Visiting Europe from abroad can be a tricky process. More often than not, visitors from other parts of the world need a visa to visit Europe. A visa is a document granting the official permission to enter into a country, granted by the country the traveler wishes to enter into. Thankfully, 26 European countries have decided to simplify matters: for all of these 26 European states, you need only 1 visa, called a Schengen Visa. Obtaining such a visa entitles the holder to travel freely through the territory of other Schengen states. The Netherlands is a Schengen state.

There are different kinds of (Schengen) visa, the below overview is a brief overview of the Dutch system :

  • A visa for a stay up to three months (visa for short stay), also referred to as tourist/business visa;
  • A visa for a stay longer than three months, also referred to as authorisation for temporary stay ( in Dutch: machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or MVV)
  • An airport transit visa (for transfers in a EU airport, without entering a Schengen state)
  • A transit visa (valid for 5 days)

Residence permit

A residence permit is a permit that allows the bearer to settle in a foreign country. There are two categories of residence permits: regular and asylum. Both can be either indefinite or temporary.

Regular residence permit

You may apply for a regular residence permit when you come to the Netherlands in order to live with your (marital) partner, work, study, do an internship, work as an au-pair, live with your parents or undergo medical treatment.  In order to apply for a regular residence permit, it is usually necessary to obtain an authorisation for temporary stay in advance. Our visa team can offer advice on your particular situation.

Independium has an in-house immigration law department run by John Singh.

Need more info? Send an email to and we will respond the same day.