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Foreign personnel

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND

If you have a company that is based in the Netherlands and you are looking for personnel, you are obliged to recruit first of all within the Netherlands, the rest of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. You must first prove you cannot find any suitable employee here, before being allowed to recruit in other countries.

Employees from outside the EU and the EEA usually require a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) or a combined residence and work permit, known as a 'single permit' (Gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA). Employees from other EU countries, or from EEA countries or Switzerland do not need a permit. For essential personnel for start-ups you can apply for a residence permit under the scheme for essential personnel for start-ups.

Proof of identity and citizen service number for foreign employees

When you hire foreign employees or employ them through a contractor or subcontractor, you have to check their identity. You must also ensure that your records include a photocopy of their proof of identity, which you must keep for 5 years after the person stops working for you. Foreign employees who are required to pay tax in the Netherlands must have a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN).

Establishing identity on request

If the Inspectorate SZW (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment) asks you to establish the identity of one of your employees, you must send them a copy of their identity document within 48 hours.

Comparing foreign applicants

If you wish to compare foreign applicants, you could decide to make use of Europass. Europass is a European Commission initiative for improving international mobility with regard to working and studying. It is available in all European languages.

Terms of employment

The terms of employment for foreign employees that work for a European company in the Netherlands are laid down in the Terms of Employment Posted Workers in the EU Act (Wet arbeidsvoorwaarden gedetacheerde werknemers, WagwEU).

Terms of employment for posted workers

Posted workers frome the EU have more rights since the revised Posted Workers Directive has been implemented in Dutch law. This is called the 'hard core' of terms of employment and it means they have more rights concerning housing an additional payouts. If they work for 12 months or longer in another EU member state, posted workers from EU member states are entitled to the same benefits as local employees (except for dismissal protection and additional company pensions). In some cases this period can be extended to 18 months. This is called the 'expanded hard core' of terms of employment.

Duty to report posted workers

As of 1 March 2020 the duty to notify posted workers is in place. This applies to employers from the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland such as multinational companies that post workers to their Dutch branch, employment agencies that post workers to the Netherlands and self-employed professionals in certain sectors who will be working temporarily in the Netherlands.

Hiring foreign personnel through an intermediary

If you hire personnel from outside the EU and the EEA via an intermediary (e.g. temporary employment agency, contracting firm or subcontractor), you are responsible for ensuring that they have a work permit. The intermediary must request this permit.

Acknowledgement as sponsor

If you bring employees from outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland to the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, you can have yourself recognised as sponsor. For bringing highly skilled migrants or scientific researchers into the country, this acknowledgement is mandatory, unless they apply for European blue card. If it concerns employees for regular paid work or seasonal employment, acknowledgement is voluntary.

Self-employed professionals and freelancers

If you work with self-employed professionals or freelancers from abroad, you must check whether they are permitted to live in the Netherlands and be self-employed. This is stated in their residence permit or passport. You will usually need a work permit for self-employed professionals from outside the EU and the EEA.

Language requirement for hazardous tasks

Is a foreign employee working for you on a hazardous task, such as the removal of asbestos or the operation of a crane? In order to ensure that work is carried out safely and accidents are prevented, that person must have an adequate command of the Dutch language. This also applies to temporary foreign employees who conduct hazardous tasks.

Work permit and residency rights of British citizens after Brexit

British citizens may need a work permit. This depends on the date of their arrival in the Netherlands. If you are a British citizen or you employ British citizens, find out how British residency rights have changed. For the latest information check the Immigration and Naturalisation Service Brexit page and the questions and answers on Brexit from the Dutch government.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND