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What do I need before leaving?

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Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to carry out research in the Netherlands? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfill and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

A scientific researcher under Directive 2005/71/EC is a non-EU national holding an appropriate higher education qualification, which gives access to doctoral programmes, who is selected by a research organisation for carrying out a research project for which the above qualification is normally required.

PhD students and guest researchers are also included within this scope.

You will need a provisional residence permit (mvv) and/or a residence permit. The provisional residence permit is a special visa for stays of more than three months in the Netherlands.

Not everyone needs a provisional residence permit to apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands. Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and the Vatican are exempt from the provisional residence permit requirement. There are also other specific circumstances under which a provisional residence permit is not required.

Conditions to migrate to the Netherlands as a scientific researcher


Where and how to apply

Only a recognised research institution can submit an application on behalf of a researcher. The research institution is your recognised sponsor. The sponsor is the person or organisation with an interest in your entry to the Netherlands.

Recognised research institutes qualify for the fast-track procedure. This means that the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) aims to decide within two weeks after having received an application.

For more information on how to enter the Netherlands, please check here, or contact your research institution as to the procedures to be followed.

Documents required

To apply for a residence permit as a scientific researcher under Directive 2005/71/EC, your research institution needs certain documents. Please check with your research institution which documents you need to submit.

You will in any event need a copy of your travel document (for example a passport) containing the identification/ personal details, including copies of pages containing travel stamps.

Duration of validity of permits

The residence permit is granted for the same duration as the research project as specified in the guest agreement, with a maximum of 5 years.

This also applies to your family member(s) if they are joining you in the Netherlands.

Further requirements

Upon arrival, you must:

  • collect the residence document in person from an Immigration and Naturalisation Service desk;
  • register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) in the municipality where you will be living;
  • make an appointment within three months after the permit has been granted with the Municipal Health Service (GGD) to undergo a tuberculosis test if required.
More information on arrival in the Netherlands


If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has rejected your application, this will be specified in an official letter (= Decision) from the IND. If you do not agree with the decision, you can register an objection to it, or authorise someone in the Netherlands to do so on your behalf. The official letter explains how to start the procedure for this.

In some cases, the IND is not able to reach a decision in time. The IND may be in default. You can then send a written notice of default to the IND.

If after having registered an objection, the IND has stated your objections to be unfounded, it is possible for you to appeal against this decision to the Dutch court.

More on appeals
Further information More on the admission as a researcher in the Netherlands


Extension of stay

If you wish to extend your stay, you must apply for this. The application for an extension of your residence permit can be submitted in writing. The IND will assess whether you meet the requirements for prolonging your stay.

More on extension of stay

Change of status

If, during your legal stay in the Netherlands, something changes in your personal situation or your purpose of stay, this could affect your current residence permit. It may be that, as a result of the change, you no longer meet the conditions under which you were granted permission to stay in the Netherlands.

When you no longer meet these conditions the IND may consider revoking your residence permit and you will have to leave the Netherlands. If you, however, wish to stay in the Netherlands you will then have to apply for a change of purpose of your stay. Please note that when you apply for a change of purpose, this will also be assessed as an application for an extension.

More on a change of status


On the residence document you will find your employment status (arbeidsmarktaantekening). This status tells you whether and under which conditions you are allowed to work.

As a holder of a residence permit as a scientific researcher in the meaning of Directive 2005/71/EC you are allowed to work in the Netherlands. The research institution does not need a work permit (twv). For work other than as a scientific researcher, your employer has to have a work permit (twv) for you. This means that you are only allowed to work if your employer holds a twv in your name.

Family members are free to work on the labour market.

Permanent residence

If you have lawfully lived in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of five years and you have a valid residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of stay, such as scientific researcher, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. Certain conditions will have to be met in order to be eligible for permanent residence.

More on permanent residence

Family reunification

As the holder of a residence permit to work as a scientific researcher in the meaning of Directive 2005/71/EC, it is possible to bring your spouse, (registered) partner or minor child(ren) to the Netherlands. Certain conditions will have to be met in order to be allowed to bring your family members.
Certain conditions

More on family reunification