MVV stands for 'machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf' (authorisation for temporary stay). An MVV is not a residence permit but a visa especially intended to enable entry into the Netherlands, after which a residence permit is issued. Whether someone needs an MVV depends on the nationality of the person who wants to come to the Netherlands.
A person who wants to have a partner and/or children come to the Netherlands can submit an application to that effect him/herself. A separate application must be submitted for each family member. These are usually submitted directly to the IND, but the family member who wants to come to the Netherlands can also do this at the embassy or consulate. In that case, the embassy or consulate sends the application to the IND, which handles the application. Both the MVV and the residence permit are then applied for in one application.
In most cases, anyone who has obtained an MVV is certain that he/she will also obtain a residence permit. This is because the IND assesses the same conditions for issuing the MVV as for the residence permit. By already carrying out this assessment before someone actually travels to the Netherlands, the identity of the person who wants to come to the Netherlands can be established in advance. It addition, it already becomes clear beforehand whether all entry requirements of the Netherlands have been met, so that a residence permit can be issued more quickly.
The IND has a statutory obligation to decide on an application within 3 months. This can be extended once more by 3 months, for example if things are very busy at the IND or if more time is needed for investigation. Subsequently, the family member abroad will have 3 months' time to pick up the MVV at the embassy or consulate. And from that time, the person will also have 3 months' time to enter the Netherlands. Once the person has arrived in the Netherlands, the residence permit will be ready at an IND desk. The third-country national can make an appointment to pick up the residence permit.
The IND decides whether an MVV will be issued. If that is the case, the IND sends a notice to the embassy or consulate abroad. It invites the family members to pick up the MVV and pastes the MVV in the passport. During this visit to the embassy, fingerprints are also taken and passport photos are taken as well, which the embassy forwards to the IND. The IND uses those details again on the residence document.