NETHERLANDS: Policy Introduced to Encourage Foreign Business Start-Ups

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) introduced a new policy on 1st April which provides opportunity for highly skilled foreign workers, foreign students and foreign scientific researchers who hold a valid residence permit, to carry out self-employed activities alongside the main employment or studies that are permitted under their residence permit.

Previously, these residence permit holders required separate work authorisation to undertake self-employed activities. This is no longer the case under the new policy, with the only caveat being that the requirements for the current residence status as a highly skilled migrant, EU Blue card holder, student or scientific researcher must remain fulfilled.

The policy has been introduced to encourage new business start-ups, and follows a number of beneficial changes to the rules for foreign nationals introduced in an effort to attract more skilled foreign talent, such as the decision in November 2016 to implement the Intra-company Transfer Directive (ICT).

For advice on whether the above policy could benefit you, or for information on Dutch immigration in general, please email us at

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