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How to apply for a work permit

This information is provided by:Employee Insurance Agency, UWVEmployee Insurance Agency, UWV

If you want to employ a foreign employee, you sometimes need a work permit. A work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) or a Combined Residence and Work Permit (Gecombineerde Vergunning voor Verblijf en Arbeid, GVVA). To apply for a work permit, you and the employee must meet several conditions.

1. Which work permit do I need?

You want a foreign employee to work for you. Then you will need a work permit in the following situations:

  • You hire someone from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland.
  • Your employee will be doing other work than for which they currently have a work permit.
  • Your employee's work permit will expire soon.

Note: By employee, UWV means any person for whom you are applying for a work permit. This can also be an intern or freelancer.

What work permits are there?

There are 2 types of work permits:

  • Work permit (TWV)
  • Combined residence and work permit (GVVA)

Which work permit do you need to apply for and where? This depends, among other things, on how long the employee comes to work in the Netherlands.

The same conditions apply when applying for a TWV or GGVA. The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) assesses if your application meets these conditions.

You can read below what exceptions there are. What you should do in that case is under: “When do I not have to apply for a work permit”?

Employee with work permit through the employment agency

Are you hiring a foreign employee through an employment agency? And has that agency already applied for a work permit? Then you no longer have to do this yourself. Always ask for a copy of the work permit for your own records.

2. Applying for a work permit

When applying for a work permit, general and special conditions apply. Which special conditions depends on the category in which the foreign employee falls.

3. After the TWV application

After the UWV has received your application form and the additional documents, they will assess your TWV application. You will receive a decision from them within 5 weeks.

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