How to Apply for DAFT Visa in the Netherlands for American Citizens

There are numerous opportunities available for American entrepreneurs who are determined to establish their own lives and companies in the Netherlands.

How to Apply for DAFT Visa in the Netherlands for American Citizens

Thanks to a separate agreement between Dutch and American law, there are many ways for Americans to immigrate to the Netherlands. This agreement is known as the Dutch American Friendship Treaty, which was established on March 27, 1956. Below, more information about the DAFT qualifications and benefits is provided. This page includes a step-by-step tutorial for American individuals seeking DAFT visas.

Overview of the DAFT Visa in the Netherlands

On March 27, 1956, the United States and the Netherlands signed the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, sometimes referred to as the DAFT or Dutch American Residency Treaty. The agreement is a protocol-based treaty of friendship, trade, and navigation. The agreement enables US investors and entrepreneurs to apply for a resident visa in the Netherlands to launch a firm. The agreement also permits Dutch investors and dealers to conduct business in the US.

The agreement makes it simpler for US business owners to establish operations in the Netherlands. It eliminates the need for investments to promote Dutch national interests, reduces the required investment capital from €27,000 to €4,500, and exempts US entrepreneurs from the points-based exam. After two years, the residency permit can be renewed for another five years. The treaty covers all US citizens operating a business in the Netherlands or its territories.

Difference between a regular Freelance Visa and a DAFT Visa in the Netherlands

The Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) offers a more expedited immigration procedure for US and Dutch citizens. Typically, all foreign business owners who want to invest in Dutch territory use a point-based test method to demonstrate that their enterprise is valuable to the Dutch economy. However, the Dutch American Friendship Treaty enables American businesspeople to avoid the test requirement.

No point system is necessary under the DAFT program for US citizens to establish a business or enterprise in the Netherlands. This also holds for Dutch businesspeople or investors seeking to launch a US venture. Additionally, unlike the DAFT visa, which is only eligible for Americans, a regular freelancer visa enables all non-EU citizens to work in the Netherlands as independent contractors.

Eligibility Requirements for a DAFT Visa in the Netherlands

You might qualify for a DAFT visa if you're a US businessperson who wants to move to the Netherlands and work independently or as a freelancer. These conditions must be met:

  • You must be an expert in a profession that allows for the possibility of working for yourself, such as computer software, web development, accountancy, management consulting, graphic design, interior/exterior design, translation, etc.
  • You must have a prior employment history.
  • Having a business plan is required.
  • You must be able to invest in the Dutch economy at least €4500.
  • As evidence, you will be required to provide legal credentials that correspond to your professional background.

Additionally, you will be required to provide legal credentials that attest to your professional expertise. When you apply for a DAFT visa, you indicate that you wish to work independently in the Netherlands. You must obtain a work visa if you want to work in the Netherlands for a different company or company.

How to Apply for a DAFT Visa

Furthermore, there are steps to follow to apply for a DAFT visa, 

1. Schedule an appointment with the IND

During the 90-day period when American citizens are allowed to visit the Netherlands without a visa, you can schedule an appointment with the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service-IND. When you schedule an appointment with the IND, your application for a DAFT visa, which allows you to remain in the Netherlands for more than 90 days even if you haven't obtained your visa, is launched.

2. Collect all the required documents for a DAFT Visa

You will be asked to submit the following documents when you apply for the DAFT visa:

  • Your passport: Your US passport must include copies of all the travel stamps.
  • The application form: The application form can be found on the Immigration Service website, and must be submitted with other documents.
  • Proof of the investment: You must provide a bank statement proving that you have submitted the investment amount.
  • The payment for the Dutch PIN card: The price for the Dutch PIN card is €65.
  • The BSN number: For your documents to be valid, you must obtain a BSN number during your first appointment with the IND.

3. Submit your application

When you first meet with the IND, you must make it clear that you want to apply for a DAFT visa. All DAFT visa applications must be submitted in person to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service.

4. After your temporary visa is approved

You must complete the following steps before you can finalize your DAFT visa:

  • Registration at the town’s Dutch municipality: You must register within five days of your arrival in the Netherlands. Once you apply, you will be given a citizen service number.
  • Registration at DigiD: DigiD is an online government service you must register for since it is needed for the Dutch tax system.
  • Registration of your business: You must register at the Dutch Business Registry.
  • Register at the KVK: The KVK (short for Kamer van Koophandel) is the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. All entrepreneurs must register at the KVK and pay a €65 fee for the Dutch PIN card.
  • Register a new bank account in a Dutch bank: You will be asked to open a joint bank account, and you can do so at any Dutch bank.

You will also need to provide your driving license, proof that you are a licensed professional, proof of your financial stability (an income of at least €1,280 per month), and the DAFT visa fee.

5. Obtain your DAFT Visa

You can submit your registration documentation to apply for the DAFT visa once all required processes and registrations have been completed. Both in-person and postal submissions of these documents are acceptable to the IND. You will be issued a DAFT visa after completing all the steps above.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the DAFT visa in the Netherlands.

Does a DAFT Visa Require Dutch Language Proficiency?

No minimum level of Dutch language ability is required for the DAFT visa. You must learn Dutch to apply for a permanent residence visa after five years of continuous residence in the Netherlands. Acquiring Dutch citizenship also requires meeting the language requirement.

How much does the DAFT visa cost?

The fees you must pay for your DAFT visa application process are



Investments in the Dutch economy.

Minimum €4,500

DAFT visa


If you hold a StartUp Residence Permit 


Monthly Financial Requirement

Minimum €1,200

However, you could be required to pay additional fees if you complete the DAFT visa application process through a third-party website.

How long does it take to get a DAFT visa in the Netherlands?

You ought to hear back regarding your DAFT visa application after four months. As this waiting period is subject to change, it is advised that you inquire about the processing time when submitting your application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service - IND.

What happens if my DAFT visa is denied?

If you don't fulfill the necessary standards, your DAFT visa application may be declined. In the unlikely event that your application is turned down, you can request a review. Up until four weeks have passed, you may file an appeal. If there are any missing documents, you must provide them, or if the IND erred, you might provide a legal defense for why your DAFT visa application should have been approved. However, you may seek the Alien Court's assistance with your application if the IND rejects your appeal.