How to Apply for DAFT Visa in the Netherlands

American entrepreneurs with a strong desire to build their own lives and businesses in the Netherlands have a wealth of chances waiting for them.

How to Apply for DAFT Visa in the Netherlands

There are numerous routes for Americans to immigrate to the Netherlands thanks to a specific arrangement between Dutch and American law. The Dutch American Friendship Treaty, which was founded on March 27, 1956, is the name of this pact. The DAFT requirements and benefits are covered in more detail below. This article contains a step by step guide to applying for a DAFT visa for American citizens.

What is a DAFT Visa in the Netherlands?

The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty (also known as DAFT or Dutch American Residency Treaty) is an agreement between the United States and the Netherlands signed into law at The Hague on March 27, 1956. The treaty is a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with protocols. The treaty allows US Entrepreneurs and investors to obtain Dutch residence permit for the purpose of starting a business. The treaty also allows Dutch traders and investors to enter the US and engage in business in the US.

The treaty makes it easier for US Entrepreneurs to open businesses in The Netherlands. It lowers the amount of needed investment capital from €27,000 to €4,500, frees US Entrepreneurs from the points-based test, and removes the benefit to Dutch national interests requirement. The residency permit is good for two years, after which it can be renewed for five years. The treaty is valid for all US citizens who are opening a business in the Netherlands or its territories.

What is the difference between a regular Freelance Visa and a DAFT Visa in the Netherlands?

For US and Dutch citizens, the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) offers a more expedited immigration procedure. Typically, a point-based test method is used by all foreign business owners who want to invest in Dutch territory to demonstrate that their enterprise is valuable to the Dutch economy. However, the Dutch American Friendship Treaty enables American businesspeople to avoid the test requirement.

There is no point system necessary under the DAFT program for US citizens to establish a business or enterprise in the Netherlands. This also holds true for Dutch businesspeople or investors who seek to launch a venture in the US. Additionally, unlike the DAFT visa, which is only eligible for Americans, a regular freelancer visa enables all non-EU citizens to work in the Netherlands as independent contractors.

Eligibility Requirements for a DAFT Visa in the Netherlands

If you are a US businessperson who wants to immigrate to the Netherlands and work as a freelancer or independently employed, you may be eligible for a DAFT visa. The prerequisites are as follows:

  • You must be an expert in a profession that allows for the possibility of working for yourself, such as computer software, web development, accountancy, management consulting, graphic design, interior/exterior design, translation, etc.
  • You must have prior employment history.
  • Having a business plan is required.
  • You must be able to invest in the Dutch economy at least €4500.
  • As evidence, you will be required to provide legal credentials that correspond to your professional background.

Moreover, you will be asked to submit legal certifications according to your professional background as proof. Applying for a DAFT visa means you want to work in the Netherlands as freelancer. You need to get a work permit if you want to work for a different corporation or business in the Netherlands.

How to Apply for a DAFT Visa

Furthermore, there are steps to follow to apply for a DAFT visa, 

1. Schedule an appointment with the IND

You can make an appointment with the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service-IND throughout the 90-day period that American citizens are permitted to visit the Netherlands without a visa. Your application for a DAFT visa, which enables you to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days even if you haven't yet received your visa, is started when you make an appointment with the IND.

2. Collect all the required documents for a DAFT Visa

You will be asked to submit the following documents when you apply for the DAFT visa:

  • Your passport:. Your US passport must include copies of all the travel stamps.
  • The application form: The application form can be found on the Immigration Service website and it must be submitted with other documents.
  • Proof of the investment: You will be required to provide a bank statement proving that you have submitted the investment amount.
  • The payment for the Dutch PIN card: The price for the Dutch PIN card is €65.
  • The BSN number: In order for your documents to be valid, you must obtain a BSN number during your first appointment with the IND.

3. Submit your application

You must make it clear that you want to apply for a DAFT visa when you meet with the IND for the first time. The Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service must receive all DAFT visa applications in person.

4. After your temporary visa is approved

You must complete the following steps before you can finalize your DAFT visa:

  • Registration at the town’s Dutch municipality: You must register within five days of your arrival in the Netherlands. Once you apply, you will be given a citizen service number.
  • Registration at DigiD: DigiD is an online government service you must register for since it is needed for the Dutch tax system.
  • Registration of your business: You must register your business at the Dutch Business Registry.
  • Register at the KVK: The KVK (short for Kamer van Koophandel) is the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. All entrepreneurs must register at the KVK and pay a €65 fee for the Dutch PIN card.
  • Register a new bank account in a Dutch bank: You will be asked to open a cooperative bank account and you are allowed to do so at any Dutch bank.

Along with your driver's license, evidence that you are a licensed professional, proof of your financial stability (an income of at least €1,280 per month), and the DAFT visa fee, you will also need to provide these items.

5. Obtain your DAFT Visa

You can submit documentation of your registration to apply for the DAFT visa once all required processes and registrations have been completed. Both in-person and postal submissions of these documents are acceptable to the IND. You will be issued a DAFT visa after you have completed all of the steps above.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the DAFT visa in the Netherlands.

Does a DAFT Visa Require Dutch Language Proficiency?

There is no minimum level of Dutch language ability required for the DAFT visa. You must learn Dutch if you want to apply for a permanent residence visa after five years of continuous residence in the Netherlands. Acquiring Dutch citizenship also requires meeting the language requirement.

How much does the DAFT visa cost?

The fees you must pay for your DAFT visa application process are



Investments in the Dutch economy.

Minimum €4,500

DAFT visa


If you hold a StartUp Residence Permit 


Monthly Financial Requirement

Minimum €1,200

However, you could be required to pay additional fees if you complete the DAFT visa application process through a third-party website.

How long does it take to get a DAFT visa in the Netherlands?

After four months, you should receive a response regarding your DAFT visa application. You are encouraged to ask about the processing time when you apply at the Immigration and Naturalization Service - IND as this waiting period is subject to change.

What happens if my DAFT visa is denied?

If you don't fulfill the necessary standards, your DAFT visa application may be declined. In the unlikely event that your application is turned down, you can request a review of it. Up until four weeks have passed, you may file an appeal. If there are any missing documents, you must provide them, or if the IND erred, you may provide a legal defense for why your DAFT visa application ought to have been approved. However, you may seek the Alien Court for assistance with your application if the IND also rejects your appeal.

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