You may need a residence permit if you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay you may also need to apply for a long-stay visa before you travel to the Netherlands. This visa is also called an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV).
It is important that you apply for an MVV at least 3 months prior to your intended stay in the Netherlands. In most cases, your host in the Netherlands will apply for an MVV on your behalf. The application is lodged with the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Once the IND has approved the application you can make an appointment with the Netherlands embassy in London to complete the process.
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 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 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
How to pick up your MVV at the Netherlands embassy in London?
Once you have received the approval from the IND you will need to book an appointment with the embassy via our online appointment system to hand in your passport. Please note that the MVV cannot be issued on the same day as the file has to be sent to the Netherlands.
When can I lodge an MVV application at the Netherlands embassy in London?
If your host in the Netherlands has not applied for an MVV on your behalf, you may also start the procedure yourself by submitting an MVV application at the consular section of embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London.
To apply for an MVV as a highly educated migrant seeking employment, please make an appointment via the online appointment system. More information on an MVV for an orientation year as a highly educated migrant seeking employment can be found in this information sheet. The information sheet explains the conditions for eligibility, the application process and the payment of the application fee.
It is important that you apply for an MVV at least three months prior to your intended stay in the Netherlands and that your UK residence permit does not expire whilst the application is being processed. The IND has to make a decision within 90 days.
Civic integration exam
Certain foreign nationals who require a MVV and who wish to settle in the Netherlands for a prolonged period will have to take a test, the civic integration examination ('basisexamen inburgering'), in their country of residence before they can submit their application for a temporary residence permit.
On the website of Naar Nederland you can find more information on how to prepare for the civic integration exam.
Note: If you wish to apply for the Dutch nationality you will have to pass a different exam, a citizenship test ('inburgeringsexamen voor naturalisatie').