Obtain a Work Permit in Netherlands

Updated on Tuesday 16th February 2021

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Netherlands welcomes immigrants from all over the world, when they can contribute to the Dutch economic and cultural development. The conditions in order to work in this country vary, depending on the country of origin. Individuals who are citizens of an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country, except Croatia, do not have to obtain a work permit, thanks to the treaties and agreements signed between the member states. But even if you are outside of the EU, you will find out that the procedure for the obtaining of a work permit is very clear and you only need to make sure you verify all the requirements before starting your application.  Our Netherlands immigration specialists can offer you more details on the specific conditions which apply in your particular case in order to get a work permit in the Dutch state. 
 

Citizens of non-EU and non-EEA countries who wish to work in the Netherlands

Usually, non-EU and non-EEA citizens must obtain a work permit in the Netherlands if they wish to be employed in the country. Dutch work permits are obtained after a Dutch employer confirms that the foreign person has been selected for a job position in the respective company. Before employers can grant the job for a foreign citizen, he/she is usually required to prove that he/she has already attempted to offer the position to local and EEA or EU citizens. There must be proof that the employer had advertised for the position in the national newspapers, industry publications, websites and so on. Generally, the employers in the Netherlands also should have tried to train existing employees to fill in the position.

After the work permit application is filed, it is usually processed within five weeks. A work permit can be useful as well in other important applications such as the individual’s visa and/or residence permit application. As a result, an immigration lawyer in Netherlands would recommend postponing any travel plans until you make sure you obtain the work permit in the Netherlands.

We invite you to watch a comprehensive video about how to obtain a work permit in the Netherlands

 

How are work permits classified in the Netherlands?


According to the immigration laws in the Netherlands, there are four types of work permits in this country:
  • GVVA or Single Permit: a residence permit in Netherlands and a supplementary document which states for which employer the foreign citizen is allowed to work;
  • Highly qualified migrant permit: such a work permit in the Netherlands allows Dutch employers to hire extremely skilled foreign workers without being obliged to prove that there are no fit local or EU candidates for the position in question; our team can definitely help you obtain a highly-skilled migrant visa in Netherlands;
  • Orientation year permits for fresh graduates: these are for foreign, non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss students who recently graduated a university in the Netherlands;
  • Entrepreneur permit: awarded to foreign nationals who wish to come to the country to start a business or take up self-employed work.

Some categories of individuals do not need a GVAA permit. These are foreign nationals who will work in the country for less than three months, those who engage solely in seasonal work, students, asylum seekers as well as employees who work for international companies and are seconded to the Netherlands. The individuals in these categories are required to apply for a different residence permit in Netherlands with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

Our immigration lawyer in Netherlands can assist you in obtaining a Dutch work permit, in full compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the authority responsible for issuing these permits, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
 

What is the European Blue Card?

The Dutch state has introduced the Blue Card which is a response to more and more applications for work permits from highly skilled migrants from the third countries. This card is a package which contains a residence permit together with a work permit with special conditions:
 
The applicant for a blue card must prove it has obtained a job offer or that he/she has signed a contract for at least one year;
The salary offered to the applicant must be of at least 5,160 euros (may be subject to change).

The EU blue card not only offers the possibility to work in the Netherlands but allows immigrants to travel and develop professionally in any of the European countries, after one year and a half spent in the Dutch state. 
 
One of our experts in immigration in Netherlands is ready to explain to you what advantages you may have if you obtain an EU blue card and what procedure you need to follow in order to be able to move in the Netherlands as fast as possible. We can also help you understand the conditions for obtaining Dutch citizenship, if interested and eligible.
 

What are the general requirements for work permit applicants?

 
Applicants should know that the employers are allowed to hire an individual from outside the EEA only in certain conditions, such as:
 
  • when there is no suitable candidate from an EEA country;
  • the vacancy was left open for at least five weeks (with a longer, three-month vacancy period for positions that are had to fill);
  • the employer took all of the reasonable steps in order to find an employee from the Netherlands or the EEA countries.
 
It is the employer’s responsibility to apply for a GVAA permit for the foreign national with the Immigration and Naturalization Department. For more information on the steps that are to be accomplished by the employer, please reach out to our Netherlands immigration specialists.
 
When submitting an application for a work permit, the applicant is required to make sure that he qualified for the intended type of permit. For example, highly skilled migrants will need to bring forward proof of their expertise and researchers (hired under Directive (EU)2016/18) will also need to comply with a set of general requirements and qualifications (for the researcher permit, the employer that needs to be a recognized sponsor is the one to submit the application with the IND).
 
There are several types of permits, apart from the highly-skilled one, for which the applicant needs to observe specific rules. These are for spiritual counselors, employees in the Asian catering industry, employees in specific art and culture positions, mass media correspondents, employees of a nonprofit organization, working as a trainee or apprentice and others. We recommend that applicants who decide to apply for one of these types of work permits discuss with a Dutch immigration lawyer from our team. by doing so, they will make sure that they comply with all of the requirements for their respective categories and that the application will not be rejected due to failure to comply with the specific requirements. 
 

What are the documents required when applying for a Dutch work permit?

 
The conditions that apply to any applicant are the following:
 
  • have a valid passport or travel document;
  • sign an antecedents certificate;
  • have a tuberculosis test after arrival in the country (only in some cases);
  • prove that you earn sufficient income and that you have a place where you will live.
 
A residence permit can be extended by submitting a special form with the IND (three months before the permit expired but not before this time). The Immigration and Naturalization Department will make an adequate assessment and decide on the permit extension.
 
Working in the Netherlands can be an important career advancement for many employees or it can present different opportunities for those interested in starting their own business or those who work as self-employed individuals. Regardless of the work they choose, applicants are always advised to seek proper information and apply for the right type of work permit. By doing so, they can ensure that their stay in the country is fully compliant.
 
According to Statistics Netherlands, the following figures apply to the labor market in the country:
 
  • the number of individuals in paid employment grew by 8,000 per month (on average) between July and September 2019;
  • in Q 2 2019, the labor force was comprised of 9.2 million individuals (13 million people aged 15 to 74 years, with 3.8 million not included in the labor force).
  • out of the total number of workers, 4.6 million were working full-time, with the rest of 4.4 million working part-time jobs in the Netherlands (the figures for Q 2 2019 were not seasonally adjusted).
Foreign nationals who have been working in the country for a number of years can apply for Dutch citizenship with the help of our immigration specialists.
 
Our Netherlands immigration specialists offer complete assistance to individuals who are interested in working in the country. We invite you to talk to one of our agents if you need more information about the pre-application phase as well as if you have already applied for the permit and are in need of expat services in the country. Contact us for more information about our services.