Leiden Expat Center


Residence permits

Depending on your nationality you have to apply for a Provisional Residence permit
(MVV; machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf) and/or a residence permit (VVR; verblijfsvergunning regulier) at the Immigration- & Naturalisation Service (IND) if you wish to come to the Netherlands for more than 3 months.

Provisional residence permit (MVV)

To come to the Netherlands, you will require a Provisional Residence Permit (mvv). An mvv is a visa that allows you entry to the Netherlands. When you have a sponsor/employer in the Netherlands, your sponsor/employer submits an application both for an mvv and a residence permit at the same time. This is called the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV procedure). Not everyone needs an mvv to apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands. Below you will find an overview of nationalities who are exempt from this requirement as well as specific circumstances for which an mvv is not required.

You will not require an mvv when:

  • You currently hold a (valid) residence permit for the Netherlands.
  • You have the nationality of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, United States of America or Vatican City.
  • You have the nationality of one of the following EU/EEA member states or Switzerland: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.
  • You currently have a permanent residence permit as a ‘long-term resident-EC CE’ issued by another EU member state.
  • You have been a 'holder of a European Blue Card' for 18 months in another EU Member State and are applying for a residence permit in the Netherlands as a 'holder of a European Blue Card'. The same applies to family members of the holder of a European Blue Card.

This overview is not complete. You can contact the IND for more information.

Please note that if you do not have an mvv, but you are required to have one, your application will be refused. Such a decision affects your ability to remain in the Netherlands, unless there are special circumstances exempting you from having to apply for an mvv in your country of origin or country of continuous residence. If this is the case, it is strongly recommended to contact the IND first before submitting the application. Such applications must always be submitted in person.

When you are not required to have an mvv to enter the Netherlands you can directly apply for a residence permit.

Entry and Residence (TEV) procedure

When you have a sponsor in the Netherlands, your sponsor starts the TEV procedure. The sponsor is the person or organisation with an interest in your entry to the Netherlands. Your sponsor fills in the application form and sends it with all the requested documents to the IND. If you have to submit the application yourself, you should apply for the TEV procedure in person at the Dutch embassy or consulate. Please note that there are certain purposes of stay for which only a (recognised) sponsor can submit an application.

Application for a residence permit without an mvv

When you are exempt from the mvv requirement, your sponsor can already apply for your residence permit while you are still abroad. In the application form your sponsor can indicate your estimated date of arrival. If you have to submit your application in person, you can do so at a regional IND desk in the Netherlands. Please note that there are certain purposes of stay for which only a
(recognised) sponsor  can submit an application for your residence permit.

Application TEV procedure without a sponsor

If you do not have a sponsor in the Netherlands you can initiate the TEV procedure at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country (country of origin) or the country of continuous residence. You may also submit an application for a TEV procedure when you are exempted from the mvv requirement rather than applying directly at the IND desk in the Netherlands. In that situation you can prevent making costs for travel to and lodging in the Netherlands while you might not be granted a residence permit.

On the IND website you will read more information on the procedure to apply for an MVV and/or a residence permit

For EU/EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members other rules apply.


There are various types of visa. The type of visa you need to apply for depends on the purpose of your stay in the Netherlands.

Short stay visa

If you wish to stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of  90 days, you may need a short stay visa. Whether a visa is required, depends on your nationality. If you are not subject to visa requirement you will still need to meet the requirements for entry. You  may apply for a short stay visa for various purposes, such as a holiday, a business trip, a family visit, a conference or a sporting event, or only for transit purposes. With a short stay visa you may stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within any period of 180 days. This period also applies when you have the nationality of a country that is not subject to visa requirement. On the IND webpage you will read information about the application procedure for a “Short Stay Visa”. 

Return visa

If you are awaiting a procedure, you do not have a valid residence document at present and you wish to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands. This could be the case if your current residence permit is no longer valid or your current residence permit will expire during your stay outside of the Netherlands. On the IND webpage you will read information about the application procedure for a “Return Visa”.

(Source: IND)