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For those stopping briefly in the Netherlands (even for a few hours) en route to another destination or staying for up to three months, depending on your nationality you may need to get a short-stay visa.

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If you come to the Netherlands on a residence permit as a ‘highly skilled migrant', or as a graduate spending a year searching for work, you can work without the employer needing to organise a separate work permit for you.

If you come as a scientific researcher, the research institution doesn’t need to get a work permit for you, however, if you work for another employer at the same time, your other employer will need to get one.

If you have dual nationality (and passports), whether or not you need a visa depends on which travel document you'll be using to travel to the Netherlands (even if you're not living there at the time of travel).

For stays longer than four months, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are expected to register with the personal records database (BRP) and get a citizen service number (or BSN), which is a social security and tax number.

They have one common visa and no border controls between them, so citizens in the Schengen area can travel freely to the Netherlands.

If you're a citizen from one of the countries in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA; EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you don't need a visa to visit, live, work or study in the Netherlands ­– however long you stay – unless you’re from the newer EU member, Croatia (see below).

For the time being, there are work restrictions for Croatian citizens: you may only work in the Netherlands if your employer has a work permit for you for the first 12 months.

After 12 months’ continuous, legal employment, you can work freely in the Netherlands without a permit. those from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland) will usually only be able to work in the Netherlands if an employer has obtained a work permit in their name.

Each Dutch permit has its own conditions, requirements, restrictions and length of validity.

For more information, read the relevant article depending on your individual circumstances: If you're already in the Netherlands and wish to leave the country temporarily but your current residence permit expires while you're away, or you have a pending visa application (say to replace a lost residence document or a change of purpose of stay), you may need a return visa to get back into the Netherlands.

Once you have been living in the Netherlands for five uninterrupted years, you can apply for permanent residence: Once you have lived in the Netherlands for five, uninterrupted years (three years if you’ve been with a Dutch spouse or partner for three years), you can become a Dutch citizen through naturalisation.

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