Changes to residence permit scheme for foreign investors

The Ministry of Justice has announced in January that it will implement a number of changes to the residence permit scheme for foreign investors, in order to make it more attractive and encourage more foreigner to invest in the Netherlands. Investors who are prepared to invest €1.25m in Dutch companies will receive a three year residence permit in return, with possibility for further extension.

The scheme was first implemented a few years ago, but has attracted limited attention due to the fact that an initial residence was only issued for one year, creating uncertainty about future extensions.

In addition, applicants will no longer need to provide an accountant’s statement declaring that none of the invested funds are derived from illegal activities. The immigration offices will however still conduct a check with relevant international authorities to see whether the investor can be linked to any suspicious financial transactions.

In order to qualify for the scheme, the investment amount needs to be invested in a company registered and operating in The Netherlands and assist in creating jobs or innovation or bring other advantages to the Dutch economy. A scoring system will be implemented where the investor can score point on three criteria:

  • contribution to innovation
  • contribution to employment (at least 10 fulltime positions created)
  • non-financial contributions such as network and knowledge

While previously contribution to innovation was a required element, in the new system the investor has to score sufficiently on two out of three criteria. The ministry  furthermore has made it clear that property purchase alone is not enough in order to qualify for the scheme.

The changed scheme will come into effect on July 1st 2016.