If you have lived in The Netherlands for five consecutive years, you will be able to apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands. This is, however, dependent on your nationality as the process of receiving permanent residence can vary depending on whether you are an EU citizen or not. Any citizen from the European Economic Area as well as the EU including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein can apply for any sort of European residence permit which also applies to family members.
However, non-EU or EEA citizens who want to obtain a Dutch residence permit will need to be assessed on if they should receive either Dutch permanent residency or long-term resident-EC status. A long-term resident EC allows non-EU residents who meet certain conditions to apply for a residence permit in one of the other EU countries that also have this residence permit.
Certain foreign residents in The Netherlands are also eligible for Dutch citizenship after 5 or 10 years. This gives them access to extra liberties that Dutch residents don’t have, like voting and living in The Netherlands without needing to renew their residence documents every 5 years. In some cases, Dutch citizenship can be acquired in as low as three years when a non-Dutch citizen marries a Dutch citizen.
Permanent Residence In The Netherlands
So what advantages would you get by obtaining permanent residency in The Netherlands? The main benefit when you apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands is that it allows you to stay in the country indefinitely, as long as you renew your residence documents every 5 years. On top of that, by applying for permanent residence in The Netherlands, you are also free to work in the Dutch labour market. So by having Dutch permanent residence you can live and work in The Netherlands indefinitely, which is great news if want to live in The Netherlands long-term without having to worry about your residence and work permits running out.
Now you know the benefits of obtaining a permanent residence in The Netherlands, it’s important you know about the process of acquiring permanent residence. Like previously mentioned, the process to apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands differs depending on whether you come from an EU/EEA country or not. Let’s take a look at these differences.
Permanent Residence in The Netherlands for EU/EEA Citizens
If you happen to be a citizen from an EU/EEA country (including Switzerland) and you have lived in The Netherlands for five consecutive years, you are eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit for yourself and your family. Even if some family members are not EU/EEA/Swiss citizens they can still obtain a resident permit through your application. To specify, the type of family members that would apply to this would be children, spouses and relatives of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens no matter their nationality. Furthermore, you can apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands before living there for 5 consecutive years if you’re retired, unfit for work, or are a cross-border worker in some cases.
Permanent Residence in The Netherlands for Non-EU/EEA Citizens
Non-EU/EEA citizens have to go through a longer and more difficult process to obtain permanent residence in The Netherlands. If you are a citizen from a non-EU/EEA country, you only are able to obtain permanent residence under certain conditions. These include living in The Netherlands for five consecutive years, being sufficiently integrated into Dutch society and having a valid residence permit for non-temporary stay in The Netherlands..
In order to see if you meet the European requirements, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) will carry out checks to see if you are eligible. If the IND thinks you are eligible, you will receive a permanent residence permit. This means you will have a long-term EC status which then you can freely move around states that are EU members.
If you happen not to meet the requirements for the EU, the IND will evaluate your application but this time it will be based on national legislation. If you’re not able to meet the requirements for either Dutch or EU permanent residence, then the IND will assess if they can increase your temporary resident permit in The Netherlands for longer. Once you have been accepted to obtain a permanent residence you will receive a long term Dutch residence permit.
How Can I Get Permanent Residence In The Netherlands?
Now onto the next step, How can I get permanent residence in The Netherlands? Well, again this is different depending on whether you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or a non-EU/EEA citizen. If you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, in order to obtain permanent residence in The Netherlands the only thing you have to do is fill out an application form which is then sent to the IND, along with photo ID and any necessary accompanying documentary evidence.
However, if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you are required to fill in the application form which is only available in Dutch. You must then send it to the IND, alongside a valid ID or passport and additional documentation. For a non-EU/EEA citizen, you need to submit a copy of your valid passport, proof of income and a civic integration diploma.
Unfortunately, non-EU/EEA citizens have to pay a higher fee to submit their application to the IND which is non-refundable, even if you get rejected. The fee is 156 euros. Now you may wonder, how long will it take to process my application for a residence permit in The Netherlands as a non-EU/EEA citizen? It can take up to six months and then you will receive a letter from the IND with the result - either accepted or rejected - and if accepted you can then get your residence permit at your local IND desk.
Permanent Residence in The Netherlands Requirements
The permanent residence requirements in The Netherlands is again dependant on if you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or a non-EU/EEA citizen. If you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, in order to fulfill the requirements for a permanent residence in The Netherlands, you will need to submit:
- Proof that you lived in The Netherlands for five consecutive years, which can be proved by documents like your health insurance policy.
- If retired, you need proof that you worked for at least one year in The Netherlands before you decided to retire.
- If you are a cross-border worker, you have to show evidence of residence in The Netherlands for a duration of at least three years. Your home must be located in The Netherlands and you should come back to The Netherlands at least once a week.
- You will also need to submit documents of employment in The Netherlands if you are proclaimed unfit for work.
- If you obtained a residence permit in The Netherlands through a relative who is a citizen of an EU/EEA/Switzerland, this will be assessed by the relationship that you have with that relative.
Once you have gathered all the required documents to submit to the IND, you have to pay for the application which is a non-refundable 50 euros. Furthermore, the application can take up to eight weeks to be processed if you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, different measures apply for you to obtain a permanent residence in The Netherlands. The requirements are the following for non-EU/EEA citizen:
- You must show that you had a temporary residence permit for at least five years. If by any chance during those five consecutive years your temporary residence permit expired and you did not renew fast enough, then you might not be eligible for a residence permit due to the gap in your five year residency.
- You should currently hold a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose, normally this would be for employment or for family reunification.
- You need to provide proof of sufficient long-term income. The figures for what qualifies for sufficient are reviewed twice a year.
- Finally, you must prove you are integrated into Dutch society. A civic integration test is normally used to test whether you can speak, read and write Dutch. Although in certain cases you can be exempt from this test.
In summary, to apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands, you must prove that you have lived here for five consecutive years. Remember to read carefully what specific documents you are required to submit to acquire permanent residence in The Netherlands, depending on whether you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or a non-EU/EEA citizen. You will have to fill out and submit different documents depending on what you type of citizen you qualify as, so be sure your sending the correct documents.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get permanent residency in The Netherlands?
How much does a permanent residence application in The Netherlands cost?
Is it hard to get a permanent residence permit in The Netherlands?
It varies depending on whether you are a non-EU/EEA citizen or a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen. If you’re a non-EU/EEA citizen it can take up to six months. However if you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, it should only take up to eight weeks.
Depending on if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen or a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen the cost varies. If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen it will cost you around 156 euros, however if you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, it will cost you only 50 euros.
Yes it can be. There are several steps and required documentation you will have to submit in the Dutch residence permit process. Additional tests may also be needed depending on if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen or a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.