The immigration procedure to the Netherlands can seem intimidating to the uninitiated. Fortunately, the Netherlands is one of the most welcoming EU countries with an attractive and accessible immigration procedure for businesses and highly skilled people – including non-EU resident migrants.

There are lots of misconceptions about the process, but with this article, we are going to set the record straight by debunking the most common myths.

MYTH #1: The only family I can bring to the Netherlands on my work visa is my spouse or children

Most countries’ immigration policies allow foreigners who are relocating for work to bring their spouse and/or young children. The Netherlands is no different. In fact, if you check out the IND website, you will find plenty of pages with information about the immigration process, specifically for spouses and children. If you or your employee comes from outside the EU, and are reading this information, it is easy to come to the conclusion that workers are only allowed to come with their immediate family – spouse and children.

The truth is, there are possibilities to bring anyone who you consider “immediate family” as long as you can provide the right evidence. As long as your family member meets the criteria for residence and you’re able to support them financially, it is possible to make a case for them to join you in the Netherlands! Partners and/or minor children are the most common cases for family reunification, especially during short-term stays, but if your prospects in the Netherlands are more long-term, it may be worth discussing options with an immigration lawyer.

MYTH #2: You can arrive in the Netherlands before you receive your long-stay visa

It is possible you’ll need a permit to enter the Netherlands if you are planning on moving here long-term. This permit is called an ‘MVV’. Certain nationalities and cases are exempt, but it’s a common requirement for migrants from outside the EU.

It is usually the responsibility of employers to apply for this permit for you. But if you find yourself without one, or you are responsible for your own relocation, make sure you have this permit in your passport before you get on the plane. Nobody wants a confrontation with border control in addition to all the regular stresses of moving abroad.

MYTH #3: I can hire and relocate as many non-EU employees to the Netherlands as soon as I register my business

Like most countries, the Netherlands requires employers to pay their migrant employees a sufficient salary in order to live here. Unlike most countries, businesses from outside the EU must register their business with the Dutch immigration department as a “recognized sponsor.” Many new companies in the Netherlands do not expect this step, but it can add (at least) another 90 days to your hiring timeline if you skip it.

MYTH #4: If my application is denied — it’s final

Having a complete application for a visa denied by the IND is rare, but it can happen. If your application does get denied, there is an accessible appeal process in place. You’ll have to pay a small fee, but you can submit an appeal online which will be received directly by the IND.

If you do need to submit an objection, keep in mind that there will be a separate decision period that begins after the decision period ends on your initial application.

MYTH #5: It takes months to get a Dutch visa

Gathering the official items you need to apply for a Dutch visa takes time. Once you finally manage to submit your application, the IND will review your application within a “decision period.” If you check the IND website, you will see the majority of the visas have a decision period of up to 90 days.

Many would interpret this as “my application will be granted/denied in at least 90 days,” but it’s not necessarily true. If your case is relatively straightforward, it can take less than half that time to receive a decision. In fact, we have been able to get visas granted in as little as 2 weeks!

So that is it! 5 common myths about the Dutch immigration process debunked. This information should help you orient yourself for your move to the Netherlands. We at the Octagon team are not immigration lawyers – we just have a lot of experience working with the IND.

Are you planning to move your business or employees to the Netherlands? Get in touch with us, we can help.