Thursday, January 9, 2014

DAFT: The Residence Permit

Dutch Immigration Part VII

From what I had heard, 3 months was a typical amount of time to hear back from the IND. So, I waited for 3 months and then my Dutchman gave them a call. The person on the phone was able to look on their computer to see that it had not yet finished processing, though they did not know what it was waiting on. So we waited awhile longer, with occasional phone calls to check if there was any progress. Finally, we reached the 6 month mark, and still no permit. With another call, we were told that since they had passed the allowed amount of time, we could hold the IND in default. We would need to fill out a form, and then the IND would have 2 weeks to respond. If they missed that deadline as well, I would be eligible for a refund.

The agent also explained that they were unusually busy at that moment due to an extraordinary number of renewal applications. Seems a number of illegal immigrants had been pardoned awhile back and all of them needed their permits renewed at once. Apparently my timing wasn't so great.

So I was busy filling out the default papers, when I check the mail one day and lo-and-behold there was an envelope from the IND. Inside was the notice that my application was approved! It also stated that my permit was valid for 2 years from the date the application was submitted (so I had a year and a half left), though I had understood it would be good for a year. Maybe this was because the application took so long to process so I would have only had 6 months left at that point?

At any rate, I now have a nifty wallet sized permit/ID card to flash around.

Time for a celebratory drink!


  1. Congratulations Shannon!
    Thank you for putting together this blog. I'm preparing to apply for DAFT and keep referring to your posts for advice.
    Can you tell me if you had to have your diplomas verified by Nuffic? I've seen on some sites it is required but not on other pages. When looking into Nuffic I was surprised at how expensive it was and how long it took...
    Thank you! Matt

    1. My diploma was not involved in my application at all. Are you starting a business that requires a diploma? The only reasons I could think of to have a verified diploma is if you are coming for educational purposes or are working in a field that requires a certification. Personally, though, I did not need this.

  2. Yes thanks Shannon. I finally got a hold of someone at IND who said the same thing, though the first person I spoke to there last December did tell me I need a verified diploma. It's all quite confusing. I think to apply for the same VISA (Self-employed) but as someone from any other country then you need the diplomas, business plans, contracts, financial history, etc etc... but with DAFT it is not needed. Thanks

    1. Yep, this is exactly why I wrote up my experience to help people sort out all the conflicting information. Some agents are more familier with the DAFT than others, so it doesn't hurt to ask several times to make sure you have the right answers. Sounds like you are on your way, best of luck!

  3. Dear Shannon, Thank you so much for your blog! I am writing a spec article on DAFT for an american magazine. Would you be interested in being interviewed? I would very much appreciate including your experiences since you did this on your own (without hiring an immigration attorney).

    1. Hi Susan, I remember you've posted before. I'll send you my e-mail address through Google+

  4. Hi Shannon! Didn't receive email, but it may be because I refused to let Google take over the family computer. My email is: Thank you!!!

  5. WOW! Exciting! Do you think it would be reasonable to do this whole process from the US? I know your experience was a bit different.. because you were in the Netherlands. I can travel there if necessary to register with the Municipality and KVK but I am relunctant to just quit my job in the US just in case I get denied. My boyfriend has a place in Holland and he is Dutch but does not make the required amount of money to sponsor me. That is why I am going this route (plus we want to start a business). I just landed back in the states yesterday and am desperately trying to find information to do this. I miss him terribly. Any advice would help!

    1. Hi Vanessa. If you read through my whole process some of your other questions should have been answered already, so I'll just comment here.

      I'm not sure if there is a way to register with the municipality or KVK without visiting them in person. You can always ask them to find out for sure. Same with the bank, contact them and ask for whoever handles their US clients to find out how to open an account.

      Hypothetically, you may be able to apply with the IND by mail, but you may need to do some extra steps to get a provisional residence permit first. I am not sure exactly how this would work, so I recommend contacting the IND or the Dutch embassy. This is what it says on the application form about sending it by mail:

      "Please note! If you rely on an exemption from the requirement to
      apply for a regular provisional residence permit you cannot send the
      application by post. In that case, you must always submit the application
      to the IND Desk in person.
      Please visit for the ways you can contact the IND.
      If you do not reside in the Netherlands, you must have the application
      submitted by your sponsor in the Netherlands or you contact the Dutch
      embassy or consulate in your country of origin in order to apply for a
      regular provisional residence permit."

      I would also give one other piece of advice, since I also came over to spend time with a Dutch boyrfriend, and that would be to look into expat life and the other mundane aspects of living in the Netherlands. Have you started learning Dutch? Otherwise, will you be able to conduct your business if you don't speak the language, and if not do you have enough savings to get by until you have an income? Though it is not required, having a business plan can be useful to figure out issues like this. Getting the residence permit is only the first step. Best of luck to you and your boyfriend!

    2. Thank you for your response! I read your blog and a couple others (yours by far the best/most informative). I concluded that doing the process in the Netherlands is a safer bet - I'm just afraid of getting denied and then having no job back in the States (guess that's a risk I would have to take). I have been reading about Dutch life for a year and a half now, I have also spent a total of 2 months there (which isn't much)and yes I am learning Dutch but at the begining stages. I would be able to conduct business with the help of my bf who is fluent in both languages. Also I have enough saved for the 4500 euro requirement and the application, plane ticket, etc. I am still saving more before I start the process in a couple of months. However I do own a home in Florida and will be renting it out which will give me roughly a 600 euro/month profit/income. Also my BF works and with his income and me not having to pay rent I would be able to survive just fine. What do you think?

      I do have a couple questions (sorry for being all over the place):

      For the BSN your BF only had to fill out a form saying you would live with him? Does he rent or own the home? (my bf rents and I wanted to know if that would be ok). Also could I use the home address for my business location address? - For instance if I sell ceramics do I need a studio? or can I use my BF address as the business address?

      Do you have to prove a profit for the renewal?

      What type of business did you start? (I know you said you are an artist)

    3. We rent an apartment and I had no trouble registering here. My boyfriend came with me to the city hall and filled out a form and they checked his ID. There was nothing too complicated since he was already registered at this address. I will say, though, that the registration may vary some depending on the city. If you read the instructions provided by Amsterdam, for instance, they wanted a few more things I didn't have to worry about.

      There is no problem using your home address as your business address (as long as it is just an office and you aren't using it as a retail store :-))

      For renewal, as I understand it you don't need to show a profit, you just need to maintain the 4500 euros. I will get the renewal letter in a few months so maybe I will be able to write something about that process later.

      Yep, I'm an artist--painting/drawing. I have a sole proprietership and work in a home studio/office. I do portraits on commission, as well as sell at galleries, craft shows, etc. If you are curious what my work is you can visit my website: .

  6. HI Shannon,
    thanks for the great information about your DAFTventures in the NL.

    I was wondering: were there, at any point, any questions asked about business prospects and number of clients, and/or previous companies started in the US? I gather that through this treaty Americans don't have to go through this hassle.. but I've been diving deep into immigration to the Netherlands for some time and it strikes me as pretty hard to penetrate.
    It almost sounds too 'easy' (I realize it's still a ton of organization) to qualify for a residence permit by just 1) being American 2) starting a sole proprietorship 3) having €4500. How about income requirements? Did you have to prove sustainable funds? I can't find a section on the IND forms you posted but I'm still wondering if you've come across anything of the sort.

    Thanks again, good luck with your art, you rock!

    1. Nope, I was never asked about the financial outlook for my business or anything beyond having the required investment. However, I did include my own estimated numbers in the business plan I handed in with my application--again, not listed as a requirement, but I also felt it seemed too easy to not at least include an outline of what I was going to do and wanted to have my bases covered. The only time anything like this came up was with the tax office when they were assessing whether I qualified as a business for the various tax categories, but that has no impact on the IND decision.