Residence permit in the Netherlands as part of a Start-up project.
The Netherlands has a provision allowing talented entrepreneurs to apply for temporary residence permits as organizers of Start-up projects. Below is an overview of frequently asked questions regarding the details of the procedure for obtaining a residence permit.
1. What are the basic requirements for obtaining a residence permit?
The applicant & project must meet the following requirements, namely:
- a reliable and experienced facilitator, based in the Netherlands, works with the project;
- the project represents an innovative product or service;
- must be developed a phased plan for transformation of the project (ideas) into business;
- applicant and mentor must be registered in the commercial register of the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel);
- the applicant must have sufficient finances for moving and living in the Netherlands for one year.
2. Where can I apply for a residence permit and is it necessary to obtain a residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands?
If the Applicant is already in the Netherlands on a short-term visa, or if the Applicant is a citizen of a country that does not require a visa to the Netherlands, then MVV is not requested (provided that the Applicant meets all other conditions for obtaining a residence permit).
In this case, the Applicant or his authorized representative may apply for a residence permit directly to the Department of Immigration and Naturalization of the Netherlands.
Entrepreneurs residing in third countries who require an entry visa can apply for an MVV and residence permit at the Dutch embassy or consulate in their country of residence.
Foreign nationals who already have a valid residence permit in the Netherlands, but who want to convert it into a residence permit for entrepreneurs of Start-up projects, can also apply directly to the Department of Immigration and Naturalization.
3. Can an application for a residence permit for entrepreneurs of Start-up projects be submitted if the Applicant currently has the status of owner of a residence permit for highly qualified specialists in the Netherlands?
Yes, when all other conditions are met.
How long does it take to process an application (make a decision)?
If the application is filled out correctly and includes all the necessary documents, then the standard term for its consideration is 90 days. However, start-up projects are priority and should be processed according to the accelerated program (priority period is 7 weeks).
4. What is the application review procedure?
After applying for permission, the Department of Immigration and Naturalization consults with the Agency for Entrepreneurship. The latter checks:
- mentor qualifications;
- whether the project is innovative.
The Department then reviews the submitted documents based on the Agency’s opinion.
5. What standards should a business plan meet? Are there business plan templates available to the Applicant?
A phased business plan should answer the following questions:
- Applicant's role in the project;
- idea of a product or service;
- what makes a given product or service innovative;
- what is the plan for turning an idea into a business during the first year of work.
The plan should be as detailed as possible. Unfortunately, a standard template does not exist.
6. Does it matter which company is involved in the Start-up project?
No. However, the company must be registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands.
7. Start-up project should be implemented with the participation of a mentor. Who can play this role?
A mentor or a business mentor must have at least two years of experience in managing innovative startups and must agree to play a role in the project, for example, assisting in the operational management, marketing, research, and investment search.
The mentor must be reliable and financially sound, as well as independent of the project applicant.
Companies can also act as mentors if they are registered in the Commercial Register of the CCI of the Netherlands and have been recognized as reliable and qualified.
Programs and organizations such as Rockstart, Startup Bootcamp, and Impact Hub, as well as educational institutions, investors, or business angels, can take on the role of a mentor.
8. What agreement should be made with a mentor?
The agreement should clearly state:
- the nature of mentoring,
- mentoring conditions,
- what is the potential interest of the mentor in the company involved in the implementation of the project.
9. How can a company that wants to act as a mentor check in advance whether it meets the requirements or not?
Mentor approval process is part of the project review process.
It is determined that the Applicant must have a minimum amount of 1139.90 euros per month for the entire planned period of his stay in the country.
10. Does this mean that this amount should be in the applicant's bank account on a monthly basis for twelve months?
No. If the Applicant plans to stay in the Netherlands for one year, then the bank account at the beginning of the period should contain an amount 12 times the monthly minimum amount of 1139.90 euro.
The applicant must prove that he has sufficient resources at his disposal for the planned duration of the stay.
11. Is a bank account opened in the name of the Applicant outside the Netherlands sufficient to process the application?
No, it should be a bank account open only in the Netherlands.
12. Can the Applicant use the bank guarantee received at the bank of the country of residence to prove that he has enough finances to obtain a residence permit?
No, a bank guarantee received at a foreign bank is not accepted. Funds must be transferred to a bank account in the Netherlands.
13. For how long is the initial residence permit issued? What opportunities exist for its extension?
The initial residence permit is issued for a period of one year. At the end of the first year, the Applicant can extend his residence permit as self-employment, provided that he meets the standard requirements applicable to "individual entrepreneurs" in the Netherlands.
14. When can the applicant apply for a residence permit under the self-employment scheme?
The applicant must comply with the standard requirements applicable to individual entrepreneurs.
In addition, he must have a mentor's statement indicating that for at least 3 months the Applicant has performed the tasks of managing the company and has achieved positive results. This fact is the basis to consider that the Applicant has gained sufficient experience and created a viable company.
If you are interested in obtaining a residence permit in the Netherlands, we are ready to prepare a full package of documents and accompany the applicant at all stages of the procedure, both in Russia and in the Netherlands.