How long can you leave the Netherlands if you have a residence permit?
Having a residence permit in the Netherlands, you, of course, have the right to leave the country, but only for certain periods. Most of the time (hoofdverblijf) you must be in the country. Violation of this rule can lead to the loss of the document (cancellation), and therefore the information that we will consider below should be taken seriously.
To begin with, we note that the time spent abroad depends on what kind of residence permit you have. You can read more about the types of residence permits in our article What are the residence permits in the Netherlands?
Let's take a look at the most common residence permits. Namely:
1. Ordinary residence permit for a fixed period (Residence permit about this particular time regular), Ordinary permanent residence permit (Residence permit about this onbepaalde time regular) and Permit for temporary asylum (Residence permit about this particular time Thus, the).
You can lose a residence permit only if:
- are outside the Netherlands for more than 6 consecutive months for any reason;
- within the last 3 years have been outside the Netherlands annually for more than 4 consecutive months (individual years do not add up).
In this case, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) will consider that you have changed your main place of residence, and therefore you no longer need a Dutch residence permit.
Examples of violation of the hoofdverblijf rule
You are outside the Netherlands from November 1, 2020 to June 1, 2021. For the IND, this is 7 consecutive months.
In 2019, 2020 and 2021, you were and will be outside the Netherlands from July 1st to December 1st. For the IND, this is 3 years in a row and 5 months in a row.
Examples of permissible travel outside the borders of the Netherlands (without losing a residence permit)
You are outside the Netherlands from November 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021. The IND will count the allowable 6 months.
In 2019, 2020 and 2021, you were and will be outside the Netherlands from December 1st to May 1st. The IND counts 3 years in a row and 4 months in a row (from January to April). The period from December 1st to January 1st will not be added to the period from January 1st to May 1st.
Other types of residence permit
2. Residence permit for study (Verblijfsvergunning studie). Students can leave the country for up to one year if they are temporarily studying abroad (this is necessary to complete their studies in the Netherlands).
3. Residence permit for highly skilled migrants (Verblijfsvergunning kennismigrant), researchers (Verblijfsvergunning wetenschappelijk onderzoeker richtlijn of onderzoeker richtlijn) and foreign investors (Verblijfsvergunning alsitenlandse investeer buder). These categories can work abroad for a maximum of 8 months in a 12 month period. The IND adds up the individual periods of stay outside the Netherlands.
4. Residence permit due to transfer within the company (Verblijfsvergunning overplaatsing binnen een onderneming). The holder of such a residence permit will keep it in case he stays in another EU country for a long or short period.
5. Residence document for family members of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen(family-eleden Van in burguês Van in de EU, EER of Switzerland)
The holder of this residence permit can stay outside the Netherlands for more than 6 months a year. Separate periods add up to each other.
6. Residence permit for long-term resident(Residence permit about this long lasting resident)
- The holder of this residence permit can be located outside the Netherlands (as well as the EU, EEA or Switzerland) for more than 12 consecutive months.
- Or outside the Netherlands for more than 6 consecutive years, but in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
7. Permanent residence permit for family members of citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland (Verblijfsdocument durable residence - onbepaalde time about this family-eleden Van in burguês Van in de EU,EER of Switzerland)
Holders of this residence permit can live outside the Netherlands for up to 2 years in a row.
8. A residence permit for a fixed period in accordance with the Agreement on the waiver of Brexit for British citizens and their families (Verblijfsdocument temporary residence Terugtrekkingsakkoord Brexit (VK-onderdanen en family-eleden)
With this residence permit outside the country, you can live no more than 6 months in a row.
9. Permanent residence permit in accordance with the Waiver Agreement Brexit for UK citizens and their families ( Verblijfsdocument durable residence Terugtrekkingsakkoord Brexit (VK-onderdanen en family-eleden)
The holder of such a residence permit has special advantages - he can reside outside the Netherlands for 5 consecutive years.
Center for vital interests (het centrum van de activiteiten)
In case of exceeding the permissible periods of stay outside the country, the IND considers that a person with a permanent or temporary residence permit has changed the center of vital interests (het centrum van de activiteiten). This center is no longer in the Netherlands.
Before deciding that the Netherlands no longer falls within the purview of a person with a Dutch residence permit, the IND considers:
- terms of stay of a person in the country
- place of residence of himself and his family
- place of study of children (in which country do they go to school)
Please contact if you have any questions related to the residence permit. We will always be happy to help you.