January 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in the Netherlands. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of the Netherlands;
• Attending “fact-finding” meetings.

Type of Business Visas – The Schengen “C” visa is the typical visa issued to business travelers. Note that many nationalities benefit from a visa waiver arrangement with the Schengen area and are permitted to enter visa free for business visits of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Proof of medical coverage of at least EUR 30,000;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to the Netherlands;
4. No intention to permanently reside in the Netherlands;
5. A ticket for onward travel from the Netherlands;
6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to the Netherlands for up to 90 days out of 180 days during the visa validity period. Visas cannot be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required
All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
• a valid visa or authority to enter the Netherlands.


Basic Requirements – The principle visa category for temporary employment in the Netherlands is the Knowledge Migrant residence permit. This is a category for employers to sponsor approved skilled workers to work the Netherlands on a temporary basis. Note that employers need to be registered at the IND as Authorized Sponsor (Erkend Referent) in order to be able to sponsor Knowledge Migrant applications, and minimum salary requirements are in place, and are adjusted annually.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining a knowledge migrant residence permit is as follows:

1. Toelating en Verblijf (TEV) application submitted at the IND in The Netherlands (combined application for a Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf (MVV) for nationals requiring a MVV Visa, and a Knowledge Migrant (KM) Residence Permit);
2. MVV Visa Endorsement at Dutch consulate in home country (this step can be waived for certain nationals);
3. Knowledge Migrant Residence Permit collection and Town Hall Registration (done post arrival).

Estimated Processing Timethree to five weeks.

Validity periods – Residence permits are valid for up to five years, depending on length of assignment. Renewals up to a maximum of 5 years are possible, after which permanent residency can be applied for.

Family Members – Dependents of Knowledge Migrants are granted permission to work in the Netherlands.

Related Immigration Alerts & Blogs

Immigration Alerts