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Amsterdam at night

Living in the Netherlands is an exciting and fulfilling idea, just make sure you know what your status is for living there. EU citizens can live and work in the Netherlands with no prior documentation other than a valid passport. There are some restrictions for certain newer member countries, however. As a non-EU resident, you can apply for Knowledge Migrant status. In that case, you do not need a Work Permit, only a Residence Permit. If you are not a knowledge migrant and are a non-EU resident, your employer will need to apply for a Work Permit and a Residence Permit.

Someone intending on living in the Netherlands for longer than three months must register with his or her municipality.

What kinds of visas are available?

Before entering the Netherlands for a period of less than three months (either for business or tourist purposes), foreigners from a number of countries must have a visa. There is an extended list of visa-duty countries that changes every three years.

All non-EU citizens must have a MVV VVisa provided by the Dutch embassy or consulate in the transferee’s home country when the expected stay in the Netherlands is longer than three months. An MVV is a national visa in the form of a sticker in your passport. Exempted from MVV-duty are EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland and Monaco.

What is required to obtain these visas?

Foreigners who need entry visas must request them in person at the Dutch embassy or consulate in their home country. To do so, a passport and an invitation letter from your employer in the Netherlands is required. This letter should state your name and date of birth, the purpose of your visit, your passport number, and a description of the relation between you and the company and a guarantee regarding the possible costs made by your visit. You will also need to show a return ticket and adequate travel insurance.

The application for permission to work should be submitted by your employer.

Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?

Yes, although a non-EU spouse needs his or her own Work Permit.

What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?

Since January 1, 2005, everyone aged 14 years or older must carry an original valid identity document at all times. Failure to produce this original (not a copy) is a criminal offense, although you are only likely to be asked to produce this if you are stopped for traffic violations, for instance, or report or witness a crime.

The following documents are accepted as proof of identity:

  • National passport
  • Diplomatic passport
  • Service passport
  • National Identity Card (if this is legally recognized in your country of origin)

Anyone requiring a Work Permit will also receive a Residence Permit as part of the immigration process.

Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?

All people living in the Netherlands for more than three months must register with the municipality.

If you are a national from a country outside of Europe, then the IND in your municipality will also issue your Residence Permit after registration.

Documents needed for registering with the municipality and for obtaining a Work Permit may include:

  • Passport
  • Employment contract
  • Work Permit (if required)
  • Employer’s statement (werkgeversverklaring)
  • Birth and marriage certificates (please check with Crown Amsterdam to determine if these documents require legalization and/or translation)
  • Original rental contract
  • Recent salary slips
  • Current employment contract


Is there anything else I should know about entering and living in the Netherlands legally?

Be sure to extend your permits before they expire.

If you are considering living in the Netherlands and would like a moving quote click here.

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1 comment


    Hi, my husband and I are moving in a May to the NL. This will be a permanent move for us. We have a one bedroom apartment in the USA. No appliances or bedroom furniture will be included in our move. Could you please offer us a quote, thanks, Tracy and Adam Koss