Migration Law

Getting a Working Permit in The Netherlands as an U.S.A. citizen

If you are a US national and you would like to set up a business in the Netherlands, you can make use of favorable regulations to work and live in the Netherlands.

The reason is that US nationals may use the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT). The purpose of the Dutch American Friendship Treaty is to promote the economies of both the United States of America and the Netherlands and to stimulate trade and business on a bi-lateral basis.

Conditions for residence under the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or
the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Netherlands and Japan

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) grants a residence permit to a foreign national who is a citizen of the United States of America or Japan if the person

  • a. trades between the territories of both contracting parties and
    engages in associated or related trading activities; or
  • b. develops or leads the operations of a business in which the foreign
    national invested, or is investing, a substantial amount of capital.

Ad b.
The IND defines the term ‘operations of a business’ in any event as one of the following situations:

  • the foreign national represents an American or Japanese business in the Netherlands and is employed by this business in a key position; or
  • the foreign national is an independent professional, unless they have a public role to some extent or hold a position in the healthcare or public safety sector.

In the situations mentioned below, the IND defines the term ‘substantial capital’ as follows:

  • Sole trader: capital enabling the entrepreneur to operate the business
    independently. The IND determines the amount of capital for each
    individual situation, but applies a minimum capital amount of €4,500;
  • General partnership: capital of at least 25% of the partnership capital,
    with a minimum capital amount of €4,500;
  • Limited partnership: a limited partner is subject to the same capital
    requirements as a general partner. A limited partner does not operate
    a business and is not subject to the provisions of the treaties;
  • Private company: capital of at least 25% of the paid-up capital, with a
    minimum capital amount of €4,500.
  • Public company: at least 25% of the paid-up capital. The paid-up
    capital in the Netherlands is at least €45,000, which means that the
    ‘substantial capital’ is at least €11,250.

The IND does not count borrowed capital as part of the ‘substantial capital’.

The IND withdraws the residence permit if the substantial capital drops below the
minimum applicable to the type of business.

The residence permit will be issued for two years and upon finalizing two years, it
will be renewed for another five years. Your spouse and children will also be
permitted to reside in the Netherlands.

Furthermore you and your partner will be exempted from learning the Dutch
language or passing a Dutch civic integration exam.

The experience shows that despite the few requirements, to fulfill all the
requirements in short notice can be difficult without professional guidance. If you
have received a job offer to work in the Netherlands, don’t hesitate to call us for
legal advice, we are happy to help you!