If you’re planning a move to the Netherlands, you’ve probably been waist-deep in official paperwork and embassy appointments from your home country. Immigrating to any country can be a stressful situation, but the Netherlands is one of the more welcoming EU countries – especially for non-EU resident migrants.

After a particularly unique year working with the IND, we’ve learned all the ins-and-outs of the Dutch immigration process. There are lots of misconceptions about the process, but with this article, we’re going to set the record straight.

MYTH #1: I can only move here with my spouse or minor children

If you’re moving here for work, as a highly skilled migrant or otherwise, it’s natural to think that it’s only possible to bring your immediate family. In fact, if you check out the IND website, you will find plenty of pages with information about this process specifically for spouses and children. But the truth is, you can sponsor just about anyone in your family that you consider “immediate family.” As long as your family member meets the criteria for residence and you’re able to financially support them, you can always make a case for them to join you in the Netherlands!

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

It’s possible you’ll need a permit to enter the Netherlands if you’re 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’s usually the responsibility of your employer to apply for this permit for you. But if you find yourself without one, or you’re responsible for your own relocation, make sure you have this permit. Nothing is worse than getting turned away at the border on moving day.

MYTH #3: I can hire and relocate as many employees to the Netherlands as I can afford

Like most countries, the Netherlands requires employers to pay their migrant employees a sufficient salary in order to live here. Unlike most countries, these employers must register their business with the Dutch immigration department as a “recognized sponsor.” Many new businesses in the Netherlands don’t expect this step, but it can add 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, the Netherlands has an accessible appeal process in place. You’ll have to pay a small fee, but you can submit an appeal online without having to hire a lawyer.

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’ll 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’ve been able to get visas granted in as little as 2 weeks!

So that’s 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 aren’t 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.