Depending on your nationality you might need a visa to cross the border into the Netherlands or into Schengen area (which comprises of many European countries). The entry visa applicable for stays over 90 days is called a provisional residence permit or MVV (from the Dutch term machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf).
Check the visa wizard to find out if you need a provisional residence permit.
What is it?
The mvv is a sticker in your passport (type 'D' visa). This sticker will allow you to enter the Netherlands. However, the sticker does not give you the right to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days. You must obtain lawful residence by applying for a residence permit on arrival. In most cases this has already been applied for by your employer.
If you need to travel outside the Netherlands after arrival, you can do so on the basis of your mvv. The mvv allows you to travel within the Schengen area for maximum 90 days from the date of entry.
Purpose of stay
A provisional residence permit is always issued for one particular purpose of stay. Examples include “highly skilled migrant” or “scientific researcher under EC Directive 2005/71”. It might be that only one purpose of stay applies to you. In other cases, it may be possible to choose between two different options.
Every purpose of stay comes with a different set of conditions and advantages. A work permit is required for some, for example. Sometimes minimum salary requirements apply and bringing in family members is not always easy. Our section on types of residence permits will tell you all about the pros and cons of each option.