete and whether the fees (costs) have been paid. Are documents missing or are documents incorrect? The IND will then send a letter to the employer: a notice to remedy the omission. It will state which documents still need to be sent. The employer must send the requested documents before the date specified in the letter. It could be that the employer must send documents that the person has to arrange. If this is the case, the person should send the documents to the employer or the IND as soon as possible.

ACT can remain the main contact for IND.

Step 5: Accompany the expat to the appointment

After approval the person has three months to pick up the long term entry visa (MVV) at the Dutch representation. With this MVV the person can travel to The Netherlands.

Around two weeks after the approval, the IND will send a letter that the residence permit is ready for pick up. For this appointment one of our ACT staff members can accompany the person to the IND.

Step 6: Renewals, Dutch citizenship


  • Three months before the residence permit expires, extension can be requested
  • If a person changes job, the new employer must also apply for a work permit in your name.

Dutch citizenship
After living in the Netherlands for more than five consecutive years on a residence permit, it may be possible to obtain permanent residence status. This gives the person the right to work for any Dutch employer or as a self-employed worker without the need for a work permit.

ACT can help you integrate, learn the Dutch language, become Dutch, feel at home, learn the Dutch culture and history.


Note: always visit the IND website for the most updated information about immigration and naturalisation in The Netherlands.


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