Leaving the Netherlands

If your Dutch resident permit expires, you can apply to extend it or opt for a different permit. If you plan on leaving the Netherlands instead, you must deregister and return your permit.

Leaving the Netherlands

By Immigration lawyer Christine Sullivan, Fragomen Worldwide

Updated 17-4-2024

Do you hold 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 are eligible for extension, however; in this 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:

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When your permit expires

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 or applying for a new residence permit. The IND assesses whether you fulfill the requirements of an extension or if you qualify for a different permit. If you would like to apply for a different type of residence permit, see our complete guide to Dutch visas.

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 usually accept a three-day stay after expiry. However, this is not in the immigration regulations; it is best to depart on or before the expiration date. If you overstay your permit, it can have serious consequences.

Extending your permit

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 residence gap. A residence gap is an interruption in your continuous stay. This may cause problems later on if you apply for a permit that demands a period of continuous residency (such as Dutch permanent residence).

After filing the extension application, you may reside in the Netherlands legally on the basis of that application. This is also the case after your residence permit expires. However, if your permit 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 stay in the Netherlands after your permit expires, making no effort to extend or apply for a different permit, you are 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.

Informing the IND of any changes

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 recognized by the IND, they must 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 recognized 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, report this to the IND. Failure to do so could result in a fine.

Moving your belongings

Chances are you’ll have built up a life for yourself in the Netherlands, which means an entire life needs to move with you. If you need to sort out some shipping, you have plenty of options when it comes to international movers. To give you an idea of what to expect in terms of costs and timeframe, check out these logistics platforms:

Leaving the Netherlands

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 the property of the Dutch government. Take a copy for future reference, and return the permit to your nearest IND desk, or post it. Check the IND website for an address. You can also return the card at the airport when you exit the Netherlands; information about this is also available 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).

What happens if you overstay your visa?

If your residence permit expires and you haven’t applied for an extension or a new residence permit, you are 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 recognized 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

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, 9:00–17:00 on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad.

Immigratie-en Naturalisatiedienst
Postbus 287

The IND’s twitter account @IND_NL is available for general queries between Monday to Friday 9:00–17:00.

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