How do you get a work permit to work in the Netherlands?
A work permit in the Netherlands for EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals
If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, then you do not have to obtain a valid work permit before performing any work in the Netherlands.
Even though EEA nationals do not need a work permit in the Netherlands, they must still register with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) if they wish to work in the Netherlands.
A work permit for Non-EU/EEA or Non-Swiss Nationals
If you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, then you will need a work permit in the Netherlands.
This can be obtain either through:
- admission as a labour migrant; or
- admission as a highly skilled migrant.
Labour migrant in the Netherlands
Admission as labour migrant means that the company must first look for a potential worker from the EU/EEA or Switzerland to fill the vacancy.
If no potential worker can be found from the EU/EEA or Switzerland for the vacancy, then a non-EU/EEA or non-Swiss national can be employed in that position.
What is a “highly skilled” migrant in the Netherlands?
Admission as a highly skilled migrant means that the company does not need to first look for a potential worker in the EU/EEA or Switzerland.
Under Dutch law there are, however, some extra requirements.
In addition to the employee being required to have a certain education level, the company that wants to employ the employee needs to be a recognised sponsor and the employee’s salary must be above a certain threshold.
Exceptions for Non-EU/EEA or Non-Swiss Nationals
There are several exceptions where there is no requirement to obtain a work permit:
- if the foreign national performs certain types of work and occasionally works in the Netherlands (i.e. business trips, guest lecturers)
- if the foreign national has a residence permit that states “permitted to work”
- if the foreign national has attained at least a Master’s degree in the Netherlands, and is there for the 1 year orientation visa.
Applications for work permits in the Netherlands must be made to the UWV Bureau Tewerkstellingsvergunning by the employer.
The Inspectie SZW monitors foreign employees in the Netherlands and imposes fines where foreign nationals have been employed illegally.
Dutch employment lawyer