Stay for work

EU/EEA citizen or Swiss citizen

If you have the nationality of a country belonging to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit to live in the Netherlands. The passport (or ID card) of the country of which you have the nationality is enough to live in the Netherlands and to work here. You will therefore not have to report to the INS. Your employer does not have to apply for a work permit (TWV) if you want to work in the Netherlands. Only if you have been in the Netherlands for more than 4 months you will have to register with the municipality.

You can stay in the Netherlands in principle for 3 months to look for a job. If you still do not have a job after 3 months and you do not make use of public resources such as the social assistance benefit, you may stay in the Netherlands even longer to look for work.

Do you become involuntarily unemployed or do you become temporarily ill? If so, you will be regarded as an employee or self-employed person for at least another 6 months. You may stay in the Netherlands during this period. You may apply for social assistance benefit during these 6 months. This does not affect your right of residence.

Highly skilled migrant and recognised sponsor

A highly skilled migrant is a highly educated immigrant who is allowed to work in the Netherlands under certain conditions. The application for a residence permit as a Highly Skilled Migrant can only be submitted by an employer who is a recognised sponsor. An exception to this is the application for a highly skilled migrant with Turkish nationality. The INS her policy states that if a recognised sponsor submits an application, a decision on the application must be taken within two weeks.

Er gelden eisen aan de minimale hoogte van het bruto maand salaris van de kennismigrant. De eisen voor de kennismigrant zijn niet voor alle kennismigranten hetzelfde. In 2023 is het navolgende onderscheid gemaakt:

  1. kennismigranten die na het afronden van een goedgekeurde bachelor-, master-, of postdoctorale opleiding binnen drie jaar in Nederland aan het werk gaan: € 2.631 (exclusief 8% vakantietoeslag)
  2. kennismigranten jonger dan 30 jaar: € 3.672 (exclusief 8%vakantietoeslag)
  3. kennismigranten vanaf 30 jaar: € 5.008,- (exclusief 8%vakantietoeslag)

The reliability, continuity and solvency of the company will be assessed when the application is submitted by an approved referee. The immigration law specialists at Berte advocaten can assist you with this application. The legal entity that is a recognised sponsor is included in the public register of recognised sponsors and can now submit applications online via the INS her business portal. Not only for highly skilled migrants, but also for other foreign employees.

The - registered - partner, the spouse and the minor children of the highly skilled migrant will also be granted a right of residence upon request.

Paid employment

If you or your company wants to offer a contract to a foreigner, it is advisable to ask for legal advise so you know the ins and outs of the procedure.

Nationals of a country belonging to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are allowed to come to the Netherlands to work as an employed person without having to follow a special admission procedure. These workers may make use of the right of free movement.

It is different for workers outside the European Union. If you would like that the employee works for you for more than three months, you must file a combined application for residence and work (GVVA). In this GVVA procedure, the assessment is made by the INS, although the Employee Insurance Agency will advise the INS.

The Employee Insurance Agency checks whether the employer has met all the requirements. These requirements relate in particular to the recruitment activities carried out by the employer and vacancies via EURES, the Employee Insurance Agency's digital international database. The Employee Insurance Agency also checks whether the salary offered is conform the standards, taking into account the provisions of the Collective Labour Agreement if applicable.

The average GVVA procedure takes 3 months. The fee for a GVVA application is €320.00. If the worker has a residence permit with a long-term residence status in another EU Member State, the fee is €192.00.

For a contract of less than 3 months, or if you wish to employ an asylum seeker or a student, the application for a work permit must be filed by the Employee Insurance Agency.

In the case of transfers from a company located outside the European Union to an office located in the Netherlands, a number of other rules, as laid down in the Directive 2014/66/EU, apply.

In addition, we have the knowledge migrant arrangement for positions that require high qualifications.

Moreover, there is the so-called EU Blue Card, which is meant for employees who carry out highly qualified work within the EU, but with this residence permit, it is also easy to work in another EU Member State. In addition to these residence permits as discussed above, there are many special arrangements for certain employees, such as a employee in the Asian hospitality industry, a clergyman, a particular employee in the arts and cultural sector and many more.

Berte Advocaten employs two immigration law specialists who have knowledge of the many different permits and different conditions that apply for the purpose as discussed above. Do you, as an employer, want to apply for a residence permit for an employee for the purpose of paid employment? Please contact us without obligation, or register your case for free using the form on our website.


An application for a residence permit for work on a self-employed basis is subject to the condition that your company needs to serve an essential Dutch interest. The INS does not carry out this assessment itself. The Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (hereinafter referred to as: RVO) carries out this assessment. The RVO uses a point system for this purpose. This scoring system does not apply if you (also) have the Turkish nationality and submit an application for a residence permit for work on a self-employed basis.

With your business plan you must demonstrate that your company serves an essential Dutch interest. This must follow from the business plan:

  • your business is viable;
  • your company meets a need in the Netherlands;
  • your company will contribute to the growth of the Dutch economy.

The RVO (and therefore the INS) sets high standards for your business plan, which must be substantiated with figures and, for example, a competition analysis.

A special residence permit for self-employment is the residence permit as a "startup". This permit is meant for ambitious start-ups, which are given a year to start an innovative business in the Netherlands. This permit requires that the start-up is accompanied by a reliable facilitator in the Netherlands. In addition, it must be an innovative product or service and a step-by-step plan must be submitted, which is assessed by the RVO. There must also be enough money to live and work in the Netherlands.

Do you have the American or Japanese nationality? Then there are more favourable conditions for residence as a self-employed person on the basis of the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or the Dutch-Japanese Trade Treaty.

Would you like to apply for a residence permit for work on a self-employed basis? If so, Berte Advocaten is in good hands with you for advice and guidance during this application. Berte Advocaten employs several immigration law specialists who will be happy to assist you. Register your case free of charge and without obligation using the form on our website.

Orientation year

All international bachelor's and master's students who have graduated from a Dutch education institution are eligible for a residence permit based on the search year, also called orientation year. This also applies to PhD students, postgraduate and academic researchers who have carried out their research in the Netherlands. In all cases, the education institution must qualify as a recognised sponsor. Master's students, postgraduates and PhD students who have studied abroad at a top-200 university are also eligible for a search year. Important to know is that they can already apply abroad.

For all international bachelor's and master's students who have studied in the Netherlands, is it important that you apply for a residence permit on the basis of the search year before the other residence permit expires, as this will prevent a so-called residence gap. Students can easily submit an application online with their DigiD.

Sometimes, you can apply for a search year several times because if you complete a second study or research, you will be eligible for another search year. However, if you apply for a search year once again, the study or research you completed must cover another area of interest.

In the orientation year you can try to find a job as a highly skilled migrant or as a start-up. The advantage of this residence permit is that it allows you to take on any job.