Many people know that there are two types of permanent residence permits in the Netherlands: the regular Dutch permanent residence permit (“verblijfsvergunning voor onbepaalde tijd regulier”) and the Dutch residence permit as long-term resident EC, or EU permanent residence permit (“verblijfsvergunning EU langdurig ingezetene”). Both permits require applicants to live in the Netherlands for five consecutive years, to pass the integration exam, and to have sufficient financial resources. But not many know the specific differences between the two. In this article, we tell you everything you should know about the two types of non-temporary independent residence permits in the Netherlands.

Years are calculated differently

What the EU permanent residence permit and the Dutch permanent residence permit have in common, is that the duration of non-temporary residence is counted in full when you apply. Non-temporary residence cards include residence permits for regular employment, high-skilled immigrants, and self-employment etc.

What differs is how the duration of temporary residence is calculated. When you apply for an EU permanent residence permit, some types of residence in the Netherlands are only counted for 50%, and some aren’t even counted at all. If you stayed in the Netherlands on a student residence, for example, only half of your years will be counted. If you then change the purpose of your stay to a search year permit, the search year isn’t counted at all. When you apply for a Dutch permanent residence permit, on the other hand, all types of temporary residence are counted in full.

Main residence requirements are different

After obtaining a Dutch permanent residence permit, your main residence has to be in the Netherlands. This means that you can stay outside the Netherlands for a maximum of 6 months consecutively, or a maximum of 4 months consecutively each year for 3 years in a row. The main residence requirements for an EU permanent residence permit are more lenient: you can live in other EU countries for up to six years without losing your permit, and if you stay outside the EU, you need to enter the EU once a year.

Different preferential treatments in other EU countries

According to EU Directive 2003/109, EU countries will have relatively favorable immigration policies for EU permanent residence permit holders. The Netherlands allows them to obtain an “economically inactive” residence permit in the Netherlands on the premise of having assets and sufficient economic resources. Another benefit is that, by EU directives, after one year of residence in another EU country, said country must allow EU permanent residence permit holders to work freely. When, for example, you have an EU permanent residence permit issued by the Dutch government and want to work in Germany, the German government may ask you to apply for a German work permit during your first year there. However, after one year of legal residence, by EU law, Germany must allow you to work completely freely without a work permit.

Different procedures for moving to other EU countries

When you have a Dutch permanent residence permit and want to live in Germany, you need to go to the German Consulate General in Amsterdam to apply for a German Schengen visa, type D. After you have a D visa, you will need to go to the German local SAFE (Ausländerbehörde) to apply for a residence permit. If you have an EU permanent residence permit, you don’t need to go to the German embassy or consulate, you can go directly to the German local SAFE to apply for a residence permit.

In general, the EU permanent residence permit is more lenient with regard to main residence, and it can also give cardholders more convenience in other EU countries. So, if you are currently holding a Dutch permanent residence permit, but want to enjoy the benefits of other EU countries, we advise you to contact a professional lawyer as soon as possible and submit your application for an EU permanent residence permit.

Both types of permanent residence permits in the Netherlands use the same application form

It’s important to know that both types of permanent residence use the same application form and that the Dutch Immigration Services (IND) will first review whether the applicant meets the conditions for an EU permanent residence permit. If these requirements are met, the IND will directly issue an EU permanent residence permit. If not, the IND will continue to review whether the application meets the Dutch permanent residence permit. This also results in longer approval times.

According to Dutch Immigration Law, the IND has a six-month approval period for permanent residence applications. Because of this, Mynta Law has launched a permanent “queuing” service, which can save you several months of waiting.

Feel free to contact us for more details. Our permanent residence team can’t wait!


The legal specialists of Mynta Law help companies and individuals with small and large immigration issues. Whether you want to learn more about business immigration of skilled migrants and entrepreneurs, are a foreign student interested in your extended stay opportunities in the Netherlands, or have a question about migration options for your family, we will answer all your questions quickly and professionally.

Read more about our services.

Mynta Law contact information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us:

Telephone: +31 (0) 70 205 1160 or +31 (0) 70 205 1162
WeChat: NL0702051162
Email: info@mynta.nl

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