Pilot residence permit essential start-up personnel

Last update: 31 May 2021

On June 1, 2021 a pilot starts that should make it easier for innovative start-ups to hire foreign personnel with a special expertise. The pilot has a duration of 4 years. Employees may work another 12 months with the start-up after the pilot finished. 

Why a pilot?

Starting and growing an innovative company is often a complex, risky and costly process. For start-ups as a growing business, it is essential to hire personnel with the right, often technical knowledge. Worldwide this kind of personnel is in high demand, but scarce. And in the start-up phase turnover is still low. To attract top talent start-ups usually offer a lower salary and shares. This way personnel shares in the success and risk of the company. This new purpose of stay supports this practice to allow start-ups to attract the employees that are essential for the growth of their company.  

Conditions residence permit

The most important conditions for the residence permit essential start-up personnel are:

  • The employee will work in paid employment with a beginning and innovative company.
  • A maximum of 15 employees work with the company.
  • The startup can only employ 5 foreign employees with a residence permit essential start-up personnel.
  • The employee will receive a salary at least equal to the reduced salary requirement for highly skilled migrants.
  • The employee will receive an employee participation of at least 1% in the start-up. This is given as stock options, depository receipts for shares or shares without voting rights.

Procedure application

Start-up or facilitator apply for the residence permit at the IND. Is the employee already in the Netherlands? Then employees may apply themselves. Written application forms will be made available. During the procedure the IND will ask advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO). RVO advises on the start-up, the roll the employee will have in the company and the employee participation.

More information

You can find more information on procedure and conditions under Working in the Netherlands from 1 June. From that date you can apply for the residence permit.