ACCESS NL > Dual careers in the Netherlands > Starting a business in the Netherlands > Dutch startup visa > What is the Start-up visa? And can I apply for it?

Dutch startup visa

What is the Start-up visa? And can I apply for it?

The Netherlands has a start-up program for non-EU entrepreneurs who intend to start an innovative business in The Netherlands. The program is considered a lighter version of the strict point-based program.

Entrepreneurs obtain a temporary residence permit for one year to develop their idea into a business plan with the support of a facilitator.

The following conditions apply:

  • the business must be supported by a facilitator in the Netherlands.
  • a step by step plan of how to develop your idea into a business
  • the applicant must have sufficient funds to live in The Netherlands
  • be registered with the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce (KvK)
  • the product or service should be innovative
  • Innovation: Three aspects are reviewed to measure innovation:
  1. the start-up operates in an innovative way
  2. the product or service is new in the Netherlands
  3. the start-up uses new technology in its production, distribution and/or marketing process
  • After one year, the start-up should apply for a new residence permit as a self-employed entrepreneur under the points-based system.
  • Startups can submit a favourable recommendation from their business facilitator that will replace the points-based system. If successful, the new permit will be granted for five years.

The facilitator plays an important part, but the entrepreneur is the one who takes an active role in the development of the business, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) grants the status of facilitator for one year based on certain criteria.

Visit the following website to find out about  potential facilitators:

For more specifics on this topic consult the following links: