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work permit

  • Asian catering industry

    The special regulation described in this article will terminate on January 1st, 2022. Please see our news item on the subject here.

    An employer in the Asian catering industry who wants to hire a chef from outside the EU must apply for a combined work/residence permit (GVVA). In certain situations, specific conditions apply.

  • Entry and stay for religious workers

    Religious organizations in the Netherlands wishing to sponsor religious workers from outside the EU may rely on a special policy. This policy is also available to spiritual organizations. The policy applies regardless of the organization's religious or spiritual orientation.

  • Family members of entrepreneurs exempted from work permit requirement

    From 1 January 2020, family members of foreign entrepreneurs can take up paid employment without having to apply for a work permit.

  • Family members of self-employed foreign nationals can now work in employment

    As already announced in our article of November 20th, as of 1 January 2020 family members of self-employed persons will have free access to the Dutch labour market and can therefore work in employment. Family members of self-employed persons that do not have free access to the Dutch labour market yet, can apply to change their residence permit according to the new rules mentioned above.

  • Introduction: Working in the Netherlands

    If a non-EU person (third country national) wants to work in the Netherlands, he/she can do so as a Highly Skilled Migrant, with an EU Blue card or with a combined permit for stay and work (GVVA). If it concerns an intra company transferee, the EU ICT Directive may be applicable. Lastly, there are special regulations for posting staff within the EU (cross-border service provision).

     [continues below matrix]

    Matrix comparing Highly Skilled Migrant program, EU Blue Card, EU ICT and national ICT:
    highly skilled
    migrant program
    blue card program
    ICT EU
    ICT national


    manager, specialist

    manager, specialist

    manager, specialist, or trainee as defined in Directive 2014/66

    manager, specialist

    salary threshold

    see current amounts here

    see current amounts here

    see current amounts here

    see current amounts here

    salary competitive with labor market?


    fixed in salary threshold



    processing time

    2 weeks for recognized sponsor

    2 weeks for recognized sponsor, max. 90 days for non-recognized sponsor

    2 weeks for recognized sponsor, max. 90 days for non-recognized sponsor

    3-5 weeks work permit/ 90 days residence permit

    posting or local contract?



    posted assignee remains employed by foreign employer

    both possible, as long as assignment is temporary

    awaiting decision abroad?

    only if visa required

    only if visa required

    only if visa required

    only if visa required



    college-academical of at least 3 year

    voor trainee: master degree


    may family members work?




    work permit (not tested) required


    duration of contract; max 5 years

    duration of contract; minimum 1, max 4 years

    duration of assignment; max 3 years

    duration of assignment; max 3 years

    extension possible?

    yes, unlimited

    yes, unlimited

    no - 6 months cooling-off period after 3 years of EU ICT labor*

    yes, as long as assignment remains temporary

    permanent residency possible?



    yes, but only based on national policy


    mobility in EU?


    yes, after 18 months



    * There are options to remain in the Netherlands by changing immigration category


    Our services

    Everaert Advocaten has more than 30 years of experience in assisting Dutch and international companies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our lawyers are seasoned professionals in the field of labor migration to the Netherlands and Europe.

    We can help to find your best options, which application types are best suited to your needs and advise on the compliancy issues involved. When things have gone awry, you can also call in our support.

    For more information or advice on any of the above, please contact Marcel Reurs or Bram van Melle.


  • Regulation for Asian catering industry ends 1 January 2022

    The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment has decided to terminate the special regulation for employing non-EU chefs in Asian restaurants (paragraph 19a Ruwav 2014). 

  • The European intra-corporate transfer permit

    Effective 29 November 2016 the Netherlands implements the Directive of the European Union regulating the entry and residence of non-EU nationals transfered within a multinational company. The Netherlands is one of the 26 member states of the European Union that has approved Directive 2014/66/EC of 15 May 2014. The Directive stipulates which conditions member states may pose to the residence of non-EU migrants in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer, or ICT.

  • WHP permit restriction cancelled

    The restriction that participants in an exchange program are only allowed to work for 12 consecutive weeks for the same employer, has been cancelled as of 1 October 2019.

  • Work permit (GVVA/TWV)

    When an employer in the Netherlands wants to hire a non-EU employee, who does not fall within the scope of the intra-company transfer (ICT) program, highly skilled migrant program or EU Blue card program, it may be possible to apply for a GVVA: a combined permit for work and stay.

    Single permit for residence and work (GVVA)

    With the GVVA permit, the foreign employee simultaneously obtains legal stay and work authorization in the Netherlands. The application is filed in a single procedure and results in one decision and one ID document: the ‘residence card’. The GVVA application procedure is laid down in EU Directive 2011/98.

    Usually, the employer will apply for the GVVA, but the employee can do so as well. For this procedure, an employer does not need to be a recognized sponsor.

    A GVVA is a suitable permit for certain professions in the Netherlands.

    Regular work permit (TWV)

    In other cases, a regular, separate, work permit (TWV) is required; the employer should make the work permit application. An application must be submitted to the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). Only an employer can apply for a work permit, not the employee themselves. A residence permit, if required, must be applied for separately with the IND.

    More favorable rules apply to Turkish nationals and their family members.

    Other cases: the labor market test

    When an employer wants to hire a person from outside the EU, but not for any of the occupations mentioned above, it is theoretically possible to apply for a GVVA. For such an application, a labour market test is mandatory. The employer must have made an effort to recruit staff locally or within the European labor market first, and then must be able to demonstrate that no suitable candidates are available from within the EU. Only then, the labor market test will result in a positive advice.

    Due to the strictness of the labor market test, issuance of a ‘regular’ GVVA permit is rare. It is almost impossible to prove that no suitable staff is available on the Dutch or European market. The application will be rejected in most cases.

    If you wonder whether this scenario could apply to you, we recommend contacting our lawyers for advice about your options.

    Depending on the job description and circumstances, the following programs could be more suitable:

     For more information, please contact Marcel Reurs or Bram van Melle

  • Work permit exemption for Ukrainians

    On 30 March 2022, the Dutch State Secretary of Justice and Security informed the House of Representatives in a Parliamentary Letter about the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive. In this Parliamentary Letter, the State Secretary discusses the conditions and procedure for legal residence and access to the labor market for people who have fled Ukraine.

  • Work permit requirement lifted for Croatian nationals per 1 July 2018

    Starting 1 July 2018, Croatian nationals will be free on the Dutch labor market.