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Netherlands Freelance Visa

Netherlands Freelance Visa

The Netherlands freelance visa is also known as the visa for the self-employed individuals, those who intend to work in the country as independent entrepreneurs or professionals. A key requirement, in this case, is to obtain a residence permit in Netherlands and to comply with the conditions that apply to the activity that the applicant wishes to engage in.

Understanding the criteria for the activities or the independent business is important the success of the application is subject to the overall score of this three-part evaluation. We recommend that foreign nationals who are interested in applying for this visa reach out to our immigration lawyer in Netherlands for a pre-evaluation of their application and additional information on the scoring system.

What are the conditions for freelancers from the EU?

Citizens of EU or EEA countries and Swiss nationals do not need to apply for the Netherlands freelance visa or a work permit in order to engage in freelance activities in the country. However, there is a requirement for these foreign nationals to show that they will perform self-employed work (that they control all or certain aspects of their work and the services they provide). The Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate (Inspectie SZW) is entitled to make the necessary verifications.

British citizens retain the same rights as other EU citizens during the transition period that will end on December 31, 2020. Their residence status will change following this date. Our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can provide you with more information if you are a British citizen.

What conditions apply to freelancers from outside the EU?

Non-EU/EEA or Swiss nationals can apply for a Netherlands freelance visa, with the main difference that they will need to obtain a work permit. Their contractor is the one who applies for this permit with the Employee Insurance Agency. An exemption is in place when the freelancer already had a residence permit in Netherlands that includes the endorsement for freely permitted work.

The regime for the family of a foreign self-employed individual in the Netherlands could be subject to changes in 2020 as the Government is working to allow these family members to take up employment without the need to obtain a work permit. Our team of agents specializing in Netherlands immigration can provide more information on these changes as they will unfold.

Are you American or Japanese? You are eligible for residence according to the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or the Dutch-Japanese Trade Treaty and the conditions for the Netherlands freelance visa may differ slightly in your case. You still need to meet the conditions that apply to all other foreign nationals and, in addition to this, you are in one of the following situations:

  • you are engaged in business between the Netherlands and Japan or the United States; alternatively
  • you founded and lead a business in the Netherlands or you have invested (or plan to invest) significant capital in a Dutch company.

A US individual who practices an individual profession can relocate to the Netherlands under the DAFT Treaty. This agreement allows US citizens to move to the Netherlands if they fall under certain special categories. It applies primarily to business owners who open a company or make a substantial investment, but also to certain freelancers. You can contact us for details.  

If you have been living in the country as a freelancer for a number of years we can help you apply for Dutch citizenship.

What is the scoring system for the Netherlands freelance visa?

An important condition for obtaining a self-employed visa in the Netherlands is for the said business to be of essential interest to the Dutch economy. The products or services are assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency based on a scoring system.

There are three essential evaluation parts with a total value of 300 points. At least 90 points are needed for a favorable result for the Netherlands freelance visa, with a minimum of 30 for each sub-section. The three parts are the following:

  • personal experience: the applicant’s education, entrepreneurship and work experience are taken into consideration;
  • business plan: the product or service, financing, price, organization and market analysis are relevant;
  • added value for the country: the level of innovation of the said product or service, the number of jobs it can create, and the possible investments it can lead up to.

Below, our Netherlands immigration agents list some of the maximum points that may be awarded for different sub-categories:

  • 25 points: the potential market for the product or service with a maximum of 10 points for its features, applications, potential customers, competition, risks or market promotion and a maximum of 5 points for clear product pricing;
  • 50 points: the maximum number of points for financing, with different scores according to issues like balance, turnover or liquidity forecast;
  • 20 points: the maximum point value that can be awarded for innovation;
  • 40 points: the maximum for the creation of labor, with different point values awarded according to the number of jobs that are created (a minimum of 10 points for 2 -<5 employees).

Apart from these conditions, freelancers can also be asked to have one or more commissions in the Netherlands that they will be able to carry out. Companies in individual healthcare are subject to additional conditions and our team can detail these to interested entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in applying for a different residence permit in the Netherlands, our team can answer your questions. How you apply and the documents that are required and mandatory depending on the type of permit you are applying for. In some cases (depending on nationality), you will also need to obtain an authorization for temporary stay (MVV). Our team will give you more details. 

A freelancer in the Netherlands may find that he or she will wish to apply for Dutch citizenship once the five-year mandatory minimum stay has passed. If during this time, you have established a strong client base in the country, our team is ready to answer your questions and guide you throughout the citizenship by naturalization procedure.

Contact us for more information about the conditions to obtain the Netherlands freelance visa. If you are a freelancer living in the country we can help you with details about the application for Dutch citizenship.