Netherlands Working Visit Information

Here is a prototype guide for a U.S. citizen to work temporarily in the Netherlands for longer than three months. I assembled this out of research for my own trip to TU Delft for 3.5 months in 2005, and is provided in good faith, but this is not legal advice and I make no warranty of accuracy.

Most of the links here were part of my preliminary research, and many seemed moot after I actually arrived. The first section is a practical summary of what I found, and the rest of the immigration and permit information should be perhaps read more skeptically.

Lessons Learned

  1. All round-trip tickets I found from domestic airlines for trips of longer than three months to Holland were exorbitant. It is worth considering breaking an extended stay into two segments shorter than three months; probably the ticket price will be the same, and you will get a trip home to boot.
  2. TU Delft obtained a work permit for me ahead of my visit, which just required some documentation from me, such as a copy of my passport, a CV, copies of my diplomas, and a document describing my qualifications.
  3. Getting on the TU Delft payroll required having a SoFi number and a bank account. The university seems to only support payment by direct bank deposit once per month, on a particular day.
  4. Obtaining a SoFi number required having a work permit, my passport, and a sticker in my passport. At first, no one seemed to know what this sticker was, but it turned out to be a proof of being in-process on a residence permit. From the web sites below I thought I might need a birth certificate with an apostille, but was never asked for that.
  5. I obtained the sticker by filling out a big application form available at the Delft Gemeente building, and paying the Euro430 residence application fee. Actually, the lab paid it for me; be sure to negotiate this ahead of time, I was fortunate to have a forgiving host, because as far as the university is concerned, this fee is your responsibility. The process takes six months, so the entire residence application was moot, it would be invalid when my work permit expired, well before it was issued.
  6. Getting a bank account from PostBank requires either a paystub or proof of Delft residence, and a SoFi number; the bank was quite inflexible.
  7. However, obtaining Delft proof of residence by registering with the town hall is not possible unless your stay is longer than four months, so I was not able to obtain this. (By town hall, I mean the Gemeente building by the train line, not the historic building in the square.)
  8. Since I could not obtain the Delft residence proof for the PostBank account, I was caught in a dependency loop, since the pay stub option required the account and the account required the pay stub. I ended up convincing an ABN-AMRO bank manager to give me an account; the private bank was more negotiable.
  9. The entire time through this process, all the Dutch I talked to about this laughed and told me that whatever I learned, it would probably change in six months. And no one at the university seemed to have a handle on this process, it seemed as if we were discovering this for the first time.


  1. Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport is required.

  2. In general, a residence permit does not allow employment. If you intend to work in The Netherlands, apart from a temporary residency permit (which allows you to stay in the country) a work permit is needed. For more information on work permits please visit the website of the Netherlands Board of Work and Income

    In my case, my Dutch employer was responsible for obtaining a work permit on my behalf, and required documentation from me (copies of diplomas, passport).

  3. From the embassy page: American citizens who intend to stay in the Netherlands for a period longer than three months (90 days) should apply for a temporary residence permit (so called ‘VTV’) within 3 days after arrival in the Netherlands at the local Alien Police (‘Vreemdelingenpolitie’) of the municipality in which he or she will be staying. The visitor must submit the following:

    1. proof of sufficient means to finance his/her stay in the Netherlands
    2. proof of adequate housing (my employer assisted with this)
    3. proof of health insurance covering all medical/hospital costs during the stay in the Netherlands
    4. a legalized birth certificate. Since both The Netherlands and the US are part of the ‘Hague Apostille Convention’ an apostille is the appropriate type of legalization (authentication), available from US State Departments.
  4. Registration / Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in the Netherlands are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General through the State Departments travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Netherlands.

  5. Getting a bank account. A practical choice is postbank. It looks as if you need to apply in person at a bank branch with a special office, and take proof of address. Cheques are not commonly used, cash is more common. The Chipknip or Chipper system allows a debit card to be directly used for small transactions via a separate balance encoded in a chip in the card. The Giro system allows direct account to account payments.

Non-U.S. citizens and the MMV

This guide is only intended to apply to U.S. citizens. At first, I thought I might need an MMV residence permit, but U.S. citizens only require a VTV. Here are the details on the MMV:

  1. From a brochure entitled “Residence in the Netherlands”: “In the following cases, among others, you will not need an MVV: You are a national of one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and Vatican City.”
  2. Non-US citizens might require a temporary residence permit (known variously as MVV or MMV):

Useful Netherlands Information

  1. The Embassy of The Netherlands in the U.S. is at 4200 Linnean Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300. Visit the Embassy of the Netherlands web site for the most current visa information.
  2. The U.S. Embassy is located in The Hague, at Lange Voorhout 102; tel. (31)(70) 310-9209. However, all requests for consular assistance, including registration, should be directed to the Consulate General in Amsterdam at Museumplein 19, tel. (31)(20) 575-5309. The after-hours emergency telephone number is (31)(70) 310-9499. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General web site at answers many questions of interest to Americans visiting or residing in the Netherlands.
  3. Everyone age 14 and above is required to carry identification at all times while in The Netherlands. Accepted forms of identification for U.S. citizens are either a Dutch residence card, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or a U.S. passport.
  4. Emergency medical response in the Netherlands can be accessed by calling 1-1-2.
  5. General information on the Netherlands at Dutch Press, just landed,
  6. Some information specific to TU Delft:

Page revision: 2006/03/26 01:08:53.

Garth Zeglin, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.