If your Dutch resident permit expires, you can apply to extend it or opt for a different permit. If you leave instead, you must deregister and return your permit.
If you are the holder of a Dutch residence permit that is about to expire, you may be eligible to extend it depending on the type of permit. Not all permits can be extended, however, in which case you might qualify for a new residence permit based on a different purpose of stay. Otherwise you will have to leave the country, which also requires action on your behalf. Additionally, any changes in your residence situation in the Netherlands must be reported, or you could face a fine.
In guide explains what to do in the following circumstances:
- When your permit expires
- If you are eligible for a permit extension
- If your residence situation changes
- You want to leave the Netherlands
- You overstay your visa
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will inform you a few months before your permit expires. If you want to stay in the Netherlands, you may have the option of extending the permit (not all permits are extendable) or applying for a new residence permit. The IND will assess your application and decide whether or not you fulfil the requirements of an extension or if you qualify for a different permit. If you would like to apply for different type of residence permit, see our complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to see if you qualify for a different purpose of stay.
If your residence permit is about to expire and you don’t want to continue living in the Netherlands, you must depart on or before the day that your permit expires. In practice the authorities will usually accept a three-day stay after expiry, however this is not provided for in immigration regulations and is not strictly in keeping with policy, so it is best to depart on or before the expiration date. If you overstay your permit, it can have serious consequences (see below).
You may apply for an extension up to three months before the expiration date on your residence card. It is best to file the extension application timely to prevent a so-called ‘residence gap’. A ‘residence gap’ is an interruption in your continuous stay and may cause problems later on if you apply for a permit that demands a period of continuous residency (such as Dutch permanent residence).
After the extension application is filed you may reside in the Netherlands legally on the basis of that application, even after your residence permit has expired. However, if your permit has expired and you need to travel outside the Netherlands you may require a ‘return visa’ to re-enter the Netherlands, depending on your nationality.
If you continue to stay in the Netherlands after your permit has expired, making no effort to extend or apply for a different permit, you are effectively an illegal immigrant. You may be questioned by immigration officers when you go to leave the country and may not be granted an entry visa or residence permit to return to the Netherlands in the future.
Certain changes in your status (or the status of your family members) must be reported to the IND, if those changes are relevant to your residence in the Netherlands.
If you have a sponsor recognised by the IND, it is their legal obligation to inform the IND in writing if you no longer meet the conditions on which the permit was issued, your circumstances change or that you are still in the country after your permit has expired. They have four weeks after the change of circumstance to inform the IND.
If you don’t have a sponsor recognised by the IND, you must inform the IND of any changes. If you have dependant family members you must inform the IND of changes that are relevant to their residence, even if your company filed the original permit application on your behalf. For example, if your family members return to your home country for a period longer than six months this should be reported to the IND. Failure to do so could result in a fine.
When you wish to leave the Netherlands, you must contact the Municipal personal records database (BRP) in your local municipality to deregister. Your residence card must also be returned to the IND, as it is deemed property of the Dutch government. Take a copy (both front and back) for future reference, and return the permit to your nearest IND desk, or post it. Check the IND website for an address. The card can also be returned at the airport when you exit the Netherlands; information about this can also be found on the IND website.
In some cases (if you come from certain countries, or you are a refugee, for example), there may be financial assistance to help you return to your home country through a remigration scheme. For more information on this, see the Social Insurance Bank (SVB).
If your residence permit has expired, and you haven’t applied for an extension or a new residence permit, you will be staying in the Netherlands illegally. If you don’t leave voluntarily, then you may be forced to leave by the authorities. An overstay, for any number of days, can lead to a ban from entering or staying in any Schengen country for a period of time, up to five years. If you have a recognised sponsor in the Netherlands, the sponsor may have to pay your repatriation costs. Additionally, an overstay can be the basis for denial of future permit applications to the IND.
For more information
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.
7600 AG ALMELO
The IND’s twitter account @IND_NL can also be contacted for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.