Depending on your nationality, you may require a residence and work permit if you want to live and work in Amsterdam or elsewhere in the Netherlands.
Living in Amsterdam – residence permits
If you want to live in Amsterdam (or elsewhere in the Netherlands) you might need a residence permit. This depends on where you are from, how long you want to stay and several other factors.
A stay of 3 months or less
If your stay in the Netherlands is for three months or less, your situation may require a tourist visa. This visa grants you the right to stay in the Netherlands. Learn more about obtaining a tourist visa for the Netherlands.
A stay of longer than 3 months
If you want to stay in Amsterdam for longer than three months, you have to apply for a residence permit (verblijfsvergunning).
You require a valid work permit in order to work in the Netherlands. This permit provides an employer the right to bring a foreign employee into the country. The employer is responsible for requesting the permit.
Alongside the work permit, an employee also requires a valid residence permit which is tied to the length of the employment contract and their country of origin. You do not require a work permit if you are coming to the country as a highly skilled migrant (knowledge migrant or kennismigrant) or if you are coming from within the EU, EER or Switzerland.
Highly skilled migrants
Highly skilled migrants (knowledge migrants or kennismigranten) coming to the Netherlands qualify for an accelerated process. If your employer is participating in the highly skilled migrant scheme (kennismigrantregeling) by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and you meet the salary requirement, your employer can apply for your residence permit as a highly skilled migrant. Keep in mind that highly skilled migrants recruited from abroad may be eligible for the Netherlands’ 30% tax ruling. Read more on the conditions and benefits of the highly skilled migrant permit here.
Partner visa and residence permit
If your spouse or partner is a a citizen of the Netherlands or the EU, you can apply for a residence and work permit with your spouse as a sponsor. In this case, your right to work is dependent on the rights of your sponsor. The application documents may vary, with a proof of relationship being one of the requirements, along with a document specifying your marital status. Read our guide to family reunification in the Netherlands or find answers to the most popular questions internationals ask immigration lawyers here.
Orientation Year permits for recent graduates
Recent bachelor’s and master’s graduates from universities and colleges in the Netherlands can search for work in the Netherlands for up to a year with an Orientation Year permit. This permit allows graduates from non-EU countries to seek employment or work without needing an extra work permit. This means they have free access to the Dutch labour market, as employers do not need to apply for a work permit for them.
Ambitious entrepreneurs may apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands, known as the ‘scheme for startups’. It affords the receiver one year to launch an innovative business which must follow several preprequisites, one of which is that this startup must be guided by a Netherlands-based experienced mentor (facilitator) and follow the criteria for innovation.
Biometric security for your peace of mind
From 1 February 2014, residence permits must include a readable chip containing passport photo and two fingerprints. As such, the IND and IN Amsterdam will work with biometric devices to record and read photos and fingerprints.
All migrants that require a temporary residence permit (MVV) should visit the embassy or consulate of their home nation to have a photograph taken and their fingerprints recorded. Those who do not require an MVV can have their photo and fingerprints recorded in the Netherlands. The biometric data is stored on the card and fingerprints will be scanned upon collection of the residence permit as a means of verification.
Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
Telephone: +31 (0)88 043 0430 (Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00)
About the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service is part of the Ministry of Security and Justice (Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie) and is responsible for implementation of the Netherlands’ immigration policy. The Service assesses entrance applications (e.g. for family reunification or work in the Netherlands). It also deals with residence permits for foreign nationals residing in the Netherlands, requests for asylum and/or naturalisation.