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The Hague: Visas and Permits for Expats

The Hague is a major political center of the Netherlands and the EU and a move there can open up great prospects in international law. Before moving to The Hague, the Netherlands’ largest city, get informed! Our guide on moving to The Hague has all the details on visas, transportation, and more.
The Hague holds political significance as international city of peace and justice.

Visas and Residence Permits

Citizens of the EU/EEA, Switzerland or any other country which is exempt from obtaining an entry visa, are free to travel to the Netherlands whenever they wish. However, citizens of certain countries are still required to apply for a visa before traveling to the Schengen area. You can find more information on this topic at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For stays exceeding 90 days, expats from non-EU/EEA countries need a residence permit (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf — MVV). This residence permit is valid for one year and can be extended or renewed under certain circumstances. Make sure to apply for a residence permit before you move to The Hague. The verification of the application form in your country can take up to 90 days.

Work Permits

Non-EU/EEA members also need a work permit to legally take up employment in the Netherlands. Your employer will have to apply for it on your behalf with the UWV Werkbedrijf. Alternatively, you can also try to apply for a work permit after your arrival in The Hague. You should, however, keep in mind that it can take up to three months until a permit is granted and that you are not allowed to work during this period.

There is an exception to this rule, however. You are free to work in The Hague or anywhere else in the Netherlands if you have a stamp from the IND or the alien police stating “Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist” (“Free to work, no work permit needed”). You can check the IND’s Residence Wizard if you are unsure which kind of visa or permit you need.

The EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a new kind of visa which is intended for highly skilled workers with a nationality other than that of EU/EEA countries. It is supposed to make it easier for expatriates and other foreigners to settle in the EU. However, the conditions are quite strict. Applicants must have an employment contract earning them at least 60,000 EUR gross, and they must have completed higher education courses of at least 3 years.

The advantage is that it is easier for EU Blue Card holders and their family members to settle in another EU country at a later point. After lawfully residing in the Netherlands on an EU Blue Card for several years, expats can opt for a change in their residence status to “continued residence” or “long-term residence”.

Residency Registration

Every expat, regardless of their nationality, has to register with their municipality administration for stays of over three months. This includes citizens of EU/EEA countries. The requirements for registration may vary depending on the reason for your stay. In general you need to submit the following paperwork upon registration:

  • a valid ID or passport
  • a birth certificate or marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • the sales contract or lease of your apartment or house

In The Hague, highly skilled migrants and expats often do not need to take care of registration themselves but can have this procedure arranged through their employer. This rule, however, only applies to you if you work for a business from a select group of companies falling under the Kennismigrantenregeling category. Talk to your employer to find out if this is actually the case.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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