August 16th, 2023
The Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) was signed in 1956 to encourage commercial, cultural and economic cooperation between the US and the Netherlands. It provides American entrepreneurs and investors with an easier route to a Dutch residence permit by lowering the requirement for investment from the usual €27,500 to a more manageable €4,500. Through the DAFT, American entrepreneurs don’t need to go through the points system to prove their business is beneficial to Dutch national interests, easing the process further.
The residence permit is valid for 2 years, with a 5 year renewal once the 2 year period is over. After 5 years, there’s an option to apply for permanent residency without having to learn to speak Dutch or take the inburgeringexamen, the Dutch language and cultural test for residency.
The DAFT is open to all US entrepreneurs who wish to live and work in the Netherlands, but there are a few caveats. Applicants will be required to prove the following:
- You are a professional, self-employed specialist in your field. Which field doesn’t matter, what’s important is that you can prove a professional background.
- You have professional work experience.
- You have a business plan that can be presented to Dutch authorities.
- You have at least €4,500 available to invest in the Dutch economy.
Applicants must keep in mind that the €4,500 threshold is the bare minimum a company needs to invest to maintain DAFT eligibility. This figure is calculated after a given company’s costs for the financial year, so it’s possible to inadvertently dip below the threshold and risk withdrawal of DAFT privileges. The Dutch government reserves the right to withdraw privileges under the DAFT at any time, so Broadstreet recommends keeping a buffer of €10,000 in the business at all times.