Residence permit for start-up essential personnel

23 May 2022

Last year the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) started a pilot with the aim to make it easier for innovative start-ups to hire international personnel whose expertise is essential to the success of their burgeoning business. The pilot will continue until 1 June 2025 and employees using this permit may work another 12 months with the start-up after the pilot has finished.  

The most important conditions for the verblijfsvergunning voor essentieel start-uppersoneel (essential personnel for start-up companies) are:

  • The employee will be in paid employment with an innovative start-up with scalable activities.
  • A maximum of 15 employees work with the company.
  • The startup can only employ 5 foreign employees using a verblijfsvergunning voor essentieel start-uppersoneel (essential personnel for start-up companies).
  • The employee will receive a salary at least equal to the reduced salary requirement for highly skilled migrants.
  • The employee will receive an employee participation of at least 1% in the start-up. This is given as stock options, depository receipts for shares or shares without voting rights.

If the prospective employee is not yet resident in the Netherland the start-up applies for the residence permit at the IND. If the employee is already resident in the Netherlands the prospective employee may apply themselves. During the application procedure the IND refers to the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland – RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency). The RVO provides advice on the start-up, the role the employee will have in the company and the employee participation.

For more information about the verblijfsvergunning voor essentieel start-uppersoneel head to the IND website.