Government support for entrepreneurs

Permits for employees

This information is provided by: Immigration and Naturalisation Service

There are several ways to employ staff from abroad. To work in a Dutch company, foreign employees will need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning). Special permits also exist for highly skilled / knowledge workers.

Less than 90 days

If you want to employ the foreign worker for less than 3 months, they will probably need a work permit. You can apply for this work permit to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV). It is valid for a maximum of 1 year, after which you must apply for a renewal.

More than 90 days

If you want to employ the foreign worker for 3 months or more, you will generally have to apply for a combined residence and work permit, the so-called 'single permit' (Gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA). This single permit is a residence permit with an additional document stating for which employer they are permitted to work and under which conditions. They therefore do not need a separate work permit. You must apply for the single permit to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND).

If your employee has a valid residence permit issued in a Schengen member state and you, as a recognised sponsor, have applied for a residence permit, no provisional residence permit (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf, MVV) is required.

To come to the Netherlands, normally a provisional residence permit (MVV) is needed.

Temporary cross-border services foreign companies

If your company is based outside of the Netherlands, but within the EEA (including Croatia) or Switzerland, and it performs an assignment in the Netherlands with employees that come from countries outside the EEA or Switzerland, these employees do not need an MVV, TWV or GVVA if:

  • they are allowed to work in your company's country.
  • you notify the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV in Dutch) 2 days prior to the start of the assignment.
  • your company's service does not comprise the provision of employees (as intermediary, secondment or subcontracting).

No work permit required

Some employees do not need a work permit. Make a copy of both sides of the residence permit and contact the IND for a check.

Where do I apply?

Generally speaking, you'll be able to obtain a work permit from the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV), but in some cases you'll have to apply for a combined residence and work permit (GVVA) from the IND.

This information is provided by:

Immigration and Naturalisation Service

Any further questions?

Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service +31 (0)88 043 0430