Considering your day of landing in Netherlands as Day 0, below is the approximate timeline chart from preparation to settling in Netherlands. The timelines shown here is typical when processing from India.

Work Permit – Family travelling together situation:

-4 months: apply and ready your & family birth certificates; marriage certificate; passports. (Rule: marriage certificate on the day of visa stamping should be less than 6 months old; birth certificate can be old)

-3 months: get your & family birth and marriage certificates legalized. (this will take about 1 month)

-8 weeks: apply for Netherlands work permit visa (takes 3 to 6 weeks).

-2 weeks: schedule an appointment at the Mumbai/Delhi VFS office for application submission for you and family

-1 week: on the day of appointment, submit your application for visa stamping and await passport to be returned to you in 2 working days

 0 Day: fly to Netherlands

+1 day: Go to Expat center in your city for sticker stamping (this is also automatic application for Dutch Residence Permit) and registering your Netherlands residence address (this is also automatic application for BSN (Burger Service Number), the national identity number).

+2 weeks: Go for TB test

+3 weeks: receive BSN via post (you can now open Bank account)

+6 weeks: receive Residence permit

+10 weeks: apply for 30% ruling (if not applied within 3 months of arrival, the approval will apply from the month of approval. Hence make sure this is applied on time).

+ n Years: Your residence permit (RP) will expire in some years (1 to 5 years depending on the period your company has applied). You need to apply for renewal 3 months before expiry so that you get the new RP. If you do not get your RP on time you will need to get an extension sticker on your passport at the IND just before your current RP expires. CAUTION: Never let your Residence Permit expire. If you do, you will run into problems when you apply for PR/Citizenship.

+4.5 yrs (or later): (this step is needed only if you are aiming for Netherlands Permanent Residence or Citizenship): Start learning Dutch and clear the Inburgeren exam.

+5 yrs (or later): This step is optional. Apply for PR and/or Citizenship in the IND office. You will receive a PR in about 2 months; Citizenship in about 1 year. Click here for details.

Work Permit – Bachelor/travelling-alone situation:

Start at -8weeks above. Rest remains same.


Note: There is an ‘expedite’ process now available for long term travel (more than 3 months). This takes only 2 weeks (instead of the 3 to 6 weeks) for visa approval.

Work Permit – Family joining later situation:

Same as above from -8weeks for the employee travelling first.

From the date employee decides to bring his/her family:

  • Apply for birth certificate and marriage certificate
  • Get the certificates legalized in India and send a copy of the same to employee in Netherland
  • Employee (spouse in NL) should register the marriage at the Netherlands town hall and send a confirmation copy to spouse in India.
  • -8 weeks: Spouse and family in India to apply for dependent visa
  • Same as above for the rest

Tourist visa – travel and stay sponsored by someone in Netherlands:

-6 weeks: take an appointment online to submit your application at the VFS office (Delhi). Sometimes appointment may be available starting next day and sometimes not. So it is better to plan 6 weeks in advance. Sometimes the website will show all appointments are full for the next months. This is only because it is not yet open. Try the website every day.

-3 weeks: Get legalized invite letter from the Netherlands town hall; ready other documents as needed (this is optional step and needed only if you are showing that someone in the Netherlands is sponsoring for the trip)

-2 weeks: submit application & passport and await passport in 3 (Delhi, Mumbai) to 5 (Bangalore) working days.

0 Day: travel to NL

** Information references and credits : http://indiansinnetherlands.com/