In order to stimulate international trade, a new regulation will be introduced on 1 July 2017. With this regulation, the Dutch government responds to the requests of the Dutch business and industry and the SER (Social and Economic Council)'s plea to relax work permit requirements. This decision follows a recent evaluation of the pilot Knowledge Industry, which was introduced on 1 July 2013.
New regulation as of 1 July 2017
The new regulation replaces the current work permit exemption for the knowledge industry and aims to lower the threshold for the industry to employ non-EEA nationals in the Netherlands.
To fall under the scope of the new regulation, a project must be temporary and concern cross-border trade, service or cooperation. The UWV will, among other things, look at the nature and duration of the project, the nature of the labor involved and the value of the project.
The project may be a collaboration, a partnership or an agreement for the delivery of goods or services. In any of these cases, the relationship between the company established in the Netherlands and the company abroad must be demonstrated. However, attending a trainee program or business meetings may also fall under the exemption, as long as these activities are performed for the benefit of the project.
The company must demonstrate that the employees are required because of their specific knowledge and expertise. Directors-main shareholders, contractors and employees of the foreign company are eligible for the exemption.
The exemption is based on the presumption that suitable candidates for such temporary assignment are not readily available on the Netherlands’ job market, nor for that matter on the other job markets of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
Admission and notification
The Dutch company only needs a one-time admission to the regulation. Once the UWV has approved the project, the concerned foreign employees must only be notified to the UWV.
The exemption is granted for 3 years, but can be re-applied for if the project requires it. The work permit exemption does not include the employee's right to reside in the Netherlands. It is the responsibility of the employer (and the foreign employee) to apply for a residence permit with the IND.