Dutch residency for US citizens getting harder

Published:  9 Aug at 6 PM
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US expats are having increasing problems getting Dutch residency.

The Netherlands’ popularity with expats is drawing ever-increasing numbers of US citizens to Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, but residency permits seem to be harder to get. Normally, American citizens have a head start as regards residency permits due to the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty which permits entrepreneurs to reside in the country. Requirements are straightforward and set in tablets of stone within the treaty, giving US expats an easy ride as regards Dutch bureaucracy.

The requirements stated in the treaty include registration of the company, the amount of capital injected into a startup by its entrepreneur as well as active work being done to develop the company.Initiated in 1958, the treaty and its requirements have never changed during the intervening 60 years, but recent applicants for residency have noted a decided shift in attitude towards their requests by Dutch immigration officials. The emphasis is now being placed on money made since the start of a company, rather than its growth potential and estimated future earnings as well as its benefits to the Dutch economy.

Even when a startup isn’t an immediate creator of revenue, immigration offers are now demanding financial documentation showing revenue, although this is not legally required. Applicants now believe immigration is attempting to push interpretation of the treaty towards money rather than development potential, thus making residency far harder to get. Applications that don’t show immediate financial benefits are now being refused, and already grated residency permits are being revoked, with no reasons given in explanation of the change in focus.
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