startup visa

Foreign startups get extra time to grow in the Netherlands

Foreign startups in the Netherlands now eligible for two-year residence permit. The startup visa has traditionally been valid for one year, providing time for businesses to establish themselves in the Netherlands. However, it has recently been announced that this visa can now be extended to two years, giving startups more time to grow and develop their businesses.

The Netherlands has established a startup visa scheme that allows international entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in the country. This residence permit is granted to those who meet certain criteria, including offering innovative products or services and working with an experienced mentor in the Netherlands. The full list of requirements can be found on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s website.

This extension also makes it easier for individuals to convert their startup residence permit into a self-employed person permit, which allows them to continue operating their business in the Netherlands. More information on the self-employed person permit can be found on the Dutch Immigration Authority’s (IND) website, where you can input your nationality to see the requirements specific to your situation.

The decision follows a study on the effectiveness of the startup scheme, which found that one year is often too short for startups to establish their businesses. The scheme, which was introduced in 2015, grants foreign startups a one-year residence permit, after which they must apply for a permit to work as a self-employed person. The study also called for more time for startups to develop into profitable businesses and recommended clarifying the role and status of facilitators, who are experienced mentors recognized by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and are a requirement for obtaining a residence permit. Facilitators help startups navigate the process of establishing their businesses in the country, including offering facilities and assisting with strategy development and networking. It is a requirement to work with a facilitator in order to obtain a startup residence permit in the Netherlands. The facilitator’s judgement is often a decisive factor in the decision to grant a startup self-employed status. However, a recent study recommended clarifying the role and status of facilitators and decoupling the approval process from their status to prevent problems for startups. 

In the first half of 2023, the State Secretary for Justice and Security of the Netherlands, Eric van der Burg, will provide further details on the plans to improve the startup visa scheme and other related regulations for foreign startups. This is expected to include information on any changes to the duration of the startup visa, as well as any additional requirements or modifications to the application process.

Overall, these improvements are aimed at creating a more supportive environment for foreign startups in the Netherlands and helping these businesses thrive in the country.