The ease of establishing a branch or an office in the Netherlands makes it a popular destination for many entrepreneurs. For expatriates, the excellent work-life balance and quality of life in the country entice them to seek opportunities there.
Whether you want to establish a business or hire employees to work in the Netherlands, you must apply for the correct type of visa and comply with the requirements to avoid any complications on your entry to the country.
Types of Visas in the Netherlands
You do not need a business visa to enter the Netherlands if you live in the USA or member countries from the Schengen Area, European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. For other passport holders, here are the different types of visas available:
Get a work visa if you plan to stay and work in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. It is also considered a residence permit. In many cases, obtaining a work permit is needed when you get a Dutch residence permit.
Schengen or short-stay visa (C-visa)
This visa type is for short-term business purposes in the Netherlands (and the Schengen Area). It will grant you entry to the country and stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Dutch start-up visa
Also called the residence permit for start-up entrepreneurs, this visa is designed to attract foreigners to invest and establish a business in the Netherlands. It is valid for one year, allowing you to move and start developing your company in the country.
Expats granted this visa will be assigned with an experienced facilitator who will mentor you on establishing your start-up in the country. This system is created to ensure you comply with all the regulations in registering and starting a business in the Netherlands, as well as increase your chances of business growth and success.
Orange Carpet Visa Facility
Mainly used by companies with current or future business interests in the country, this visa is for frequent travelers to the Netherlands for business purposes. Only select countries are eligible for this type of business visa. Check with the Dutch embassy if you can get one.
Here are some advantages if you have the Orange Carpet Visa:
- Submit fewer documents.
- Skip the appointment phase, as there is no need to apply in person every time.
- Faster processing of applications.
- The visa applies for multiple entries.
- The validity is longer than ordinary visas.
Visa Application Requirements
To apply for a business visa in the Netherlands, you must submit the following documents:
- Completed and signed application form
- Photographs compliant with the Schengen guidelines
- Copies of previous visas, including photos of entry and exit stamps
- Complete travel itinerary detailing your stay in the country
- Passport and a copy of its personal details page
- Proof of accommodation in the Netherlands
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Medical insurance for the length of your stay
- Criminal certificate showing that you do not have any criminal record or ongoing criminal cases
- Proof of return to your country once your purpose for visiting the Netherlands is done
- Proof that your visit is business-related (e.g., invitation to a conference, sponsorship from the organizer of an event, or hotel reservation)
- Copy of the receipt showing you have paid the Dutch business visa fees
*Note: depending on the country you are coming from, you may be required by Dutch authorities to provide additional documentation for your travel to the Netherlands.
If you are applying for a work visa, the purpose of your work will dictate the additional requirements you have to submit. Labor migrants, seasonal labor workers, intra-corporate transfers, highly skilled migrants, and EU Blue Card applicants must submit further documentation with their visa application.
Additional requirements for start-ups
For start-ups, here are the additional requirements to get a Dutch start-up visa:
- A tuberculosis test when you arrive in the country (citizens coming from select countries are exempted from this requirement).
- A Dutch health insurance plan when you arrive in the Netherlands.
- You must agree to work with a facilitator when you arrive in the country.
- Your product or service must be innovative. It must be a new product or service, distribution or marketing process, technology for production, or organizational or procedural approach to be considered innovative.
- You must be able to present a solid business plan.
- You register your start-up with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK).
All the documents and other requirements for the Dutch start-up visa must be submitted using the 7558 IND application form.
How to Apply for a Visa
- Find out where you need to apply. Usually, it is either the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country. In case there is no embassy or consulate in your region, you can submit it to the embassy of another country with which the Netherlands has partnered for visa submissions.
- Book your appointment online.
- Fill out the visa application form.
- Gather all documents applicable to your needs.
- Attend the visa interview on the date scheduled. You will be required to pay the Dutch Business Schengen visa fee, which is around €80.
- Wait for the results of your application.
You can submit your application as early as three months before your trip. The latest you can submit your visa application is 15 days before your flight. Business visa applications will be processed within 15 to 30 working days. It may take less or more days than this, depending on how complete the submitted requirements are.
Expand in the Netherlands
If you are considering starting or expanding your business in the Netherlands INS Global can help you. We have helped more than 600 companies for nearly 2 decades, with all their HR needs. Whether you are looking to hire staff in the Netherlands, find top talent, or simply invoice clients, we can assist you. Get started in the Netherlands today!