When an employer in the Asian catering industry wishes to hire a chef from outside the EU, he/she must apply for a combined work/residence permit (GVVA). In some situations, special conditions apply.
The following cuisines fall within the Asian catering industry: Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Thai, Tibetan and Vietnamese.
The special conditions mentioned above apply to non-EU chefs level 4-6: specialty chefs, sous-chefs, all-round cooks and head-cooks.
In order to hire level 4-6 chefs from outside the EU, employers in the Asian catering industry are not required to first search for a suitable candidate in the Netherlands or another EU country. This is required for a regular GVVA application, a condition referred to as the labor market test.
Asian employers are exempted from the labor market test if he/she guarantees acceptable labor conditions, among which a competitive salary, and meets the following conditions:
- hire at least 1 kitchen assistant/cook level 2/3 from the Netherlands or another EU country who does not require a work permit, for a full-time position for at least 1 year
- in case of a small business: employ at least 1 kitchen assistant/cook level 2/3 from the Netherlands or another EU country who does not require a work permit, for a part-time position for at least 1 year
- promote 1 kitchen employee from the Netherlands or another EU country who does not require a work permit to a position 1 level higher for at least 1 year
- offer training in at least one of the following ways
- an internship or apprenticeship for 1 kitchen staff/cook in an educational framework of at least 450 hours
- ‘training on the job’ to re-train 1 employee from the Netherlands or another EU country for a position as kitchen staff/cook qualified in Asian cuisine
- train 1 of the kitchen staff/cook who does not require a work permit and/or the business owner, as an instructor or coach, plus a Dutch course for them
There is a cap on the number of combined work/residence permits that are issued to chefs in the Asian catering industry.
The following limits are set for the next few years:
- max 1.800 permits from October 1st 2016-October 1st 2017
- max 1.400 permits from October 1st 2017-October 1st 2018
- max 1.000 permits from October 1st 2018-October 1st 2019
The GVVA permit
The GVVA permit is valid for 2 years and extension is possible, if the employer still fulfils the requirements.
GVVA based on the Asian Catering Covenant
Previously, the exceptions in the Asian catering industry were dictated by the Asian Catering Covenant (Wok-Akkoord) signed by Asian catering employers’ organisations, the Labour Authority and IND 2 years earlier. On 1 October 2016, the flexible treatment of work permit applications by the Asian catering industry was formalized by a ministerial decree.
Currently some employees in Asian catering still have a GVVA permit based on the Covenant. This permit can be extended. The employer then needs to demonstrate that the requirements of the Covenant are still met. The employer should:
- employ Asian cooks for positions level 4-6
- train staff for positions in Asian cuisine or hire staff from the Netherlands or the EU who do not require a work permit
- comply with the other agreements laid out in the Asian Catering Covenant