If you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days, you may need a residence permit. In many cases you will also have to apply for a long-stay visa before you travel to the Netherlands. This visa is also called an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV).
In Benin, you can apply for this visa at the Netherlands embassy in Cotonou.
Do I need an MVV and/or a residence permit?
You should check whether you need an MVV and/or a residence permit. This depends on things like your nationality and the purpose of your stay.
Applying for a residence permit and an MVV
You can apply for a residence permit and an MVV in two ways:
- through a host in the Netherlands (such as an employer, family member or educational institution)
- in person at a Netherlands embassy or consulate-general.
If you have a host in the Netherlands, in most cases your host will have to submit the application to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
First check whether you need to take the civic integration examination.
What is your situation?
Applying through a host in the Netherlands
Depending on the purpose of your stay, your host may have to submit the application in the Netherlands. This applies if the purpose of your stay is:
- a work placement
- co-habiting with or marrying someone who lives in the Netherlands
- family reunification
In these cases your host will be an educational institution, your employer, a family member or your spouse or partner.
Your host can submit the application directly to the IND. How they need to do this depends on why you need a residence permit and/or an MVV, for example for work or study. The IND website has a list of the documents your host will need to provide. It also explains how your host can apply for your residence permit. If you have any questions about this, you can contact the IND.
The IND will send your host a letter confirming that the application has been approved. The letter also explains how you can apply for an MVV and what documents you need.
Within 3 months of your host receiving the letter, make an appointment with the embassy or consulate-general to apply for your MVV. Take the following documents to your appointment:
- the MVV issue form
- your passport and a photocopy of the personal details page. Your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months
- if you live in a country of which you are not a national: your residence permit (or equivalent) and a photocopy of the permit
- a photo that meets Dutch requirements
- a copy of the letter stating that your application has been approved and what your alien registration number (V number) is
- all other documents listed in the letter from the IND and a photocopy of each of these documents.
Your MVV will be ready for you to collect from the embassy or consulate-general within 10 working days.
You must travel to the Netherlands with the MVV in your passport. The IND will let your host know when your residence permit is ready. You can then make an appointment at the IND office to collect your permit.
Applying yourself at an embassy or consulate
For the following purposes of stay you should submit your application for an MVV and residence permit yourself:
- orientation year as a highly skilled migrant seeking employment
- independent entrepreneur
- starting entrepreneur (start-up)
- foreign investor
The IND will process your application within 90 days. If the IND’s decision is positive, you must hand over your passport at the embassy or consulate where you submitted the application. Your MVV will be placed in your passport within 10 working days.
You must travel to the Netherlands with the MVV in your passport. The IND will let you know when your residence permit is ready. You can then make an appointment at the IND office to collect your permit.
Long-stay visa for residents of this country or region
The Netherlands embassy in Cotonou advises to make your appointment for a visa at least 3 weeks before your planned departure date.
Make an online appointment to apply for your visa.
Check the status of your application.
Check our contact page for contact details and opening times.
Procedure for residents of Nigeria
Residents of Nigeria can also submit their applications at the Netherlands embassy in Cotonou, Benin or at the Netherlands embassy in Accra, Ghana.
On the day of your application you have the option to either wait during the process of application (this takes up to 15 days), or to request to take your passport so you can return to your country. Passports can then be sent to the embassy via DHL to continue the application process. After completion, you need to arrange for DHL to collect your passport at the embassy in Cotonou and return it to you.