How to apply for the Netherlands Startup Visa

The main requirements and steps to obtain a residence permit in the Netherlands on a Startup visa
Instructions and guides
8 min
April 12, 2024

The Dutch government introduced the Startup Visa in 2015 as a means to attract skilled innovators to the country. One of the advantages of this program is that applicants can submit their documents in either Dutch or English, making the preparation process simpler.

The Netherlands has a network of national business facilitators who review applications and evaluate factors such as the level of innovation and the project's potential for scalability and job creation. Obtaining support from a facilitator is crucial for obtaining the residence permit. To provide you with an overview of the process, we have translated the guide from the IND (Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service, or Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst).

Main requirements

👉 Draft a comprehensive business plan outlining the development of your innovative product or service. It should cover at least one year of business development.

👉 Obtain support from a facilitator by entering into a contract with an accredited facilitator in the Netherlands. A list of all facilitators can be found on a website.

👉 Demonstrate financial stability by having a sufficient deposit. Immigration attorneys recommend showing between €14,000 and €17,000 in your bank account to prove that you have the means to live and develop your business in the Netherlands for one year. You will need to provide a bank statement as proof.

As of 2023, the minimum wage in the Netherlands is €1,934.40 per month. To ensure adequate coverage, you may choose to show €23,212.8, which is equivalent to twelve times the Dutch minimum wage.

Step by step

Step 1. Write a business plan.

Your role and tasks in the start-up company (the organisation); You must have an active role. Thismeans that you are not just a shareholder or financier.

The activities (steps) that you will take in the first year in order to move from idea to business.

The innovative nature of the product or service; why the product or service is innovative. The product orservice is innovative if it has at least 1 of the following 3 aspects:

  • The product or service is new to the Netherlands.
  • It involves new technology for production, distribution or marketing.
  • It involves an innovative organisational set-up and working method.

Examples include (but are not limited to): 

  • activities stimulated within the context of the Top Sectors policy. 
  • self-developed new products or services. 
  • original approach to energy conservation. 
  • original approach to sustainability problems. 
  •  clever and creative adjustments or combinations for the purpose of cross-sector applications. 
  • new product-market combinations. 
  • creative or innovative market approach. 
  • social innovation. 
  • introduction to corporate social responsibility.

Step 2. The signed agreement between you and your facilitator.

Obtain support from a facilitator by entering into a contract with an accredited facilitator in the Netherlands. A list of all facilitators can be found on a website.

Step 3. Prepare the necessary documents.

You can see the list on the official Immigration Service website.

The documents must be legalized (apostille if necessary) and translated into Dutch or English.

Step 4. Pay a fee.

Before your application can be assessed, you must pay a fee. The fee for an application for admission andresidence in the Netherlands as a ‘start-up’ working on a self-employed basis, submitted on or after 1 January2023, is € 350.

This amount has to be paid by all applicants, except for citizens of Turkey, San Marino andIsrael. The fee for citizens of Turkey is € 70. The application is free of charge for citizens of San Marino andIsrael. You can also find this information on

You must transfer the fee within three weeks after the date on top of this form (filled in by the Netherlands embassy or consulate). Your application will only be assessed when the whole amount has been received by theIND. Please check whether your bank deducts a fee from the amount being transferred. If the assessment of your application shows that you do not qualify for a residence permit in the Netherlands, you will not receive arefund.

Step 5. To apply.

There are detailed instructions on the Immigration Service website. ‍We advise you to look at the application form, which details the application process, requirements, and list of required documents.

When visiting the website, enter your country - then the instructions will be more relevant to your case.

What will happen with your application?

After receipt of your application, your documents and fee, the IND will assess your application. You will be contacted by the IND if your payment or your documents are not received. You will also be informed once the assessment of your application has been finalised. If your application is granted, you will also receive information about the follow-up procedure.

In case your application is granted you will receive an MVV (entry visa) from the Dutch embassy/consulate.When your application is granted you can make an appointment to collect your MVV The IND aims to have your residence permit ready within a few weeks followingyour arrival in the Netherlands. The IND will send you a letter indicating when you can collect your residencepermit. For this, you have to make an appointment online at the IND desk stated in the letter.

Registering in the Netherlands

You need your birth certificate (legalised and translated if necessary) for registering in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at your local municipality after arriving in the Netherlands. This is amandatory procedure. When you are registered in the BRP, you will automatically obtain a citizen service number (BSN), unless you already have this.

Photo: Nastya Dulhiier

If you plan to move to Portugal, Spain, or another European country, contact us if you need expert help:

See more details here. 

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