Netherlands MVV: what self-employed Britons need to know

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It’s encouraging to see UK creative industries professionals who work on a freelance basis being directed towards the Netherlands’s MVV visa.

But there’s quite a bit of small print for Britons to first get their head around before they can gauge if they are eligible for this long-stay visa, writes Kevin Austin, managing director of Access Financial.

In fact, in the case of a Briton who wishes to live and work in the Netherlands as a self-employed person, there are specific requirements that they must meet before making an application.


There are the standard requirements -- like possessing both a valid passport and a clean criminal record, but there are other hurdles that such individuals must overcome too.

One such hurdle potentially arises from freelancers having to submit their commercial offering to the Dutch Immigration Department (‘IND’), which then submits the project to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), which will assessthe application.

There is a requirement that the freelancer’s offering must be a new product or service as far as The Netherlands is concerned.

RVO -- the judge of what's 'new'

Since there is very little entirely ‘new’ nowadays (that hasn’t been thought of or done before), this requirement is unlikely to be enforced literally. The decision will be taken on the project's viability and economic contribution.

Specifically, the RVO assesses the essential interest of the work you want to start as a self-employed person in these three areas:

  • Personal experience
  • Business Plan
  • Added value for the Netherlands.
  • ,

    Our tip when submitting to the RVO? Keep it simple

    In its assessment, the RVO gives each area a rating. You will need an overall score of 90 points across the three criteria.

    Some freelancers might feel it’s odd to have their offering, idea or project scrutinised like this. But in the UK, too, civil servants are often involved in these matters, regardless of whether they are suited /experienced enough, or qualified to make decisions on a commercial basis.

    In our experience, to be successful, the UK freelancer will have to explain the business or their plans in straightforward terms.

    This should be done while bearing in mind that the criteria of the points-based system is a formula. So some careful judgement is therefore needed.

    Registration, (income) demonstration, and commissions

    Freelancers undeterred by this process can read more about how the RVO awards points here.

    If a sole trader, freelancers looking to work in the Netherlands must register their business with the Trade Register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

    Self-employed Britons will also have to demonstrate that they have a minimum income of a monthly gross profit of €1,462.41. (£1,300)

    Know the other key numbers

    And you will have to hold the required permits for your job or profession.

    In addition, you must have one or more commissions in the Netherlands as a freelancer. Working as a freelancer in the Netherlands means having no boss and accepting separate commissions.And the application fee for the self-employed residence permit is €350.

    Furthermore, be aware the IND has up to 90 days to issue a decision on your application. But the IND can extend the decision period by up to six months if they pose other questions to you.

    The IND can also extend the decision period if it takes longer, such as if the application simply still needs to be completed. In that case, the IND will send a message to the applicant.

    Lastly, the decision letter...

    Finally, you will receive the decision in a letter. The decision will be positive or negative.

    If positive, you will get a residence permit. If negative, you will not receive a residence permit, but you can appeal the decision.

    We recommend taking independent professional advice for that appeal and the MVV application process.

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