What is the total time allowed outside NL (and EU) for Temporary Residence permit (HSM) holder?

My situation:

I have stayed (vacation) the following number of months in total outside NL per year for the following years:

  • 2m (1+1)(2015),
  • 2m (1+1)(2016),
  • 2m (1+1)(2017),
  • 2m (1+1)(2018),
  • 2m (3w + 2w + 2w + 3w)(2019) and
  • 5m (1m + 4m)(2020)

(m = total months in a year, with break up provided as well)

Also since I cannot remember for sure all the exact dates of arrival and departure, at least can confirm that I was in NL December 2019 to January 2020.

I checked the IND site and per this page https://ind.nl/en/Pages/main-residence.aspx

Temporary residence permit

You may stay outside the Netherlands for a maximum of 6 months in a row. Or 3 years in a row each calendar year for a maximum of 4 months in a row.


So I am wondering if I have overstayed outside NL (especially with regards to year 2020) so that it adversely affects my PR and Dutch Citizenship application in January 2021.

Background to this question:

I know specific situational questions like this one are not suited to this platform, since it will probably not benefit anyone else apart from me. However I would like to provide a bit of background as to why I still went ahead and asked this question here.

Recently I had to call the IND for an unrelated query, and was incidentally informed that I should not stay outside NL for more than 4 months. I was taken a back and I decided to call a second time to confirm, and was a again told that indeed I should not spend more that 4 months a year combined (so in total 4 months a calendar year) otherwise I might lose my residence permit.

I have decided to check with the HR Business partner of our company and also call IND a third time to confirm for a final time regarding "4 months consecutively v/s 4 months in total" conundrum, but before that I wanted to check if my understanding of the rule (quoted above) mentioned in the IND page (linked above) is aligned with that of the communities', so that I don't make a fool of myself later on, when I have to discuss it with them.


Exact exit and entry days from and to NL:

|Out |In |Days|

|16th Jan 2019 |7th Feb 2019 |23 |

|8th May 2019 |19th May 2019 |12 |

|11th Sep 2019 |23rd Sep 2019 |13 |

|3rd Oct 2019 |20th Oct 2019 |18 |

|6th Feb 2020 |28th Feb 2020 |23 | |19th Sep 2020 |(16th Jan 2021 ok ??)| almost 4 months |

  • The question cannot be answered unless we know both a) the dates during 2019 and 2020 when the OP was outside the Netherlands (to see if those years' absences are adjacent or "in a row"), and b) how the Dutch government computes a "year," whether it's a calendar year or any random 365-day period. The OP could tell us the a) information. I have no idea how the Dutch government counts a "year" in this situation. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 3:46
  • 1
    @DavidSupportsMonica The Dutch version is unambiguous, a year is a calendar year.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 8:51
  • Thanks for updating the info in the question. What's needed, however, are the starting dates and ending dates of all your out-of-the-Netherlands trips in 2019 and 2020. Only with that info (and @Relaxed 's resolution of the what-is-a-year issue) can your question be answered. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 21:53
  • @DavidSupportsMonica if I may ask, why are the exact dates of departure and arrival necessary ? Since 2015, I have not spent New Year outside EU. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 11:50
  • For instance, if your 2-month absence in 2019 was adjacent to your 4-month absence in 2020, and their total was actually a day or two over the six-month limit, then you will have been absent from the NL for "more than six months in a row." Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


I have no direct experience nor any additional information beyond what's on the website but I happened to have had to look into the rules recently and they seem relatively clear to me. If you have been in the Netherlands (and not merely the EU) between your 2-month 2019 trip and your 4-month 2020 trip, none of your stays would trigger them:

  • Since 2015, you have never been outside the Netherlands for 6 months straight. In fact, that's not directly relevant to the rule as phrased but you have never spent most of a calendar year outside the Netherlands (continuously or not).
  • Since 2015, there hasn't been three years in a row during which you stayed outside the Netherlands for 4 months straight (or, in fact, for 4 months total).

If your travels in 2021 and 2022 look like 2020 then the second rule (three years in which you stayed outside of the country for 4 months straight) would be triggered and you would be at risk of losing your residence permit. 2020 was very different for many people for obvious reasons but if you are considering similar travels in the future, you should make sure not to stay as long outside the country, willingly or unwillingly, in either 2021 or 2022.

I don't know about any impact on a future application for Dutch citizenship.

  • The OP has not disclosed when in 2019 and 2020 the two and four-month absence periods occurred. If they were non-adjacent, the first bullet point statement is correct. If these periods were adjacent, however, and one was a day longer than "two months" or "four months," then the OP will have triggered the "six months in a row" buzzer. Without the actual dates (or an express statement of non-adjacency) we're still guessing. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:19
  • @DavidSupportsMonica It's a good point, your initial comment was useful but since then the OP did specify that they have not spent New Year's Eve outside the EU, which I interpreted as meaning that these periods were indeed non-adjacent. Apart from the small ambiguity regarding EU vs. the Netherlands specifically, I don't think I am guessing.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:22
  • Spending time "outside the EU" is not the same as spending time "outside the Netherlands." Dates outside the Netherlands and the length of those periods of absence is the data that the Dutch immigration authorities will examine. I feel skeptical when faced with a question that requires specific information to answer when the asker resists revealing that information. I still think an answer here requires that the OP state the actual dates of his absence from the Netherlands in 2019 and 2020. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:31
  • @DavidSupportsMonica I already acknowledged that difference but I do not share your skepticism at all. My guess is that the OP (understandbly) feels that asking for an exact account of all their travels is needlessly prying. Rather than insist on that, it seems more constructive to ask for the exact information you need (i.e. whether these periods are adjacent or whether they really meant EU as opposed to the Netherlands specifically) or to write an answer that cover both cases. I will edit mine to ensure the whole discussion is moot.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:37
  • In fact, more generic Q&A are generally better suited for this site. Elucidating which information really matters is much more useful than asking irrelevant information.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:40

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