You have a job and need to relocate
In the event that your work requires you to relocate to the Netherlands, your employer will most often apply for the required permit on your behalf with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND – http://www.ind.nl). To qualify for a work permit, the employer must prove that no one else is available for the Netherlands’ position or the EU. Normally the spouse and children of a person eligible for a work permit will also qualify for work permits.
An MVV (authorisation for temporary residence) is still required as well as a work permit. In addition, you will be required to register with the local municipal authority (gemeente) in order to receive a burgerservicenummer (BSN – or social security number), which is required to open bank accounts, qualify for social security, and register for health insurance.
A Skilled Worker, also known as a kennismigrant (or ‘Knowledge Worker’), is as much a special category of temporary residence permit (MVV) as a visa in itself (see ‘Procedure prior to Arrival in the Netherlands’ below).
There are strict income requirements:
- Over 30 years of age: €50.183 annum
- Under 30 years of age: €36.801 per annum
Please note that these figures change on January 1st of every year and that these figures are current as of 2013. Check the IND Residence Wizard for the most recent salary requirements.
If a person who qualifies as a kennismigrant when they are under 30 finds that they no longer meet the income requirement once they reach 30, they can either reapply for a regular work permit or else their company can opt to increase their declared gross salary to the required amount but still only pay a lower net salary to the employee (this is allowed under the rules).
As with a regular work permit, the spouse and children of the kennismigrant may also work in the Netherlands once they have obtained their MVV permit, and the local municipal authority has certified the marriage. This will involve producing a marriage certificate that has been certified with an Apostille by an authorized person.
On paper, the employer only needs two weeks to deal with the IND’s formalities, the reality is a lot different, however, and these procedures can take a lot longer.
Procedure prior to Arrival in the Netherlands
The application for a kennismigrant visa can only be done by an employer, through the IND, prior to the employee arriving in the Netherlands (the exception being recent foreign graduates of Dutch universities. See the section ‘You want to Study’). These employees will also be able to take advantage of the 30% tax ruling (see the section on Tax).
If you are a citizen of Canada, Australia, the USA, New Zealand, or several others, you can travel to Amsterdam as a tourist (visa-free). See section on ‘You want to go on Reconnaissance’ above) and collect your permit on arrival. If your country does not have a visa waiver arrangement with the Netherlands, you will need to apply for a visa from your nearest Dutch embassy.
Procedure after Arrival in the Netherlands
Fortunately, Amsterdam is unique in the Netherlands in that the usual complicated procedure for establishing residence, which involves registering with multiple authorities, has been streamlined into a “one shop stop.”
All you will need to do is make an appointment at the Expatcenter Amsterdam Area. This will allow Knowledge Migrants and their family members to arrange almost all residential and immigration requirements during one appointment. Knowledge Migrants will now be able to collect a resident permit and register with their municipality (GBA) during the same appointment.
World Trade Center Amsterdam F-Tower Strawinskylaan 39 (second floor) 1077 XW Amsterdam
Tel: 020 2547999
To qualify for a visa as a self-employed person (apart from having a valid passport and being a person in good health and of “good character”), the applicant must also meet the following criteria:
- he or she must meet the requirements for practicing his or her profession
- he or she must be serving a “material Dutch economic purpose” with his or her business activities
Whether the business activities serve a material Dutch purpose will be assessed on the basis of a scoring system. The scoring system consists of three parts:
- Personal experience (education, experience as a self-employed person, working experience);
- Business plan (market analysis, product/service, price, organization, financing);
- The material economic purpose for the Netherlands (innovative, job creation, investments).
It is possible to score a maximum of 300 points for all parts combined. At least 90 points are needed, with a minimum of 30 points for each part.
You will need to travel to the Netherlands as a visitor and register your business with the local Chamber of Commerce (http://www.kvk.nl) before you can apply for a residence permit. Registration with the Chamber of Commerce requires careful preparation, and there may be specific documentation required for your business, but you will need, at a minimum, recent overviews of your accounts, your business plan, and copies of your highest educational qualification. With proof of this registration, your business plan, and a valid passport, you can then go to the IND who will make the final decision as to whether or not you can stay in the Netherlands.
There are still more than twenty varieties of residence permits despite efforts to streamline and simplify the process. Each residence permit (Verblijfsdocument in Dutch) states information about the purpose of stay in the Netherlands and gives details concerning working status. Non-EU students, for instance, are often allowed to work up to 10 hours. If you are coming to the Netherlands under the circumstances not covered above, check with the IND about your situation’s specifics and any regulations that may pertain to your particular case. Their website (http://www.ind.nl) has a wealth of brochures and guides in English that can help you understand what you will need to do and what options are available to you.
For how long is the MVV generally valid?
Work permits are usually linked to the duration of your work contract, but they are not generally valid for more than a year. You will need to apply for an extension in advance of your permit expiring. See ‘Visa Extension’ below for more details.