Anyone relocating to the Netherlands should make it a top priority to check that they comply with immigration and visa procedures. Nationals of EU member states, the EEA (European Economic Area), and Switzerland generally have an easier time with paperwork in the Netherlands than those coming from other countries. Keep in mind that Dutch official processes can be very slow – if you need a visa, be sure to allow sufficient time and do not make travel arrangements until all your documents are in good order.
Many factors will affect the type of visa required, including length of stay, purpose of stay, country of origin, and accompanying family members. Please see the following sub-sections for detailed information on each type of visa.
USA citizens can visit the Netherlands without a visa for up to 3 months. However, upon arrival you must report to the local Aliens Police within 3 working days. If you will be in the Netherlands for less than 3 days or will be staying in a hotel, you do not need to report to the Aliens Police.
In case you are planning on staying longer than 3 months, you must apply for a residence permit. In order to be eligible for a residence permit you need a purpose of residence other than holiday. This could be a job (contract and health insurance required), or studying.
If you are self-employed, a more complicated procedure will determine whether your business activities serve a material Dutch purpose and you will be assessed on the basis of a scoring system.
Finally, if you wish to receive medical treatment in the Netherlands, you must undergo an examination for tuberculosis in the Netherlands.
Though Dutch immigration procedures can seem like a swamp of regulations, information is widely available in many languages. The latest information is available from the Immigratie- en Naturalisatie-dienst (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) either by phone on 0900 1234561 or, the most efficient way to get initial information is to visit the IND Residence Wizard on their website, http://www.ind.nl.