Residence permits

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Netherlands

If you are a non EU/EER citizen and your stay in The Netherlands will be longer than 90 days, you probably need a residence permit. To make sure if this applies to you, you can do the visa wizard check.

Introduction to Dutch residence permits

The residence permit is a plastic card the size of a credit card. This card serves as proof of your identity, nationality and lawful residence in the Netherlands.

Your residence permit allows you to enter and exit the Netherlands and travel through the Schengen area. Your stay in other Schengen countries is limited to a maximum period of 90 days within a period of 180 days. If you intend to stay abroad longer, you must comply with the immigration regulations of that country. Use the Short-stay Visa Calculator to calculate your remaining travel days under a Schengen short-stay visa.

The full rights you receive depend on the residence permit’s purpose of stay.

Types of residence permits for highly skilled people

Each residence permit is given for a specific ‘purpose of stay’, which dictates the rights attached to the residence permit.

Scientific staff

  • Researchers under the EU directive 2016/801, which replaces EU directive 2005/71

Other academic highly skilled staff:

  • Highly skilled migrant scheme
  • European Blue Card

Going abroad during your stay

If you are going abroad for research purposes different rules apply to you depending on your residence permit, the lenght of your stay and the country you are going to.

Residence permit 'scientific staff under EU directive 2016/801'

for a stay up to 90 days


for a stay from 91 up to 180 days


for a stay from 181 days


Application procedure done by your host institution

The Dutch residence permit system for highly skilled migrants is based on a contract between the immigration services (IND) and the host institutions, which recognizes the host institution/employer as a recognized sponsor. Only with a recognized sponsor label with the IND can a host institution, (like a company or research institution) receive third country nationals for the purpose of highly skilled work such as scientific research. This contract allows for quick and smooth procedures and exemption for a work permit application. 

Three consequences

  1. Firstly you cannot apply for your residence permit yourself, this can only be done by a host who has a contract with the IND.
  2. Secondly this contract is very important to the host, if they lose this partnership position, they can no longer attract highly skilled migrants. They have been given certain responsibilities in the process, such as checking if everything is still in order. They will have to act as a responsible partner to the IND on these matters. So your host will have to check with you if everything is still in order. And if you have questions about your residence permit, you should first go to your host institution.
  3. The procedures are extremely slim and quick.

Duration of a residence permit

The duration of a residence permit for scientific work equals your contract, with a maximum of 5 years. If your stay will exceed this duration. Your host organisation will apply for an extension. (make sure they apply for this extension in time, so you will not end up with a gap in your years of residence.) When you change employers or tasks, a change of residence permit might be necessary. If this is the case, this will also be dealt with by your (future) employer/host organisation. Of course if you will no longer work for an employer, you will have to take care of this yourself.

More information

For more information please contact your employer/host organisation, or the IND.