Residence permit for essential start-up personnel

​You want to hire essential staff from abroad for your start-up. To live and work in the Netherlands your employee needs a residence permit. On this page you read what the conditions are and how to apply for the residence permit.

​Pilot for essential start-up personnel

Beginning and innovative companies are important to the Dutch economy and the knowledge economy in particular. To be able to grow these start-ups often already need employees with specific high-valued expertise, experience and skills at an early stage. The residence permits for highly skilled migrant or start-up do not match with the way start-ups bind personnel to their company in this growth phase. With the pilot essential start-up personnel, the Netherlands wants to stimulate the knowledge economy by giving these beginning companies a better opportunity to hire and hold on to the required experts in these early stages of their development.

Duration of the pilot

The pilot lasts 4 years. It starts on June 1, 2021 and ends on June 1, 2025. The scheme for the residence permit will continue for 1 year after the pilot.

Conditions for the essential start-up personnel

There are general conditions that apply for everyone. Besides these conditions the following conditions apply for you and your employee:

  • You have a beginnning and innovative company (start-up) with scalable activities. Scalable activities means the company can grow with the demand for the product or service. The start-up is innovative in the following situations:
    • The product or service is new for the Netherlands;
    • The start-up uses new technology in production, distribution and / or marketing;
    • The start-up has a new way of working and organising.
  • A maximum of 5 foreign employees of the start-up will receive a residence permit for essential start-up personnel. An application for the 6th employee will be refused.
  • The employee is an expert in a special field that the start-up needs in this beginning phase.
  • The employee has an employment contract with the start-up.
  • The employee meets the income requirement.
  • The employee receives a share of at least 1% in the company (employee participation). The employee receives this share as:
    • Shares in the company;
    • Depository receipts for shares in the company;
    • Stock options. A stock option is the right to buy shares in the company. The price for these shares is agreed in the contract.
  • The employee receives the shares at the latest 3 years after the contract has started.
  • The employee is always entitled to the shares. There are no conditions for this, such as delivering certain performances.

Advice RVO

The IND will ask advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO). RVO advises on:

  1. The beginning and innovative character of the business.
  2. Which essential role the employee will have within the company. And if the employee will receive an employee participation.

RVO uses an assessment framework. View the assessment framework for essential start-up personnel (Dutch only).

Validity advice

The advice whether the company is an innovative start-up is valid for 3 years from the startdate of the first residence permit essential start-up personnel. Does the same start-up submit a new application for essential start-up personnel within 3 years? Then the IND will only ask RVO for advice about the employment contract.

Costs

The application essential start-up personnel costs  € 320.

Documents for the application

The application form states which document you will need to send with the application.

Legalisation and translation of foreign documents

Have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German. 

Birth certificate employee

In order to register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP), the employee needs a birth certificate. Make sure that your employee brings the legalised and translated birth certificate to the Netherlands. You do not have to send the birth certificate with the application.


Steps in the application procedure

Step 1. Submit application and pay

To travel to the Netherlands the employee needs a provisional residence permit (mvv). Does the employee not need an mvv? Then read the information under Without mvv.

You submit one application for both the mvv and the residence permit. You can do this in 2 ways:

1. You as a start-up or facilitator of the start-up apply at the IND in the Netherlands

You send the application by post. You will find the application form at Application forms.​

2. The employee apply themselves at the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country of origin or the country of continuous residence

The embassy or consulate sends the application to the IND. After the application the embassy or consulate sends a letter explaining how to pay the fees. Contact the Dutch embassy or consulate for the application form. See the overview or countries where you can apply for an mvv.

The country of origin is the country of which the employee has the nationality. The country of continuous residence is the country the employee is allowed to stay for more than 3 months. Because they have a residence permit there, or because they are waiting for a decision on an application for residence.

The IND advises that the start-up or facilitator applies in the Netherlands. This saves the employee travel costs to the Dutch embassy or consulate.

Step 2. Receipt and check application

​Have we received your application? Than you will receive a confirmation for receipt. This letter states the date the IND has received the application. And the decision period of the application. You will also receive a letter to pay the fees.

Check application

The IND checks if the application is complete and if the fees have been paid. Are documents missing or not correct? Then the IND will send a letter: a letter of rectification of omission. The letter states which documents you will still have to send. Send the documents asked for before the date mentioned in the letter. 

My IND

Follow the application in My IND.

Step 3. Decision

​The IND checks if you and your employee meet the conditions. The IND has to make a decision within the decision period of 90 days. 

Negative decision

Do you or your employee not meet all conditions? Then the employee will not receive an mvv and residence permit. This decision is written down in an order. This is an official letter from the IND. The IND will send the decision to you. You can make an appeal against this decision. For more information go to the page Making an appeal or going to court against a decision of the IND.

Positive decision

Do you and your employee meet all conditions? Then the employee will receive an mvv and residence permit. You will receive a letter from the IND on this decision. The IND will also informm the Dutch embassy or consulate.

Step 4. Collect mvv

​Your employee can now collect the mvv at the Dutch embassy or consulate. This is the embassy or consulate you filled out on the application form. Or the one where the employee applied. 

Collect mvv within 3 months

Your employee has to collect the mvv within 3 months after the decision. Make an appointment at the Dutch embassy or consulate for this. 

Valid passport needed

The passport of the employee should still be valid for a minimum of 6 months when the embassy or consulate puts the mvv in it.

Taking biometrics

Did you as start-up or facilitator apply in the Netherlands at the IND? Then the employee should have biometrics taken when collecting the mvv. The employee brings 1 new passport photo. The employee also puts his signature and has finger prints taken.

Step 5. Travel to the Netherlands

​With the mvv your employee can travel to the Netherlands. The mv is valid for 90 days. The validity is stated on the mvv sticker. The mvv sticker has 2 dates:

Start date: from this day the mvv is valid.
End date: on this date the mvv is not valid anymore.

With the mvv your employee may travel in the Schengen countries.

Step 6. Collect residence permit

​The IND tries to have the residence permit ready within 2 weeks after the decision. You will receive a letter when the residence permit has been received by the IND Desk. Collecting the permit can only be done on appointment. Keep in mind that you cannot always get an appoinment immediately. Therefore, make an appointment as soon as possible. For more information go to the page Appointment to collect residence permit or original document.

Steps in the application procedure

Step 1. Submit application and pay

The employee does not need a visa to travel to the Netherlands. You can directly apply for the residence permit. 

There are 2 ways to apply:

1. You as a start-up or facilitator of the start-up apply at the IND in the Netherlands

You send the application by post. You will find the application form at Application forms.​

2. The employee applies themselves at the IND in the Netherlands

Use the application form that you will find at Application forms.​

Step 2. Receipt and check application

​Have we received your application? Than you will receive a confirmation for receipt. This letter states the date the IND has received the application. And the decision period of the application. You will also receive a letter to pay the fees.

Taking biometrics

Is the employee already in the Netherlands? Then your employee will have to go to the IND desk to have biometrics taken. This should be done within 2 weeks after receiving the letter of confimation for receipt. Is your employee still abroad? Then the employee should have biometrics taken as soon as possible after arriving in the Netherlands. You can make an appointment online for taking biometrics.

Check application

The IND checks if the application is complete and if the fees have been paid. Are documents missing or not correct? Then the IND will send a letter: a letter of rectification of omission. The letter states which documents you will still have to send. Send the documents asked for before the date mentioned in the letter. 

My IND

Follow the application in My IND.​

Step 3. Decision

​The IND checks if you and your employee meet the conditions. The IND has to make a decision within the decision period of 90 days. 

Negative decision

Do you or your employee not meet all conditions? Then the employee will not receive a residence permit. This decision is written down in an order. This is an official letter from the IND. The IND will send the decision to you. You can make an appeal against this decision. For more information go to the page Making an appeal or going to court against a decision of the IND.

Positive decision

Do you and your employee meet all conditions? Then the employee will receive a residence permit. You will receive a letter from the IND on this decision. 

Step 6. Collect residence permit

​The IND tries to have the residence permit ready within 2 weeks after the decision. You will receive a letter when the residence permit has been received by the IND Desk. Collecting the permit can only be done on appointment. Keep in mind that you cannot always get an appoinment immediately. Therefore, make an appointment as soon as possible. For more information go to the page Appointment to collect residence permit or original document.

Application forms

Application for the purpose of stay 'work as essential start-up personnel' (sponsor) - 75707570

​Use this form if you as start-up or facilitator submit the application for the employee.

Documents

The application form states which documents you have to send with the application.

Legalisation and translation of foreign documents

Have official foreign documents legalised and translated to Dutch, English, French or German.

Download  

Application forms

Application for the purpose of stay 'work as essential start-up personnel' (sponsor) - 75707570

​Use this form if you as start-up or facilitator submit the application for the employee.

Documents

The application form states which documents you have to send with the application.

Legalisation and translation of foreign documents

Have official foreign documents legalised and translated to Dutch, English, French or German.

Download  

Application for the purpose of stay 'work as essential start-up personnel' (foreign national) - 75717571

​Use this form if the employee themselves submits the application for the employee and does not need an mvv.

Documents

The application form states which documents you have to send with the application.

Legalisation and translation of foreign documents

Have official foreign documents legalised and translated to Dutch, English, French or German.​

Download  

Living in the Netherlands with residence permit

Register at the municipality

​Everyone living in the Netherlands for more than 4 months has to register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) at the municipality. Go to Government.nl voor more information on the Personal Records Database (BRP).

Legalised and translated birth certificate

To register at the municipality a legalised and translated birth certificate is required. Bring this birth certificate to the Netherlands. Inform with the municipality which other documents are required. Read more on legalisation and translation of documents.

Tuberculosis test

​Did you indicate in the application that the employee will have a tuberculosis test (TB)? Then make an appointment at the Municipal Health Service (Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheidsdienst - GGD). Doe this within 3 months after the employee received the residence permit. Please bring the Appendix TB test referral form to the appointment.

​Take out health insurance

Everyone living in the Netherlands must take out health insurance. Do this within 4 months of arrival in the Netherlands. Go to Government.nl for more information on health insurance.

Main residence in the Netherlands

​Your employee should live in the Netherlands. Short  periods abroad are allowed. For example, for holiday or to visit the home country. For more information go to page main residence in the Netherlands.

Validity residence permit

The validity of the residence permit depends on the duration of the employment contract. But the residence permit is valid for a maximum of 1 year. Then you can have the residence permit extended. The extension is also for the duration of the contract with a maximum of 1 year. 

Working

The back of the residence permit states the labour market endorsement ‘Work permit (TWV) not required for specific work, other work permitted provided that a work permit has been granted’ (TWV niet vereist voor specifieke arbeid, andere arbeid toegestaan mits TWV is verleend). This means that your employee may work without a permit to work (TWV) as essential staff members of the start-up. If the employee would like to work at another company, then the other employer must have a work permit (TWV).

Legal obligations

A sponsor has an information obligation and an administration obligation. The employee only has an information obligation.


Read more about the legal obligations of the sponsor for work-related purposes and the information obligation of the foreign national.

Administrative fine

The IND checks whether you comply with the legal obligations. We can impose penalties, such as a fine, if you fail to comply with the obligations. Read more about supervision by and sanctions of the IND.

Travel and return visa

​The residence permit is not a travel document. Therefore, your employee needs a valid passport to travel abroad.

Visa

Prior to departure, always check whether a visa is required to visit a country. Your employee can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country where the trip is going.

No visa is required for travel within the Schengen zone

With a valid Dutch residence permit and a valid passport, your partner can travel within the Schengen area without a visa.

Return visa

A return visa is a visa that allows someone to return to the Netherlands. Your employee only needs this visa if the residence permit is no longer valid and your employee does want to go abroad. The return visa proves that your employee has the right to reside in the Netherlands. Read more about the return visa.

Other applications

You can read here which other applications the employee can make.

Replace residence document

Has the residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Replace the residence document.

Extension of the residence permit

Will your residence permit lose its validity soon? Have your residence permit extended.

Change residence permit

Has the pilot stopped? Or does the employee no longer work at the start-up? But they would like to stay in the Netherlands? Then the employee may change the purpose of stay of the residence permit.

Report changes in situation

Changes the situation of the employee and does this have consequences for the residence permit? Report this to the IND immediately? You may have to change your residence permit.

Permanent residence permit

Has the employee had a residence permit for 5 years? Then the employee can apply for a permanent residence permit.

Leaving the Netherlands

Is the employee going to move abroad? Your employee should arrange a number of things. Read more about leaving the Netherlands.