Netherlands Startup Visa
Netherlands Startup Visa

Netherlands Startup Visa

The Dutch residence permit for startups is intended for individuals from outside the European Union (EU) who want to establish an innovative firm in the Netherlands. The residency permit is only valid for up to one year. During this period, you must develop or launch an innovative new product or service under the supervision of an experienced facilitator.

What is the Dutch startup visa?

Entrepreneurs from outside of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland can apply for a temporary residence permit in the Netherlands through the “residence permit for startups” program. This allows them one year to develop their new business. To make the most of this opportunity, it is necessary to get instructions from an experienced facilitator who can assist you in transitioning from a startup to an operational firm. This program benefits both the entrepreneur and Dutch society as a whole, as it enables the entrepreneur to run a successful firm while contributing to the growth of the Dutch economy.

How can you apply?

You or your facilitator in the Netherlands may apply for a residence visa for startups. This is done through the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). Your facilitator may apply online. If you apply yourself, you must send the application form via post. This requires you to provide personal information. In addition, you should have a step-by-step strategy outlining how you intend to transform your concept into a business. This is evaluated by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

Startup entrepreneurs who are still residing abroad can apply for a residence visa through the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country where they live. This may or may not include applying for a provisional residence permit (mvv). Check out IND’s information for international startups. When you input your nationality, you will be able to determine if you need to apply for a provisional residence permit.

There is an mvv exemption for startup entrepreneurs from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Vatican City, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Korea, and Switzerland. These entrepreneurs can apply directly to the IND by completing the application form on the website.

Foreign nationals with a valid residence permit who want to modify it to a residence permit for startup businesses can also utilize the application form.


When applying for a Startup Residence Permit, you must pay the application fee.

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Conditions for the residence permit for startups

For the evaluation, the IND interacts with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, which is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. There are five requirements that you must satisfy:

  • Working with a facilitator
  • The product or service is innovative
  • The startup entrepreneur has a strategy to transform the concept into a business.
  • The startup entrepreneur and the facilitator are enrolled in the KVK (the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce) Business Register.
  • There is enough money (resources) to live in the Netherlands.


The application process takes up to 3 months. If approved, you’ll be asked to pick up your permit from a Dutch consulate or embassy. Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you’ll be directed to an IND office or Expat Center to get your temporary residence permit.

Residence arrangement for key staff for startups

Starting June 1, 2021, startups can apply for a residence arrangement for essential personnel for startups. This four-year trial program simplifies and accelerates the recruitment process. Check the IND website for more details and requirements to apply.

What happens at the end of year 1?

The residence permit for startups enables you to stay in the Netherlands for up to one year and operate as an entrepreneur. At the end of year one, you can apply for a self-employed residence permit. Or another sort of residency permit, if you satisfy the requirements.

Residence permits in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, residency permits are issued by the IND. Generally, laws and procedures differ depending on whether you are an EU or non-EU national and how long you want to remain.
If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland and intend to live and operate as an entrepreneur in the Netherlands, you will require a residence visa. Depending on your country of origin, you may be required to apply for both a provisional and temporary residence permit. Use the ‘Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur‘ tool to determine what is relevant to your circumstance.
If you want to come to the Netherlands to work, you may also be required to get a residence permit. To get a work visa, your company must apply to the Employee Insurance Agency’s (UWV) work placement branch. A one-stop shop procedure allows you to apply for one permission. This is a work and residency permit in one.


You must have a residency permit to register your business with the Chamber of Commerce KVK. See step one:

Registering a company

Step 1: Preparation

  • Have a valid residency permit
  • Have a bsn number
  • Have a business address
  • Have legal structure
  • Have legal entity: notary
  • Have a company name
  • Have a bank account
  • UBOs
  • Check whether a business permit is needed or no
  • Check whether a diploma is needed or no


Step 2: KVK

  • Filling out the forms
  • Make an appointment at KVK office
  • Bring the required forms and ID
  • Bring lease contract
  • Pay the required fees


Following registration, you will receive a VAT number and a tax return form from the tax administration.

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