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work permit

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