How to get a residency permit

Every foreigner arriving in the Netherlands – with exception of EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals – is required to report to the Foreign Police (Vreemdelnigenpolitie) within three days of arrival. This should be done in the municipality where you will be residing. To apply for a Dutch residency permit you will need to meet certain requirements.

If you wish to stay in the Netherlands for a period longer than 3 months and if you wish to apply for a Dutch residency permit, you will need an authorization for a temporary stay in the form of an MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf). If you require an MVV you need to apply for it at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of residence before your departure for the Netherlands.

Not everybody requires an MVV to apply for a residency permit. Nationals of the following countries do not need an MVV: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand,  South Korea, the United States of America and the Vatican City.

Citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland are also exempt from needing an MVV. Those without the need for the MVV can apply for the residence permit directly.

Residency permit requirements

If you require an MVV, this immediately starts your procedure for the TEV (Entry and Residence Procedure), which means you apply for both at the same time. This takes place in a Dutch embassy or consulate, unless you have a sponsor, who starts the TEV procedure for you in the Netherlands. You must generally await the TEV procedure outside the country, except in exceptional circumstances listed by the IND . Any application for the TEV which requires an MVV will be refused should the MVV not be processed or authorised.

You or your sponsor will need to fill out a form in order for you to qualify for a residence permit. Depending on the motivation for your stay (work, education, family, etc.), you will be required to present different documentation; this will be stated on the form you are filling out. It needs to be completed - forms that are not fully filled out will not be accepted. Additionally, all documents must be in either Dutch, English, French or German. Should you have them in another language they need to be translated by a sworn translator and legalised. Both the original and the translation must be provided.

If you are not sure whether you fulfil the necessary requirements for a residency permit you can contact the IND by telephone by calling 088-0430430 Mondays through Fridays from 9am to 5pm, or through their website .

Once you have completed the form, you need to submit your application. There are two ways of doing so, depending on the type of application:

  • TEV procedure: your sponsor will submit the application by post to the indicated address on the form. If you do not have a sponsor, then you will submit your application at the Dutch embassy of your country or the country you are a legal resident of.
  • For those who do not require an MVV: your sponsor submits your application by post to the indicated address on the form; you submit your application to the Dutch embassy of your country or the country you are a legal resident of; you submit your application by post after arriving to the Netherlands; or you go directly to an IND desk to submit your application in person.


Once the IND has received your application, they will send you instructions to pay the required fees. The fees can be paid in either cash or debit card; credit cards are not accepted. If you are submitting your application in person, you must pay your fees then and there. Should your application be rejected, the fees will not be refunded.

Once the fees are paid, you will receive a sticker on your passport (only valid passports), known as the verblijfsaantekening (residence endorsement sticker). This is proof that you are legally allowed to stay in the Netherlands while your application is being processed.

Assessment period

The IND will assess whether you fulfil the requirements and conditions for your application to be approved. The requirements vary depending on your reason for being in the Netherlands and will be indicated on the initial form and application. This procedure can take up to 90 days, so make sure you submit your application with plenty of time.

After this time you will receive notification of whether your application was approved or refused.


You will receive a written confirmation of approval and can then collect your MVV at the Dutch embassy or consulate where you processed the application. You will need to make an appointment for this. Keep in mind that you only have three months to collect your MVV sticker from the moment of notification, and your passport must be valid for three months longer than the MVV. The residence permit can be picked up within two weeks of your arrival in the Netherlands at your regional IND desk. For this, they will require your fingerprints, passport photo and signature.

You will receive a letter detailing when and where you can pick up the TEV. When picking it up you will also be given a brochure with your rights and responsibilities as a residence in the Netherlands.


You will receive a letter of refusal stating the reasons for which your MVV and TEV have been refused. It will also state whether you will be able to register an objection.

Upon arrival

Other than having to pick up your residence permit, you will be required to undergo a tuberculosis test within three months of being granted the TEV. This needs to be done through the Municipal Health Service (GGD) and requires an appointment.

You will also be required to register with the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) in the municipality where you will reside. In order to do this, you must have a translated and legalised birth certificate from your country of origin.

Lastly, you may be required to integrate. If this is the case, you will receive a letter from DUO stating your obligation to integrate. You have a specific integration period; should you fail to integrate in time, you will no longer be allowed to remain in the Netherlands. You can learn more about the obligation to integrate here .

Congratulations! You are now a legal resident of the Netherlands and can start enjoying life fully there. If you need further information, you can read so in the Immigration and Naturalisation Services website .

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Other comments

  • Pakmenu, 14 August 2008 Reply

    Civic Integration Abroad Obligatory

    note: EU + Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada are exempt from the language test.

    Non-EU/EER/ Swiss

    All non-EU/EER and Swiss nationals require a residence permit, and may also need an MVV (see below) to enter the Netherlands to stay for more than three months. Once registered with the GBA, you make an appointment with the IND to apply for a residence permit.

    MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf)
    This is an authorisation for temporary stay that applies to migrants intending to stay longer than three months (90 days) that can only be applied for outside the Netherlands. An examination covering Dutch language and culture (Civic Integration Abroad EUR 350) is part of the procedure for some nationals. See for more details of the test. MVV costs vary according to the purpose of your stay. It's a sticker (valid for six months) placed in your passport.

    Who doesn't need an MVV?
    When applying for a residence permit, there is no MVV requirement for nationals of Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA, Vatican City.

    Independent permits
    After three years in the Netherlands, a non-EU national who has a residence permit based on a relationship (a Dutch partner for example), can apply for a permit in their own right (Residence Permit for Continued Residence.

    Costs (Feb 2008 see IND website for full list)
    Stay with/join a family EUR 830
    Additional family members EUR 188
    Temporary residence (MVV) EUR 250
    Temporary residence (no MVV) EUR 433
    Highly skilled migrant (no MVV) EUR 331
    Extension EUR 188
    Continued Residence EUR 331
    Permanent Residence EUR 201

    Civic Integration Act
    The inburgering (civic integration) legislation obliges those who seek permanent residency in the Netherlands to speak the language and know something of the culture. The main exemption is EU citizens and their partners (there are a few others) .After September 2008, passing the exam (short and long versions) unless exempt, will be a requirement of those applying for permanent residency. Knowledge migrants and those in the the Netherlands for work are exempt while on temporary permits. For more details see and