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DALL·E 2024-01-09 11.15.45 - An image depicting various symbols representing the paths to

Visa & Immigration

Paths to Residency



The Netherlands, with its rich cultural heritage and thriving economy, offers a variety of pathways for US citizens seeking residency. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a skilled professional, or looking to unite with family, there's a route tailored to your situation. Here we outline the four main avenues to obtaining residency in The Netherlands: the DAFT Visa for American Entrepreneurs, the Highly Skilled Worker Visa, and family-based routes including being the parent or spouse of an EU citizen.

1. DAFT Visa for American Entrepreneurs:

The Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) provides a unique opportunity for American entrepreneurs. If you're looking to start a business in The Netherlands, the DAFT visa could be your path to residency. The key requirement is a reasonable investment of €4,500 in your enterprise, making it an accessible option for many budding entrepreneurs. This visa not only opens the door to the Dutch market but also grants residency, allowing you to experience the Dutch way of life while growing your business.


2. Highly Skilled Worker Visa: For professionals with specialized skills, the Highly Skilled Worker Visa is an excellent option. This pathway requires sponsorship from a Dutch employer and is designed for those who have secured a job in The Netherlands. It's a testament to the country's commitment to attracting global talent, offering a streamlined process for skilled individuals to contribute to the Dutch economy while enjoying the benefits of living in this dynamic country.


3. Family Routes: Family unification is another significant pathway to Dutch residency. This includes two primary scenarios: being the parent of an EU citizen or the spouse of an EU citizen. If your child is an EU citizen residing in The Netherlands, you can apply for residency to live with them. Similarly, if your spouse is an EU citizen, you are eligible to join them in The Netherlands. These family routes are designed to uphold the values of family unity and provide a supportive environment for international families.


The Netherlands offers diverse and accessible paths to residency for US citizens. Each route has its own set of requirements and benefits, catering to different backgrounds and life situations. Understanding these options is the first step towards starting your new life in The Netherlands. For personalized guidance and support in navigating these pathways, setup an initial call with David Van Assche of Expats Relocation, BV.

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