My One Year Check In: My DAFT Freelance Visa

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I'm going to do a little who, what, when, where, why with my one year update.

I've had a couple of questions asking me how long it took for me to get my approval letter and how long it took me to get "real employment with paying clients' so I thought I'd answer it all in one go.

How long did it take to recieve my visa?

Okay so I sent away my paperwork on 24 March, 2016 BUT I had not finished my application fully when I sent away the application.
The day I submitted it, I received a three month temporary visa that allowed me to stay in the country while I was finishing up my application.

So I got my BSN, opened up a Dutch bank account, put in 4,500 Euros as the required opening balance for my company, had an opening balance sheet drawn up by a Dutch tax lawyer (270 Euros!) and signed and dated by him, and registered my company with the KVK (which took 20 minutes). Everything listed here took me another two months due to beauracracy and laziness.

I received my visa August 25th 2016 and now that it's been a year, I can officially do a year update.

What have I been doing this year? 
I now work for a great American company in technology sales in the best area of Amsterdam. I started out as a freelancer and now I work there full time as an employee.

Do you ever get letters from the government? 
I did get a letter about 6 months ago asking to audit my company; they wanted to make sure I had maintained the minimum balance in my business account (I did!), my profit loss statement from my company activities and they wanted to see that I was making money.

What's been the hardest thing about being a freelancer? 
Staying on top of my taxes and books! Seriously, someone should offer a class on Dutch freelance taxes and bookkeeping. I'd take it.

If you could do it again, what would make it easier to get your visa? 
I thought it was pretty straight forward from the beginning, I guess I would have all of my required capital in order before submitting my application. I ended up making and keeping the 4500.00 in my account within being in the country for two months and submitted that part of my application after submitting the first part.

What would your first advice be to people who are thinking about moving to Amsterdam? 
Don't let your fears hold you back. There will be obstacles in your way when you move, but nothing is too big not to overcome if it's something that you really want.

Can we talk?!? 
Of course! I offer 15 minute consultation calls for free and if you'd just like to ask a question or two you can always email me. Please request a call through the blog comments. I am in the process of launching a hand holding service to help people through the application process myself with my own checklists, all of my recommended lawyers, tax advisors, what to avoid and helpful hints. It's an all inclusive package to get you moved from the US to the Netherlands. Look for that to come at the top of my blog :)


  1. Thank you so so much for this info April! Your blog is absolutely amazing. I just have 1 question, I know that you need 4500 euros for capital plus 1300 euros government fees when applying, did you also need to prove that you have enough money for living expenses when you applied and if so how much do you need to prove?


  2. Hi Jon,
    Thanks for reading! I did not have to prove extra living expenses when applying. What I did have to do was estimate my earnings for my freelance company when I registered at the KVK.
    During the quick meeting, they asked me how much I thought would earn during the year and I foolishly gave an exaggerated amount. They use that estimate for tax purposes; so if you are late on paying your quarterly taxes, they use that income estimate to tax you. So as long as you are earning enough to pay your quarterly freelance taxes, you're good to go :)

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