Permanent residence for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

Permanent residency in the Netherlands

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After living in the Netherlands for five years, foreign nationals and their family members can apply for a Dutch permanent residence permit.

Once you have lived in the Netherlands for five continuous years, depending on your nationality and circumstances in the Netherlands, you can be eligible for either Dutch or European permament residence.

Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland are eligible for European permanent residence, as well as their family members regardless of nationalty.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are also eligible for permanent residency, although they will be assessed for either long-term resident-EC status or 'regular' Dutch permanent residency, depending on which conditions they fulfil.

Certain foreign residents in the Netherlands are also eligible for Dutch citizenship after five or 10 years (three years in certain cases, such as marriage to a Dutch citizen). Read more about getting Dutch citizenship.

This guide answers some important questions on getting permanent residency:

What are the benefits of Dutch permanent residence?

Dutch permanent residence status allows you to stay in the Netherland indefinitely. Your residence permit document is valid for five years, and can be renewed.

With a Dutch permanent residence permit you are free on the Dutch labour market, meaning you do not need a work permit.

Your application will be processed by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Permanent residence for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and family members

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen and have lived continuously in the Netherlands for at least five years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit for 'citizens of the European Union and their family members'.

This also applies to family members who are non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, such as spouses, dependent children or relatives of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens regardless of their own nationality.

This five-year term can be shorter if you have been working in the Netherlands but have retired, become unfit for work or are a cross border worker, while living in the Netherlands. There are different conditions in each of these cases (see the IND website for more information).

How to apply for permanent residence as an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen

You must complete an application form and submit it to the IND with a passport/ID card and accompanying documentary evidence. You can download the form here (in Dutch).

Documents
You'll need to show evidence of your personal circumstances. For example:

  • evidence that you've lived in the Netherlands for the entire five-year period (for example, an employment contract or a health insurance policy providing five years of coverage);
  • if you're a family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, the residence document which granted you permission to stay in the Netherlands on the basis of that relationship;
  • if you're retired, you'll need evidence that you were working for at least one year before your retirement;
  • if you've been declared unfit for work, evidence that you worked for two years in the Netherlands beforehand;
  • if you're a cross border worker, proof that you stayed and worked in the Netherlands for three years before getting a job in another EU state, that you still have your home in the Netherlands, and that you return at least once a week.


Fees

You have to pay a fee for the IND to process your application, which is non-refundable if your application is rejected. This is currently EUR 50 (2016 fee), although prices are reviewed each year. For the latest fees, click here.

Processing times
The IND aims to decide on applications within eight weeks. For non-EU/EEA/Swiss family members, the processing time is a maximum of six months.

What happens next?
Once the IND has processed your application, you will be sent a letter with the decision. If you are granted permanent residence, you will be invited to collect the document about two weeks later at a regional IND desk.

Dutch permanent residence

Permanent residence for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit if they:

  • have lived continuously in the Netherlands for five years;
  • have a valid residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of stay; 
  • are sufficiently integrated in Dutch society.


The IND will first check if you meet the European requirements set out in Directive 2003/109/EC and if so, you will receive a permanent residence permit as an EC long-term resident (long-term resident-EC status). With this status, you are typically allowed to move to other EU member states. It's important to note that a permit for exchange purposes does not count towards your five-year period, and any years of residence for study purposes only count for half of the the period you stayed.

If you don't meet the European requirements, the IND will assess your application based on national legislation. If the conditions are met, you will receive a permanent residence permit in accordance with national law (a long-term Dutch residence permit).

If you fail to meet neither European nor Dutch requirements, the IND will assess whether you can extend your current temporary residence permit instead.

General requirements for non-EU/EEA/Swiss permanent residence

You must fulfil the following conditions:

  • You must have held a temporary residence permit for at least five consecutive years. If, during your stay, a temporary permit expired and you didn't apply to extend it nor apply for another permit in time, you might end up with a ‘residence gap', which can mean your stay, even if it has been more than five years overall, may not be classified as ‘continuous'. Read what happens when your residence permit expires.
  • You should currently hold a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose, for example, employment (with a minimum of a one-year contract), work as a highly skilled migrant, or for family reunification (depending on the permit of the family member).
  • You have to prove you have 'sufficient' long-term income. For example, a single person must have an income of EUR 1,152.60 gross per month (including holiday pay), although figures are reviewed twice a year. For the latest figures, click here.
  • You must not be a risk to the public order or national security.
  • You have to prove that you are integrated into Dutch society, and can speak, read and write Dutch by taking a civic integration exam or having a comparable diploma. In some cases you are exempt from this requirement.


How to apply
for permanent residence as a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen

You must complete an application form (only available in Dutch) and submit it to the IND with a passport/ID card and accompanying documentary evidence.

Documents
You'll need to submit certain documents to show evidence of your personal circumstances. These may include:

  • a copy of a valid passport or other official travel ID;
  • proof of income (eg. bank statements);
  • a civic integration diploma or comparable diploma (read more on the IND website).

Fees
You have to pay a fee for the IND to process your application, which is non-refundable if your application is rejected. This is currently EUR 156 (2016 fee), although prices are reviewed each year. For the latest fees, click here.

Processing times
The IND states a maximum period of six months to process your application.

What happens next?
Once the IND has processed your application, you will be sent a letter with the decision. If you are granted permanent residence, you will be invited to collect the document about two weeks later at a regional IND desk.

When your permanent residence expires

After five years, you need to renew your Dutch permanent residence permit if you want to stay in the Netherlands. Find out how to extend your permit.

More information

See the IND website for more information and to find your nearest IND desk; in general, you cannot visit an IND desk unless you have an appointment (with the exception of collecting your permit).

For queries or to make an appointment, you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad.

Immigratie-en Naturalisatiedienst
Klantinformatiecentrum
Postbus 287
7600 AG ALMELO

The IND's twitter account @IND_NL can also be contacted for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.

 

Expatica / Updated by senior immigration consultant Andrea de Bie, Fragomen Worldwide

This information is for guidance only and you should seek specific advice from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country for your specific situation.

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Updated 2016.

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5 Comments To This Article

  • Matt posted:

    on 11th October 2016, 01:12:43 - Reply

    I currently work for a US company but it 100% remote. Could I get a long term residents permit with this type of job?

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Tima posted:

    on 28th June 2016, 12:59:45 - Reply

    The immigrant visa number allows you to apply for permanent resident status. If you are outside the U.S. when a visa number becomes available, go to the nearest U.S. consulate to complete the paperwork. If you are a foreign national without U.S. family ties, your employer can sponsor you for a green card.

  • AnneMarie posted:

    on 27th June 2016, 12:24:48 - Reply

    Should the application be made 6 months before the temporary residence permit expires, or do you wait until the expiration date?

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • lISA posted:

    on 8th June 2016, 14:34:52 - Reply

    You'll need to submit certain documents to show evidence of your personal circumstances.
  • Om posted:

    on 25th August 2015, 11:16:35 - Reply

    If I do not have job contract for 1 year but can prove that I have sufficient long term support for my self, can I still be eligible to apply for Permanent residence permit?

    Thanks

    [Moderator's note: Please post questions on our Ask the Expert service]