Netherlands Digital Nomad Visa & Remote Work


➡ 2024 UPDATE

The Netherlands presents an enticing option for digital nomads seeking a base in Europe, albeit without a specific visa tailored for their lifestyle. Instead, the country offers a pathway through its Long-Stay or MVV Visa program, often regarded as the equivalent of a digital nomad visa.

Digital nomads can establish themselves as independent professionals within the Netherlands, granting them the freedom to reside and work in the country legally. While the process for obtaining this permit varies depending on one’s citizenship, citizens of EU member states, Switzerland, Turkey, and Japan typically encounter smoother procedures.

A notable advantage of this self-employed residence permit is its versatility. Beyond servicing international clientele, holders are also permitted to engage with Dutch businesses on a freelance basis. Moreover, if you already possess clientele within the Netherlands, this could potentially expedite your residency application.

However, with the privileges of residency come responsibilities. As a self-employed individual in the Netherlands, you’re obligated to fulfill tax obligations and adhere to local regulations governing independent professionals. Additionally, registering with local authorities and undergoing a TB test are mandatory steps for all legal residents in the Netherlands. Thus, while the digital nomad visa may not exist in name, the Netherlands provides a viable pathway for remote workers seeking a European base.

The self-employed residence permit

The self-employed residence permit application process in the Netherlands is structured around a comprehensive scoring system comprising three key components:

  1. Personal Experience: This segment evaluates an applicant’s educational background, previous professional engagements, and entrepreneurial endeavors. It assesses the individual’s capacity to contribute meaningfully to the Dutch economy and society.
  2. Business Plan: Central to this aspect is the presentation of the proposed product or service, including pricing strategies, financial projections, and market analysis. A robust business plan demonstrates the applicant’s commitment to sustainable entrepreneurship and viability in the Dutch market.
  3. Added Value to the Netherlands: Here, emphasis is placed on the prospective impact of the applicant’s venture on the Dutch economy and society. Factors such as innovation, job creation, investment potential, and potential for collaboration with local businesses are evaluated to gauge the applicant’s contribution to the national interest.

Each of these components carries a maximum score of 300 points, amounting to a total of 900 points for the entire application. However, to qualify for consideration, an applicant must achieve a minimum threshold of 90 points overall, with each component requiring a minimum score of 30 points.

Essentially, while anyone can aspire to work remotely in the Netherlands as a digital nomad, individuals hailing from specific countries possess a competitive edge in securing the self-employed residence permit, which serves as the de facto digital nomad visa.

For those seeking to leverage their skills and expertise as remote freelancers, independent entrepreneurs, or budding startup founders within the Dutch territory, the pathway typically involves pursuing the self-employed residence permit.

To initiate the application process for the MVV Visa, aspiring applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Securing Employment or Commissions: Prospective applicants must demonstrate their commitment to engaging in freelance work or fulfilling commissions within the Netherlands. This entails providing compelling evidence of viable job opportunities or projects awaiting execution.
  2. Chamber of Commerce Registration: A crucial step in establishing oneself as a legitimate business entity involves registering with the Chamber of Commerce. This formalizes one’s entrepreneurial pursuits and signifies adherence to Dutch regulatory standards.
  3. Professional Qualifications: Applicants must meet the requisite standards for practicing their profession within the Netherlands. This may necessitate obtaining relevant licenses or certifications, ensuring compliance with industry-specific regulations and standards.

Steps To Apply For the Netherlands Digital Nomad Visa

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) holds the reins when it comes to visa processing and issuance in the Netherlands, providing a wealth of resources for individuals seeking employment opportunities within the country.

To embark on the journey of securing the digital nomad visa, also known as the MVV, applicants must simultaneously apply for the residence permit. These two applications go hand in hand and are pivotal steps in the process.

Navigating the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) is essential for MVV Visa applicants, with two distinct avenues available:

  1. Independent Application: Applicants can take charge by submitting their applications through the TEV at the Dutch embassy or consulate in their home country. This route requires meticulous attention to detail and adherence to procedural requirements.
  2. Sponsorship Route: Alternatively, individuals may opt for sponsorship, wherein a sponsor based in the Netherlands assumes responsibility for the application process. Sponsors play a pivotal role in gathering necessary documentation and liaising with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) on behalf of the applicant.

A comprehensive array of documents is essential for a successful application:

  • Valid Passport: A prerequisite for international travel and visa applications.
  • Antecedents Certificate: Mandatory for individuals aged 12 and above, verifying any criminal history.
  • Tuberculosis Test (TB): Compulsory post-arrival screening to safeguard public health.

For applicants from the EU/EEA/Switzerland or those aspiring to establish startups in the Netherlands, tailored conditions apply, potentially streamlining the application process. However, stringent requirements persist, emphasizing the need for:

  • Evidence of Ongoing Assignments: Demonstrating commitment to contributing to the Dutch economy, often assessed through a comprehensive scoring system.
  • Sufficient Income: Meeting prescribed income thresholds, a critical determinant of financial stability and viability as a freelance professional or business owner.

Prior to commencing the digital nomad visa application process for the Netherlands, individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 are required to undergo a civic integration exam. This comprehensive examination consists of three parts, evaluating proficiency in the Dutch language and understanding of Dutch society. Accessible via computer, the exam is conveniently administered at the Dutch embassy or consulate where the application is being processed. The examination incurs a fee of €150.

To initiate the registration process and obtain the requisite forms, applicants have two options. They may either directly submit their request at the Dutch embassy or consulate, or opt to engage with the Dutch representation in their home country, which will facilitate the forwarding of documents to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

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