Permanent Residence in the Netherlands

Foreign nationals and their families are eligible to apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands after five years of residence. This alternative to Dutch citizenship provides some of the same advantages while being simpler to obtain. Continue reading to learn more.

Permanent Residence in the Netherlands

Anyone seeking permanent residence in the Netherlands must pay for it. For this form of residency, money can be made. One can have an advantage when applying for another residence visa from a nation that is a member of the European Union thanks to this permanent residency. Anyone who has consistently resided in the Netherlands for five years may apply for this permanent residency. Because they are in the same economic region, citizens of Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein are some examples of persons who may apply for this permanent residence.

Understanding Permanent Residence in the Netherlands

If you have lived in the Netherlands for five continuous years (less in some circumstances) and meet all other qualifying requirements, you may apply for permanent residence in the country. Permanent residence permits or "Verblijfsvergunning onbepaalde tijd", in Dutch, come in four different varieties with comparable rights, conditions, and application procedures. Which are:

  • Permanent residence permit for EU/EFTA citizens and their family members
  • Permanent residence permit for non-EU/EFTA nationals
  • Long-term EU residence permit, which is valid in all EU/EFTA countries
  • Permanent asylum residence permit

Furthermore, all residence permit applications in the Netherlands are handled by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst - IND).

Difference Between Dutch Citizenship and Permanent Residence in the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, citizenship and permanent residency share several aspects. You must fulfill the integration criteria for both and the five-year residency requirements (less in some circumstances). Both citizenship and permanent residency come with the following benefits:

  • Work, study, start your own business, or freelance in the Netherlands
  • Access Dutch social security and public healthcare
  • Purchase property and get a mortgage in the Netherlands
  • You are free to leave and return to the Netherlands as many times as you want

However, there are also differences between Dutch citizenship and permanent residence. Dutch citizens, for instance, enjoy special rights not available to long-term residents. Which are:

  • Dutch passport
  • Full voting rights in all national elections
  • The right to stand for any position in public office
  • The right to relocate abroad for unlimited periods – with a permanent residence permit, you cannot leave the Netherlands voluntarily for long periods
  • Unlimited validity – you have to renew your permanent residence permit every five years
  • More citizenship rights for children born outside the Netherlands

Despite having more privileges, Dutch citizenship requires a more involved and expensive application process. Additionally, there are more conditions related to citizenship. For instance, to become a Dutch citizen, you will typically need to renounce your current nationality.

Requirements for Permanent Residence in the Netherlands

Furthermore, there are a few criteria you must meet to be eligible to apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands. These requirements are as follows:

  • You must have lived legally in the Netherlands for a minimum of five years. There are several EU/EFTA citizens for whom this is lowered, and there are some other exceptions to this rule.
  • At least 13 years of age is required (only years from the age of eight counts towards the five-year residency period).
  • During these five years, the Netherlands served as your primary residence.
  • You have always timely renewed your residence permit, and all restrictions on any current residence permit are still being satisfied.
  • Your present residence permit is not a temporary one with a set duration.
  • A clear criminal history is required, as is the absence of any indications that you pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  • If you are applying as a non-EU/EFTA citizen, you must have a sufficient income (currently, at least €1,207.50 a month without holiday pay in 2022).
  • You are listed in the Personal Records Database and have a BSN (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP).
  • Unless you are exempt, you must pass the Dutch civic integration exam.

Permanent Residence in the Netherlands: Application Steps

You can apply online or a written application form. Your residence permit must still be valid when you apply. You can apply 3 months before your current residence permit expires.


Furthermore, the required paperwork varies a little bit depending on the sort of permission you're applying for. Generally speaking, you must provide (in Dutch, English, French, or German):

  • Passport or legitimate travel ID
  • Current Dutch residency documentation or evidence that you have lived there for the required amount of time
  • If you're not applying as an EU/EFTA citizen or family member, provide evidence of your income, such as bank statements or a contract of work.
  • If necessary, provide evidence of civic engagement
  • proof of a spotless criminal record
  • Additional documentation, such as retirement proof if you're applying as a retired EU/EFTA national, is required if you qualify for a request before the five-year residence requirement.

The IND must decide within a 6-month decision period. Your eligibility for the residence permit for long-term EU residents is the first thing the IND verifies. The decision is in the form of a letter and can be either positive or negative. The decision is the outcome of a new evaluation of your circumstances.

A positive outcome means you will be granted a long-term residence permit for the EU, a permanent residence permit, or your present residence permit will be extended.
You will not be given a residency permit, which is a bad decision. You have the right to protest this choice. When the residence permit is ready at an IND desk, you will receive a letter. You must make an appointment to collect it.

Costs of Obtaining Permanent Residence in the Netherlands

The current costs for a Dutch permanent residence are as follows:

  • EU/EFTA/Turkish citizens – €69 (reduced to €37 for children aged under 18)
  • All other permanent residency cards cost €207 (€69 for minors under the age of 18).

Even if the IND rejects your application, the cost is required to process it and is not refundable.

How to Renew your Permanent Residence in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there is no cap on permanent residency. As long as you follow the terms of your permit, your right to permanent residence will remain valid and you won't lose it. The permits themselves, however, have an expiration date, and you must renew them at that time because, even if you only leave the country for a short time, you still need them to return.

Dutch permanent residency cards for adults over 18 are valid for five years, or ten years in the case of EU/EFTA permits. If you have a DigiD account, you can renew them online or in your neighborhood IND office. Adult renewal fees are currently €69, while child renewal fees are presently €37 (in 2022). These fees then rise to €142 for adults who are not citizens of the EU, EFTA, or Turkey (and €69 for minors) if you need to replace a lost or stolen permit.

Permanent Residence for Family Members

For a permanent residence visa in the Netherlands, family members must fulfill the same requirements. In other words, they must have spent the necessary time residing in the Netherlands. If neither they nor a member of their family is an EU/EFTA citizen, they must be properly integrated and make a minimal salary (unless they are a dependent child under 18). Each member of the family must submit their application and pay their fees.

According to the rules of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, the following relatives may apply for permanent residence as family members of EU/EFTA citizens or UK citizens. This entails that they pay reduced tuition and have fewer requirements to fulfill:

  • Spouse/partner
  • Superior relatives (parents, in-laws, grandparents)
  • Descendants of a family (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren)

They will have to present documentation of their relationship, like a marriage license or birth certificate. Your spouse, partner, and any minor children may permanently join you in the Netherlands if you apply for a family reunion visa as a non-EU/EFTA national. After five years of continuous residency in the Netherlands, they will receive their temporary residence permit and be eligible to apply.

Loss of Permanent Residence Rights in the Netherlands

Your permanent residence may only be revoked by the Dutch government if you:

  • depart the Netherlands for an extended period of time
  • commit a significant offense that makes you a threat to national security and public order

Furthermore, depending on the type of permanent residence permit you hold, you may be absent from the Netherlands for a certain period:

  • Up to two years for family members and nationals of the EU/EFTA
  • Non-EU/EFTA citizens: six months, or four months in three straight years.
  • Long-term EU residency permit: valid for six years if you stay in the EU/EFTA region after the initial year.
  • UK citizens and their family members are eligible for up to five years under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The authorities may revoke your permission if you continuously leave the Netherlands for a time longer than this, at which point they will no longer view the country as your primary residence. Once you are once again qualified, such as after staying in the Netherlands for an additional five years, you can reapply.

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Bottom Line

In conclusion, you have four weeks from the date you receive the IND's decision to appeal the decision if you believe the rejection of your application for permanent residence in the Netherlands is unjustified. You must submit a formal objection outlining the specific grounds for your appeal. Within 6–19 weeks, the IND will consider your appeal and conclude.

The procedure could take up to 25 weeks in very complex circumstances. You may go to a Dutch court if the original judgment is affirmed and you are still dissatisfied (information in Dutch). Instead of awarding permanent residence, the IND may occasionally offer to prolong your current temporary residence status. Then, you can apply for permanent residence again at a later time. However, you can follow the link below to visit the official website of the Dutch citizenship and immigration authorities.

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