Business Legal Consultancy is a Dutch website which forms a marketing and communication extension of the partners of this website for the provision of comprehensive and professional legal and business services to both Dutch and international clients.

Dutch (Netherlands) Work Permit

For working in the Netherlands (Holland), a non-EU employee has to obtain a Dutch (Netherlands) work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning- TWV) by the IND, unless he falls under a particular exemption.

For working in the Netherlands (Holland), a non-EU employee has to obtain a Dutch (Netherlands) work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning- TWV) by the IND, unless he falls under a particular exemption.

The next categories of employees must have a Dutch (Netherlands) work permit:

  • Employees outside EEA (European Economic Area): EEA includes EU Member States, Island, Norway and Lichtenstein. Switzerland also falls under the exemption clause;
  • Employees from the Member States which joined the EU on the 1st January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.

These groups of non-EEA citizens do no need a Dutch (Netherlands) work permit:

  • Recruiters, who hire employees via an enterprise or working agency (uitzendbureau). In this case an enterprise or working agency has to apply for a work permit.
  • Employees who have a residence permit with an indication "allowed to work” (arbeid is vrij toegestaan, tewerkstellingsvergunning niet vereist )
  • Employees who have a sticker in the passport with indication "allowed to work”(arbeid is vrij toegestaan).
  • Foreigners who have a work permit "working as self-employed” (arbeid als zelfstandige) as long as work corresponds with the purpose for which a work permit was issued.
  • Employees who have a main place of domicile outside the EU and execute a short or occasional work (musicians, guest docents, journalists).
  • Employees who are Dutch (Netherlands) knowledge migrants.
  • Employees who work in the organization which has an international agreement with Dutch (Netherlands) government.
  • Foreign IT specialists working for installation of new software for the Dutch (Netherlands) employer.

Moreover, not only employees are obliged to have a work permit. Interns, volunteers, free-lancers, officials and self-employed (with certain exemptions) must also submit a request for a work permit.

A Dutch (Netherlands) work permit is valid only for employee and work for which he applied. If an employer will decide to put employee on another vacancy than employee initially applied for, then employer has to get a new work permit. The same is true if an employer wants to recruit an employee from another enterprise, where employee has already received a work permit.
The maximal length of work permit is 3 years. After 3 years of permanent work in the Netherlands (Holland), employee may pretend on the exemption from Dutch (Netherlands) work permit requirement.

Only Dutch (Netherlands) employers can file an application for a work permit for the non-EU national. According to the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen), they are under obligation to show that other Dutch (Netherlands) or EU candidates can not fill the vacancy. The following procedure has to take place:

  1. Employer must place a vacancy at the UWV Werkbedrijf in the Netherlands (Holland) for a period of 5 weeks (in exceptional cases for 3 months).
  2. During this period an employer has to search for suitable candidates from the Netherlands (Holland) or European Union to fill the vacancy.
  3. There was no result achieved during the searching period.

The whole procedure takes approximately 5 weeks before decision will be issued. This is so called "the key priority labour force” test, a protective measure for saving local labour markets.

UWV Werkbedrijf makes a decision concerning the type of work permit.

The following Dutch (Netherlands) work permits may be granted:

  1. Work permit for maximum 3 years. A foreign employee, who works for 3 years in the Netherlands (Holland) without stopping, usually may apply for a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit with indication "allowed to work”(arbeid is vrij toegestaan).
  2. Work permit for less than 3 years, which can be issued in 3 forms:
    • Temporary, non-renewable work permit for temporary and short work (maximum valid for 24 days);
    • Temporary, renewable work permit (maximum valid for 3 years; after 3 years an employee may pretend for a residence permit with indication "allowed to work”(arbeid is vrij toegestaan));
    • Temporary, non-renewable work permit for particular functions.
  3. Dutch (Netherlands) work permit with a prescription: this work permit is issued provided that employee will satisfy specific requirements, for example, employee will have to improve working conditions or working relationships.

Besides, an employee needs also to receive a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit, if he is planning to work more than 3 months or visa, if he will work less than 3 months. In order to be eligible for a residence permit with the purpose of work, first the candidate’s Dutch (Netherlands) work permit has to be approved. The duration of this procedure depends from the nationality of the candidate.

A successful Dutch (Netherlands) work permit application requires a good preparation. Business Legal Consultancy can assist in this tedious process.

Hogehilweg 19
1101 CB Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+31 (0) 203 697 652
+31 (0) 453 700 324