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.
With the GVVA, the foreign employee obtains legal stay and work authorization in the Netherlands. The application is filed within 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 applies for the GVVA, but the employee can do so as well. The employer does not need to be a recognized sponsor.
A GVVA is a suitable permit for some special professions in the Netherlands. In some cases, only a work permit is required; in such cases, an employer may apply for the work permit (and applies separately for the residence permit).
For a number of categories, specific policy rules apply. Examples of such categories are:
- Asian catering chefs
- artists (visual and performing arts)
- spiritual counsellors
- staff of non-profit organizations
For instance, in case of non-EU sportspersons the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) decides whether the applications falls within the scope of the policy for sportspersons.
Only a work permit (TWV)
In some situations, only a work permit (TWV) is required. The application is filed to the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). Only the employer can apply for the work permit.
Some situations where a separate work permit is required are:
- the foreign employee already has a Dutch residence permit, but has no, or limited, work authorization and wants to take up (more) work in the Netherlands, e.g. students
- the foreign employee comes to the Netherlands for less than 3 months and wants to work during this time. Although a residence permit is not required, a work permit is
- Croats are EU citizens since 2013: they do not need a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months. To be work authorized however, they still require a work permit (TWV). From 1 July 2018 onwards, the Netherlands will exempt Croatian nationals from the work permit requirement
Separate applications residence permit + TWV
For some categories, it is not possible to apply for a residence permit and work permit with one single application. These categories still need to file 2 separate applications: a TWV and a residence permit. This is for instance the case for seasonal workers.
The labor market test
When an employer wants to hire an employee from outside the EU who does not fall within the scope of the categories mentioned above, it is theoretically possible to apply for a GVVA. The employer must have shown to have tried to recruit staff locally or within the European labor market. Only if it could be proven that no suitable candidates within the EU are available, the outcome of the labor market test comes out positive.
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 other staff is present on the Dutch or European market. If you wonder if this situation applies to you, we recommend you contact one of our lawyers for advice about other possibilities.
Depending on the position and circumstances, the following programs can be suitable for your situation:
- Highly skilled migrant program
- European Blue Card
- Intra-corporate transfer (ICT)
- Cross-border provision of services