Are you a (non-EU) alien and do you wish to remain in the Netherlands for more than 3 months? Then you will need a residence permit. You can apply for a residence permit from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) in the Netherlands. Before you can apply for a residence permit, in most cases you must first have a temporary residence permit (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf, MVV). An MVV is a visa on which you can enter the Netherlands.
During the application procedure, the IND will investigate whether you fulfil the conditions for the MVV and/or residence permit. As of 1 June 2013 you can now apply for the MVV and residence permit using the Entry and Residence procedure (Toegang en Verblijf procedure, TEV). This procedure allows you to apply for both an MVV and a residence permit in one application. Once the MVV has been issued, you will be issued with a residence permit upon entry to the country as a matter of course. You will not have to submit a separate application in the Netherlands for a residence permit. If you like, I can submit the application for an MVV or residence permit in the Netherlands for you.