The Netherlands is a country with a high quality of life, good employment options, and generally satisfactory living conditions. Moreover, it is a country that offers diverse possibilities in terms of mobility and education and, because it is located in central Europe, it makes it easy for expats to travel around the EU.  Moving to a new country is an important decision an experienced immigration lawyer in Netherlands can help you obtain permanent residency and it is recommended to talk to an expert about the specific processes that may be needed in your case. This short guide to immigrating to the Netherlands presents the first and foremost steps to take into consideration.

Moving to the Netherlands

The conditions for immigration are different according to the nationality of the individual/s involved. EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are not required to obtain a visa prior to entering the Netherlands and can remain in the country as well as work here without a special permit.
Moving to the Netherlands can be an important opportunity both for individuals and for entrepreneurs willing to expand their business to a European country.

The conditions for obtaining a residence permit depend both on nationality and the length of the stay. For non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, a provisional residence permit will be required or, when this is not needed, the individual or his employee can apply directly for a residence permit (when the employee or sponsor does this, the application can be submitted prior to the expat’s arrival to the Netherlands).

Obtaining permanent Dutch residency

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a residence permit, however, in order to stay for more than four months in the country, they will need to register with the local municipality.  These citizens can apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands as long as they have been lawfully living in the Netherlands for five or more years and have the sufficient financial means to continue to support themselves (and their family members, when applicable).

All other categories of expats can apply for a permanent residence permit if they have been living in the country for five or more years while having a valid residence permit. During the five-year period the applicant must not have stayed more than six or more consecutive months outside the country (other periods of departure and conditions can apply).

The final step for those considering a permanent move to the Netherlands is to obtain Dutch citizenship. This can be accomplished through a process called naturalization and the application is submitted to the municipality with which the applicant is registered. Applicants must have lived uninterruptedly in the country for at least five years with a valid residence permit, must be integrated (read, write, speak and understand Dutch at a satisfactory level) and must not have received a prison sentence or have paid a large fine during the last five years.

Regardless of the purpose of the stay, it is always recommended to be informed of the main procedures and conditions before arriving in the country and starting a new life.

Netherlands stock photo by Yasonya/Shutterstock