All EEA and Swiss nationals may apply for a permanent residence permit after 5 years of uninterrupted stay in the Netherlands.

Nationals from outside the EEA or Switzerland

For nationals from outside the EEA or Switzerland there are several possible situations. To name but a few:

  • Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, will usually require a residence permit for self employed workers.
  • If you intend to work in the Netherlands for your foreign company (cross-border services), you need to apply for a residence permit for cross-border services.
  • Ambitious entrepreneurs (so-called 'start-ups') who want to start an innovative business in the Netherlands, may apply for a residence permit for 1 year as starting entrepreneur. To be eligible for this start-up scheme, various conditions apply. Please be advised by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
  • If you intend to work as an employee in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, you will usually need a combined permit for staying and working, the so-called single permit (PDF) (gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA). For stays up to 3 months, or in some cases (seasonal work, students, asylum seekers, Croatians), you will need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) as well as a separate residence permit.

Please be advised by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) to find out what applies to your situation.

Provisional residence permit (MVV) first, then residence permit

Before you can apply for a residence permit, you usually require a provisional residence permit (Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or MVV). This is a visa that lets you enter the Netherlands and stay for longer than 90 days. Both an individual or a Dutch employer (sponsor) on behalf of their employee can apply for an MVV. To apply the MVV and residence permit simultaneously, a single procedure exists: the Entry and Residence Procedure (Toegang- en Verblijfsprocedure, TEV).

If you have rightfully lived in another EU Member State for at least 5 years, you will not need to apply for an MVV. Instead you are allowed to enter the Netherlands to apply for a residence permit.

Who issues the residence permit?

Both residence permit and GVVA are issued by IND. You can visit the IND website to see what other requirements apply to your situation.


When you apply for an MVV or residence permit, there are costs involved, for instance for drawing up and legalising documents. The costs depend on the country where you come from. For more information, please contact the authorities in your own country. Be aware that if your application is denied, there will be no refund.

Registering with your municipality

As a general rule, if you intend to stay in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you must register with the municipality where you are going to live. You must do so within 5 days after your arrival. If you decide to leave the Netherlands for more than 8 months, you are required to deregister.