The DAFT, officially known as the Dutch American Friendship Treaty, is a treaty signed in 1956 between the United States and the Netherlands. The aim of the treaty is to promote trade and commercial relations between the two countries.

As a result of the Friendship Treaty between America and the Netherlands (DAFT), it is considerably easier for American entrepreneurs to obtain a residence permit. Entrepreneurs (self-employed, free lancers) from other countries than the US must demonstrate by means of the complicated points system that their stay serves an essential Dutch economic interest. In practice, this means for these entrepreneurs that they have to submit many documents and work through a grueling application procedure. In contrast to this category of entrepreneurs, only a few conditions apply to American entrepreneurs for obtaining a residence permit.

The main conditions are:

  • Registration in the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce
  • Investment of significant capital amounting to € 4,500 in our own company.
  • Opening balance sheet and, if not present, a statement or forecast prepared by an accredited accountant or financial adviser.

An added bonus is that the family members of the American entrepreneur enjoy unrestricted access to the labor market. Meaning, no prior permission or conditions are required for working on employment basis. 

Upon approval the entrepreneur and her/his family members will initially get residence permits for two years. After two years, if there is business activity and the invested of €4500 is still present in the business, then the permits will be extended for five years. The DAFT permit can be extended for as long as these requirements are met. 

Despite the relatively few admission requirements for American entrepreneurs under the DAFT, in practice it has proved difficult for many to meet all the preconditions for approval within a short period of time (such as registration in the Personal Records Database/BRP). Professional guidance is not a superfluous luxury for a fast and efficient processing of the application. In addition to our own expertise, we make our network available to external experts.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office. This can be done by telephone, 020 223 2466, or by email, We like to help you! You can also reach us via our social media channels which you can find at the bottom of this page.