The Netherlands self-employment and start-up visas: the law

I have explained how these programs work in my note. The main law governing the Netherlands self-employment and start-up visas is Article 3.30 of the Foreigners Decree 2000. This states:

1. A regular temporary residence permit may be granted, subject to a restriction, related to the performance of self-employed work to a foreign national who:

(a) perform or will perform work as a self-employed person, which in the opinion of Our Minister serves an essential Dutch interest;
(b) gains sufficient livelihoods from those activities in a sustainable and independent manner, and
(c) meets the eligibility requirements for the performance of that work and the requirements for conducting the business in question.

2. The assessment of the essential Dutch interest, as referred to in the first paragraph, part a, of the business activities takes place on the basis of the points system established by ministerial regulation in agreement with Our Minister of Economic Affairs. Under this scheme, entrepreneurial activities can be designated that do not serve an essential Dutch interest.

3. The application will not be rejected due to the absence of an essential Dutch interest if the foreign national at the time the application is received has an uninterrupted employment history of at least seven years:

(a) on board a Dutch seagoing vessel;
(b)  on the Dutch part of the continental shelf;
(c) in international inland navigation on board Dutch ships or similar establishments, or
(d) in international road transport employed by a Dutch employer, insofar as transport takes place from or to the Netherlands.

4. For the purposes of paragraph 3, interruptions are not considered to be interim periods of involuntary unemployment, insofar as they were spent in the Netherlands and each lasted six months or less, and those periods do not exceed twelve months in total.

5. The residence permit may be granted to a long-term resident in derogation from the first paragraph, under a.

6. By way of derogation from the first and second paragraphs, the residence permit can be granted to the foreign national who sets up an innovative company with which he performs or will perform work as a self-employed person, who has sufficient permanent means of subsistence and which makes it plausible that he will within one year of granting of the permit will meet the conditions referred to in the first and second paragraphs. Further conditions are imposed by ministerial order on the application of the first sentence.

Check out my full explanation of the Netherland’s visa programmes.

Here is the link to the original legislation: Annex 8a Foreigners Regulations 2000

Here is the link to the European Commission’s explanation of the programmes: European Commission Document for Netherlands Start-Up and Self-Employment Scheme

Government Visa Pages

The main Netherlands government information for the start-up and self-employment visas are here:

Start-Up Visa

Self-Employment Visa

Permit Extension

Permanent Residence

Civic Integration Diploma


Visa Fees Information

See the visa fees here.