Different requirements apply for different purposes of stay, but you always need a valid passport and health insurance. It is very important that you have a sponsor in the Netherlands who will act, among other things, as a guarantor.
If you are planning to work as an employee, you have to provide an employment contract. Your employer should be in possession of a work permit if you come from outside the EU. Exceptions can be made for short employment periods (see Recruiting staff). For holiday workers younger than 30 years of age, there is a ”Working holiday programme”. Persons from Canada, New Zealand and Australia can make use of this programme, which means that an employment permit is not required when staying less than one year. More information is available on Working in the Netherlands.
If you will be studying in the Netherlands, you must show that you are registered with an educational institution.
If you are planning to take up residence on a self-employed basis without a sponsor, there are additional requirements. Entrepreneurs from the United States of America can invoke on the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty. It is advisable to first find out if you meet all requirements. You can obtain information from the Dutch diplomatic mission in your country, or at IND or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nationals from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are basically permitted to reside in the Netherlands if you can support yourself.
Nationals from non-EU countries need to apply for a residence permit at the Town Hall in the municipality where you plan to live. You should do that at the same time as you register with the municipality (see Registration).
Authorisation for Temporary Stay (”Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf”)
Most non EU nationals need a special visa before entering the Netherlands, called “Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf” (MVV; authorisation for temporary stay). You apply for an MVV at a Dutch diplomatic mission in your home country. After entering the Netherlands, you must register at the Civil Affairs Department at the Town Hall in the municipality where you plan to live (see Registration). A fee is charged for an MVV, a residence permit and a proof of lawful residence. The fee for the MVV must be paid at the Embassy or the Consulate of the Netherlands in your home country.
Information about the application procedure is available on the website of the IND
Or can be obtained at:
Immigration and Naturalisation Services (“IND”)
P.O. Box 287
7600 AG Almelo
T 088 - 0430 430 (in the Netherlands) +31 88 0430 430 (from abroad)
E for general questions only: IND contact
Or visit the IND desk in Rotterdam (always after having made an appointment). It is located at the Groothandelsgebouw, next to Rotterdam Central Station. The visitors adress is:
Immigration and Naturalisation Services
3013 AP ROTTERDAM
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 - 16:00
Thursday 9:00 - 12:00