The Dutch Freelance Visa explained

The Netherlands is like a freelancing paradise, especially if you’re a go-getter. Here’s why:

  1. Freedom to Roam: You’re a freelancer because you cherish your freedom. With the Dutch Freelance Visa, you can be your own boss. No need to hunt for a job with a Dutch boss; you can keep doing what you love, which is building your own empire.
  2. Market Buzz: The Netherlands is buzzing with all sorts of business opportunities with a strong demand for freelancers in various sectors, including tech, design, and consulting.
  3. Strategic Spot: Situated in the heart of Europe, the Netherlands provides easy access to major European markets, making it perfect for your freelance gig.

Let’s be real, it’s not a piece of cake. This visa operates on a scoring system (of the Aliens Act 2000). Besides the usual stuff, your business has to be a big deal for the Dutch economy. That’s why the process can drag on (up to 6 months), and why many applications hit a dead end.

To start a business in the Netherlands, your product or service has to be top-notch. The IND (that’s like the immigration boss) calls in the RVO (like the right-hand person of the Minister of Economic Affairs). They’ll judge your business idea based on three things:

  • Your experience.
  • Your plan.
  • How you’ll benefit the country.

They’ll give points based on their assessment. If you get at least 30 points for each thing, or 45 for your experience and 45 for your plan – boom, your business is essential to the Netherlands! 

To prove all this, you’ll need documents like sales contracts, a bank statement, diplomas, or a snazzy website with client testimonials. It might sound like a bunch of work, but here’s the catch: the RVO’s test is more about their gut feeling than hard numbers.

In the end, it’s all about how much value your company or service adds to the Dutch economy. So, make sure your business plan spells out how you’ll give the Dutch economy a boost. Think of it as a fancy job interview with the Dutch government. Your resume, portfolio, work history, clients, education – they all count.

In the scoring system of the Aliens Act 2000, points are assigned to the following categories, among others:

  • education (the higher the education received, the higher the points)
  • entrepreneurial experience
  • work experience
  • total income
  • Experience with the Netherlands or entrepreneurial experience with Dutch companies or clients.
  • The structure of your business and the investments you have made.

If you’re Turkish or have lived in another EU country for a long time, you don’t need to worry about the points system.

If you’re from the United States or Japan and meet these conditions, your visa won’t be assessed using the scoring system due to the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or Dutch-Japanese Trade Treaty visa:

  1. Be from the USA or Japan.
  2. Do business between the Netherlands and the USA or Japan.
  3. Run a business in the Netherlands.
  4. Have an important role in a USA or Japanese company.
  5. Work independently (not for the government or in healthcare).
  6. Invest a good amount of money in your business, usually at least €4,500

In conclusion, navigating the Dutch Freelance Visa process may seem complex, but it offers promising opportunities for freelancers. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant business scene, diverse markets, or the strategic location in the heart of Europe, the Netherlands has much to offer.

Keep in mind that eligibility criteria can vary based on your nationality, so it’s essential to understand the specific requirements that apply to you. With the right preparation, determination, and a touch of Dutch entrepreneurial spirit, you can unlock the door to a thriving freelance career in the Netherlands.

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