Residence Permit


Within Dutch immigration law, you can get a residence permit on many grounds. Each ground / purpose of stay has its own conditions. Here you will find the most applicable residence permits for workers. Note that this information is only of importance if you are a non-EU resident or if you are from outside the European Economic Area. For citizens from EU countries and the European Economic Area other rules apply. They are mainly free to move and work in the European Economic Area (citizens from Bulgaria and Romania still require a work permit). It is important to know that most residence permits for workers are based on the fact that you have already found a job and your employer is part of the procedure to get you the work permit and/or residence permit.  


Also, residence permits are only applicable if your stay is longer than 3 months. When you do not plan to reside in the Netherlands for more than 3 months or plan to work as a cross border worker (living outside the Netherlands and working in the Netherlands) other rules apply. Please check the Residence Wizard on the IND website for more information about a stay shorter than 3 months.


Where to apply for your residence permit?

A residence permit is applied for at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) within 3 working days after your arrival in the Netherlands. The IND will place a sticker in your passport confirming your residence status, and a note that you are/are not allowed to work and that you do/do not require a work permit to work. After 2 to 3 weeks, you will receive the formal decision from the IND regarding your residence status. In this respect, it is an advantage if you have applied for a voluntary authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) before you enter the Netherlands, even if it is not compulsory for you to have one. Through this procedure, your request for a residence permit is already reviewed before you arrive in the Netherlands, and the sticker from the IND will state that you are allowed to work in the Netherlands right after you have submitted your request. You do not need to wait for the formal decision of the IND, which is expected only after 3 weeks after submitting.


IND desks

The IND has nine desks in the Netherlands. The closest desk to the Twente region is in Zwolle. At this desk, you can:


  • submit your application for a residence permit or collect a residence sticker;
  • submit a request and collect a return visa. Collect your residence document;
  • obtain information about residence in the Netherlands (work, study, or family reunification purposes, for example).


If you are planning to do this, you should arrange an appointment by calling 0900 1234561 (on working days from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, € 0.10 per minute)*


On the IND website, you can download the forms needed for the different procedures.
* Dial +31 20 889 30 45 from abroad (this number cannot be reached from the Netherlands)


Residence Purposes

The most important residence purposes for expats are: 


  • Highly skilled migrant
  • Working as an employee
  • Scientific researcher


There are also many others. For each purpose, different conditions can apply. If you want to know more about the above mentioned residence purposes or any others please check the IND website.


Highly Skilled Migrants

A highly skilled migrant or knowledge migrant is a migrant who comes to the Netherlands to be employed, and has a gross annual income of at least €52,010 or €38,141* if he/she is under 30. This income requirement does not apply if the employee enters a position in an educational or research institution. From 2007 graduates who finished their studies in the Netherlands and have a gross annual income of at least €27,336* can also obtain a work permit as a highly skilled migrant. For information on the specific positions to which this clause applies, you can inquire at the IND office for labour and highly skilled migrants. When a foreign national has been granted residence in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant, the employer of the highly skilled migrant is not required to be in possession of a work permit for that foreign national. Professional soccer players, ministers of religion, teachers of religion and prostitutes are not eligible for a residency as highly skilled migrant.


* These amounts are indexed annually. The above amounts are applicable from 1 January 2013.



The procedure for highly skilled migrants is drawn up from the point of view of an employer. Please check the IND website to read the procedure information.



The employer and the employee should meet a number of conditions, and be in possession of the documents referred to below.


For the Employer

The employer must sign a declaration for the admission of highly skilled migrants. This is a non-recurring declaration, which will apply to all applications he/she makes in the future in the context of the highly skilled migrant procedure 

The IND must have granted the employer access to the highly skilled migrant procedure.


For the Employee

  • The employee must be in possession of a valid passport
  • The employee must be in possession of health insurance that provides cover in the Netherlands
  • The employee shall not constitute a danger to public order
  • The employee must be willing to undergo a test for tuberculosis
  • Depending on the situation: the migrant will have an employment contract for paid employment or an appointment decision or an employers’ declaration from the foreign employer
  • The employee must have a gross income of at least €52,010* (if he/she is above thirty) or € 38,141* (if he/she is under 30). This income requirement does not apply if the employee will be employed in certain positions within an educational or research institution. From 2007 graduates who finished their studies in the Netherlands and have a gross annual income of at least €27,336* can also obtain a work permit as a highly skilled migrant.


* These sums are applicable as at 1 January 2013


Working as an Employee

If you do not qualify to come to the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant, you and your employer can choose to follow the procedure ‘working as an employee’ (arbeidsmigrant). In this case, the employer must apply for a work permit at the UWV Werkbedrijf (formerly the  Centre for Work and Income - CWI). The employer will only get the work permit when nobody in the Netherlands and the European Union (excluding Romania and Bulgaria) is available to fill the position. You can start the residence permit procedure only after this permit is issued.  


There are situations when your employer does not have to apply for a work permit. Your employer does not have to apply for the work permit when you:


  • are a Dutch national
  • have the nationality of one of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland (excluding Romania and Bulgaria)
  • have a valid Dutch residence permit or a stamp from the Aliens Police or the IND stating: Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist (Free to work, no work permit needed).


In other situations or for more information, you can contact the UWV Werkbedrijf.  If your future employer applies for an authorisation for temporary stay on behalf of employees at least 10 times a year, he or she may be eligible for the accelerated procedure which only takes a few weeks.


What other conditions do you have to meet?

Apart from the work permit requirement, you must also meet the following conditions:


  • you must have a valid passport 
  • you must have health insurance with cover in the Netherlands 
  • you must not constitute a risk to public order 
  • you must be prepared to undergo an examination for tuberculosis 
  • you must have sufficient funds. 


Additional Conditions for Apprentices

  • you must be working with a Dutch company in order to gain experience for the purpose of carrying out your role in your country of origin.  


Additional Conditions for Trainees

  • you must be engaged in studies at an educational institution outside the Netherlands 
  • you must be working for a Dutch company as part of a compulsory work placement (you must be able to prove this by means of a declaration from your educational institution). 


Additional Conditions for Spiritual Professions (such as imam or member of the clergy)

  • you must take the civic integration examination abroad  


Scientific Researcher

A scientific researcher is someone who has obtained a certificate of higher education that must give the holder access to a Master's programme. In addition, the scientific researcher must have been selected by a research institution to implement a project for which the certificate in question is required. Researchers can also bring their family, who are also allowed to work during their stay in the Netherlands.



The research institute and the scientific researcher will be expected to comply with a number of conditions.


The research institute must:

  • register with the IND as a research institution; and 
  • have been admitted to the procedure for scientific researchers in the sense of Directive 2005/71/EC by the IND.


The scientific researcher must:

  • have a valid passport
  • have medical insurance with coverage in the Netherlands 
  • be going to do a research project. This project must have been approved by the research institution
  • have an appropriate qualification for the research to be done 
  • have entered into a guest agreement with a research institution
  • have independent means of support; for example: stipends, grants, sponsorship, periodic payments, an appointment decision or a contract of employment. The relevant premiums and taxes must have been paid on the above 
  • have sustainable means of support. The means will be sustainable, provided they are available throughout the duration of the project 
  • not pose a danger to public order.


Admission to the Procedure

In order to be able to make use of the procedure for scientific researchers in the sense of Directive 2005/71/EC, the research institute needs to complete and return the registration form requesting the admission of scientific researchers. If the requirements are met, the IND will supply the research institute with the forms needed for applying for residence permits and visa for researchers and their families.