How to get a startup visa in Netherlands

How to get a startup visa in Netherlands

If you run a digital business, live outside the EU, but want to settle in the Netherlands, applying for a startup visa can be a great decision. It allows ambitious entrepreneurs to obtain a residence permit for one year, and later it can be extended. To get a startup visa in the Netherlands, you must act through facilitator and fulfill several conditions.

How to apply

The application is submitted through a facilitator and a special contract should be signed with him. A facilitator is not just an intermediary, but a person who knows how to manage startups. This person provides an individual package, which depends on the needs of the business. An important condition is that the facilitator must be a financially secure person who cannot be a relative of the applicant, e.g. uncle, aunt, grandmother, son, etc.


The facilitator must apply for the startup visa at the Immigration and Naturalization Service by filling out a special form on the website. It is necessary to provide personal information about the visa applicant, the startup's business plan, and work methods. Entrepreneurs can also fill in the application themselves by sending it to the consulate or embassy of the Netherlands.

There is a fee for submitting an application and a review procedure takes up to 3 months.

Conditions to receive a startup visa

A contract with facilitator is not the only condition for obtaining a startup visa in the Netherlands in 2022. There are also other requirements.

Innovativeness of the idea

When the application is submitted, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency will assess whether the product or service is innovative. To do so, they must meet the following conditions:

  • be innovative for the Netherlands;
  • use new production, sales or marketing technology;
  • demonstrate a new organizational approach.

Business plan

The startup visa will not be granted unless a business plan will be provided. At the very least, it must contain the following:

  • the structure of the company;
  • roles and tasks;
  • the number of employees and their tasks;
  • the purpose of the business activity;
  • description of the product, its novelty and uniqueness;
  • description of the first year in operation.

Registration in the KVK Commercial Register

In order for the applicant to demonstrate that they have a voice in the startup, the project must be registered with the commercial Register of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK in Dutch). Later, this will allow decisions to be made about the future operation of the startup. It's not necessary to provide a statement, just provide a KVK number, which will be checked by government officials through their database.

If there is no possibility to register with the KVK at the moment, the facilitator can issue a declaration, which guarantees registration after the startup visa is received.

Demonstrate Self-sufficiency

To get a visa, you have to show bank statements that prove that you are not only able to cover your living expenses but also start a business in the Netherlands. The account must have at least 70% of the minimum wage for the whole period of stay. At this time,  it is €1,700 per month, so for a startup visa, which is issued for a year, you must have at least €20,400 in your bank account. If the entrepreneur does not have that amount, a facilitator can be their sponsor.

What to do after approval

If the application is approved, you will receive a notification of a residence permit, and to receive the documents you will have to go to the consulate or embassy of the Netherlands. But to obtain a startup visa, you will then need to come to the Netherlands. If you plan to relocate other employees there, it's also pretty easy to do.  Since July 2021, startups can apply for a residence permit for foreign staff, and it simplifies the business organization. 

After a year, if you manage to get a foothold in the country, you can apply to get:

  • a residence permit as a sole proprietorship;
  • ordinary residence permits with the mark Arbeid is vrij toegestaan (Working allowed freely).

How to quickly obtain a startup visa in the Netherlands

To launch a startup in the Netherlands, contact IT-OFFSHORE consultants.

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