The conditions under which foreign investors can obtain a residence permit were simplified on 1 July 2016. The check to establish added value for the Netherlands has been made more general, and the first residence permit now has a 3-year term of validity. The audit opinion is no longer required.
Favourable conditions for foreign investors
The Netherlands, with its outstanding education and healthcare facilities, is a good country to live in. It also offers favourable conditions for foreign investors. Investors from outside the EU wishing to settle in the Netherlands can be issued with a residence permit.
Requirements for obtaining a residence permit
The requirements for obtaining a residence permit in the Netherlands are as follows:
- A minimum investment of € 1,250,000 in a Dutch company or in a participation or seed fund.
- No substantive checks will be made for investments in a participation fund that is or becomes a member of the Netherlands Association of Participation Funds (NVP) or in a seed fund recognised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.
- Investments in Dutch companies are checked for the added value to the Dutch economy. This added value is deemed present if two of the following three criteria are met:
- At least 10 jobs are created within 5 years.
- A contribution is made to increasing the Dutch company's innovative strength. This could take the form of publishing a patent, investing in innovation (either technological or non-technological), or investing in a company in a top-tier sector (Agriculture & Food, Chemicals, Creative Industry, Energy, High Tech, Logistics, Horticulture, Life Science & Health and Water. The scheme does not cover investment in homes).
- There is another form of non-financial added value, such as specific knowledge, networks, customers and active involvement by the investor.
- No check for added value will be made for investments in a participation fund that is or becomes a member of the Netherlands Association of Participation Funds (NVP) or in a seed fund recognised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.
A check for money laundering or illegally obtained money is carried out by the Financial Intelligence Unit in the Netherlands, which also contacts the FIU in the country of origin.
Residence permit in the Netherlands
The first residence permit is valid for 3 years. If extended the investor receives a 5-year residence permit. After 5 years in the country the investor and his family are offered a permanent residence permit or the opportunity to apply for naturalisation. The investor will be permitted to bring his family (partner and underage family members) to the Netherlands. The family members - like the investor himself - will have freedom of movement on the Dutch job market.
The minimum period for which the investor must remain in the Netherlands is 4 months within a 12-month period.
Application for residence permit
An application can be made to the IND for the residence permit with the purpose of stay being 'wealthy foreign national' (foreign investor). An explanation of the scheme and the application procedure is given on the IND website.