Are you interested in obtaining residency in the Netherlands? Non-EU citizens can get residency in the Netherlands with the help of Bolder Launch. We are able to guarantee (or outline the dependencies) the granting of residency based on a preliminary check.
The first step is to discuss with one of our immigration lawyers, who will gladly provide you with more information or conduct a free intake. As an alternative, you may find a lot of information and brochures regarding obtaining residency in the Netherlands on our Service Pages. There is typically a distinction between the criteria for either entrepreneurs or employees in residency programs (and this applies to all countries).
Entrepreneur or Employee?
Employees are often assumed to be more likely to be granted a work visa if they are ‘highly skilled’ or possess particularly specific skills (for which there is a shortage in the regional market). Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, generally have a harder time persuading immigration officials that their business will be beneficial to the Netherlands.
Entrepreneurs must prepare a business plan and demonstrate that they are running a successful company that will hire at least three employees in the Netherlands. Even if the Dutch Immigration Service uses a point system to evaluate the viability of the company, the prospective success of the Dutch market entry is treated subjectively. It will depend on the bureaucrat, how many points he will allocate to each of the categories of the application. This makes it challenging to forecast whether the entrepreneur’s visa will be approved or not. Rest assured that if you are a large brand, such as IKEA, or a franchise, this process appears to be much less ‘subjective,’ and such companies are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt.
Entrepreneurs that are considered “creative” but who require extra time to hire new employees can apply for a startup visa with the aid of a Dutch Facilitator. In addition to being familiar with this procedure, Bolder Launch is currently working to become a recognised as a facilitator for Dutch startups.
Am I considered an employee?
You may be regarded as an employee for residency purposes if you receive a salary from the company (in accordance with the employment agreement) and own less than 25 per cent of the Group (which owns the Dutch company). Consider that your spouse is not allowed to also own shares.
Relocate staff members
There are several options available to Dutch businesses for relocating non-EU employees to the Netherlands and ensuring they obtain a work permit:
European Blue Card (for highly paid University graduates)
If you decide to apply for an EU Blue Card, you must consider the following facts (2021):
- You have completed a college/University degree of which the program has a minimum duration of three years.
- Unless your diploma is from a Dutch educational institution, your diploma must undergo a diploma evaluation by the IDW/Nuffic (Dutch Office of the Evaluation of Foreign Credentials).
- You will need to have an employment contract with a Dutch entity. The employment agreement must be valid for at least one year.
- You cannot own a substantial shareholding in the company.
- Your gross monthly salary needs to be a minimum of €5,066 excluding of eight per cent statutory holiday allowance ( i.e. €5,471.28 inclusive of holiday allowance) which amounts to €65,655.36 per annum inclusive of holiday allowance). Since you are on the Dutch payroll, you will be eligible for the Dutch 30 per cent tax concession.
- Depending on the duration of your employment agreement, the EU Blue Card will be issued for a maximum of four years and can then be renewed.
Intra Company Transfer- Permit (ICT)
To obtain a residency permit in the Netherlands, apply for one for a staff member who has been on the parent company’s payroll for at least three months and will meet the salary requirement in the Netherlands (3,549 EUR, >30 years).
In other words, if you have a little patience, you may hire a new employee in India, Dubai or wherever your business is currently based and pay them for three months at a local wage. The Netherlands residency permit can then be applied for three months later and is normally approved within eight weeks.
Of course, the candidate needs to have experience in the field in order for the salary to be acceptable in the Netherlands.
Are you currently unemployed and dreaming of working in the Netherlands? Look for a local potential employer with plans to expand their companies!
In short, the following facts must be considered:
- You must not own the full shares of the company. However, it is allowed to apply for this work permit, even as ‘entrepreneur’.
- You will need to be placed on the payroll of the foreign entity for at least three months before we can submit the application.
- You will need to have an employment contract with the foreign entity that is valid for at least three months before we can submit the application.
- Your gross monthly salary must be equivalent to at least €4,616 excluding eight per cent statutory holiday allowance, ( i.e. €4,669,92 inclusive of holiday allowance) which amounts to €56,039.04 per annum inclusive of holiday allowance).
- Since you will remain on the payroll of the foreign entity, you are not eligible for the Dutch 30 per cent tax concession.
- Depending on the length of your employment contract, the ICT permit can be issued for a maximum of three years.
After this period, you must change your permit status to another, such as Highly Skilled Migrant Status (which requires the employer/Dutch company to obtain sponsorship status).
Several Bolder Launch clients have utilised the ICT scheme. However, this scheme is not suitable for any type of business. As previously stated, an overseas head office is required, and the applicant is not permitted to own stock. Aside from that, the company must demonstrate a clear business case that justifies the employee’s relocation. Additionally, it must be made clear that the Dutch operation will be profitable and have sufficient funding to pay the Dutch staff (to avoid any social welfare for these employees if the market entry does not succeed).
Highly Skilled Migrants
Employers and business owners who don’t qualify for the EU Blue Card or ICT Scheme, can apply for the Highly Skilled Migrant permit.
Only businesses or firms that have been designated as “recognised sponsors” by the Dutch Immigration Office are eligible to use this option.
It is challenging for newly incorporated (and non-active) Dutch corporations to achieve such sponsorship status (similar scenario as with the ICT scheme).
Please see our separate Guide on Highly Skilled Migrants for more information.
Bolder Launch can act as your recognised sponsor, which means that any employee (even if they are also considered entrepreneurs) can apply for residency status and expect a guaranteed result in a matter of weeks. However, this option comes at a price, as discussed below.
How Bolder Launch can act as Recognised Sponsor for non-EU employees
Arrange a work permit within six weeks
Bolder Launch has been an Employment Agency (uitzendbureau) since 2020, with official recognition by the Dutch Immigration Service. This enables our clients to relocate their non-EU employees to the Netherlands in a matter of weeks.
Bolder Launch has been providing payroll services (issuing salary slips, etc.) for over three years, primarily for European companies expanding to the Netherlands or non-European companies employing local Dutch staff.
Bolder Launch, as a ‘Recognised Sponsor’ by the Dutch Immigration Office (IND), can assist non-EU companies in entering the European market by acting as an Employer of Record (uitzendbureau).
Who can apply for this scheme?
Anyone planning to work in the Netherlands can apply for this scheme. Extra conditions will apply if the applicant also owns a majority stake in the company or if the employee is from a high-risk or sanctioned country.
Typically, the Dutch company that will be operational on the Dutch market is established first, and the applicant is usually appointed as the director of the Dutch business. If there is no Dutch business incorporated yet, Bolder Launch can assist in this procedure.
It is not a problem if multiple directors are appointed in the Dutch company, as long as the Work Permit applicant is one of the directors.
The employee will be on the payroll for at least 3.549 EUR gross salary (for those over 30 years old, higher salary requirements apply). This means that the salary slip will look something like this (assuming the employee is not eligible for the 30%-rule):
|Gross wage||€ 42.588 + 3.407 (Holiday Allowance)|
|Social security charges||€ 6.999|
|Sickness Insurance (government)||€ 3.104|
|Total employer’s costs||€ 56.098|
|Total received in bank account (nett):||€ 32.343 (ex. net Holiday Allowance)|
Since there is no formal employer-employee relationship, it should be understood that additional premiums apply if the employee wants to be protected against illness (or that additional premiums/fees would be charged in this situation).
What does it cost?
Bolder Launch will charge a service and payrolling fee in addition to the Employer expenses mentioned above.
Bolder Launch can act as an Employment Agency/Employer and work with the IND to handle immigration requirements. The monthly fees are 1.000 EUR, plus a 950 EUR one-time handling fee to submit the work permit application to the IND. The employee is responsible for arranging a meeting with the overseas Embassy in order to obtain the MVV/work permit (and to collect the Residency Card in the Netherlands).
The minimum contract term is three months, and the maximum term is six months. If you want to extend the contract beyond six months, special conditions will apply, such as additional guarantee requirements.
Our fees will be invoiced at least one month in advance. The contracting party will be the Dutch BV, of which the applicant is acting as director (and typically also owns), and the director of the Dutch BV will act as guarantor in the event of non-payment.
Obtaining your own HMS Sponsorship Status
Consider applying for Sponsorship Status for your business yourself if you intend to work in The Netherlands for a longer period of time with your team or yourself. Once this designation is acquired, Bolder Launch would no longer be required for payrolling.
In this case, Bolder Launch is still able to assist with legal matters and provide payroll services ( at 450 EUR per year per employee).
We will transfer the employees to FSM as soon as FSM obtains HSM sponsorship (under the new employment agreement). We can also help you update the IND (Immigration Department) on these changes. If applicable, the 30 per cent rulings would continue to be valid even if the employer changed.
To apply for an HMS permit for an employee, your company must first apply for sponsorship status. This can take months and will require a proper business plan and financial forecast.
Bolder Launch can help with this process. Our standard IND application fee is 2.400 EUR, with additional fees for drafting the Business Plan and/or forecast.
Proceed with the Highly Skilled Migrant Application
To start with the HMS application, we will share our Service Agreements (including the contract of hire and employment agreement), after which we will be able to issue our invoice.
We will also provide a step-by-step timeline.
We will need the employee’s signed Power of Attorney so that we can deal with the Immigration Office on their behalf. It is also critical to gather the following information/documents from each employee:
- A copy of the foreign national’s passport (only the identity details and stamped pages).
- The completed appendix ‘Direct debit collection’. (We will need to wait until you have opened the Dutch bank account, which is still pending).
- The appendix ‘Engagement letter’ from the employer, as completed, detailing the current employment with the employer based outside the EU, the transfer to the EU, and the job content with the Dutch employer.
- The antecedents certificate must be presented if it is not signed and/or the foreign national has not stated that they have no antecedents.
Although we initially wouldn’t require the employees’ diplomas, it will be beneficial to include them. It might be necessary to secure a legality, which can be challenging, if IND formally asks the diplomas.