Jelle Burggraaff, DutchCulture
Jelle Burggraaff
Head of Mobility & Advice / Creative Europe Desk NL
j.burggraaff [at] dutchculture.nl

Settling in the Netherlands as a self-employed artist

Settling in the Netherlands as a self-employed artist

If you are planning to settle in the Netherlands, you might be eligible for a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment.

If you are a non-EU citizen already in the possession of a residence permit in the Netherlands for example for the purpose of study, looking for work after your studies or cultural exchange you can switch to a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment based on the cultural interest your presence in the Netherlands serves***.  

Who can apply for this residence permit?

The application for a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment based on cultural interest is open to for example: visual artists, designers, musicians and performers. The residence permit allows you to work in self-employment only, which means that you will have to work on the basis of sending invoices. If your first application is approved you will receive a residence permit with a validity of 2 years.

The key part of a first application is to prove that your presence is 'in the cultural interest of the Netherlands’. This can be done by including an invitation letter from a publicly funded cultural organisation that wants to include you in their upcoming programme or by showing that you received a grant from one of the public funds yourself.  

Publicly funded upcoming art project

It is important to understand that the project is planned in the future (you actually need the residence permit to allow you to be present in the Netherlands to do the work). The funding should come from:

  • the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; or,  

  • one of the national public art funds: Performing Arts Fund, Dutch Film Fund, Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Mondriaan Fund; or,

  • one of the four main cities directly (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag or Utrecht) or one of their art funds: for example Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunsten (AFK) and Stroom Den Haag.  

Additional requirements

In addition to an upcoming project, you need to have an active business registered at the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), an updated CV and a bookkeeper to draft a projection of your estimated income for the coming two years (the validity of the residence permit you are applying for) stating that you will meet the income requirement for self-employed entrepreneurs (currently (2022) €1304,10) on average gross profit per month.  

The application fee for a first application is currently (2022) €1446. Please note that other requirements apply when you already have this residence permit and wish to renew it.

***For relevant legislation please refer to art. 3.30 Vreemdelingenbesluit and Vreemdelingencirculaire B6/§4.5 (in Dutch).

Additional research and information is gathered and edited by Laurens Meijer at DutchCulture’s Mobility Info Point. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us via infopoint@dutchculture.nl.

Please be aware that although the information provided is gathered with utmost care this article cannot serve as a legal basis for any type of action and no rights can be derived from it.