Work permit (TWV)

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Are you planning to hire an employee from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland? You will need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) or a combined residence and work permit (gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA).

Employees from EU member states, the EEA and Switzerland

EU/EEA nationals and Swiss nationals do not need a work permit to work in the Netherlands. They do need a valid passport or identity document.

Employees from outside the EEA and Switzerland

If you own a company in the Netherlands and you want to hire foreign workers from outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland, generally they need a work permit. There are 2 types of work permit:

It depends on the duration of the employment and the type of employment which permit you need. You must first do everything within your power to hire someone from within the EU, the EEA or Switzerland and the vacancy should be reported to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen,UWV) first.

Less than 90 days

If you want to employ the foreign worker for less than 3 months, they will probably need a work permit (in Dutch). You can apply for this work permit for the Netherlands to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV, in Dutch). It is valid for a maximum of 1 year, after which you can apply for a renewal. If you hire someone through an intermediary or you outsource work to another company, then these third parties can apply for the work permit. Read more on how to apply for a work permit.

More than 90 days

If you want to employ a foreign worker for 3 months or more, you will generally have to apply for

  • a combined residence and work permit (GVVA), the so-called single permit. The GVVA 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 can apply for the single permit or the worker can apply for the single permit to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND).
  • a provisional residence permit (mvv). This is a special type of visa with which the employee can enter the Netherlands. Not all nationalities need an mvv. If your employee already has a residence permit from a Schengen country, you do not have to apply for an mvv. As a sponsor you can apply for an mvv to the IND.

To find out whether your employee needs a permit, you can check with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).


You must pay a foreign employee's wages monthly via a bank account.

Accelerated procedure

Accelerated procedures apply to:

  • some categories of employees, such as senior management, specialists, and employees of your foreign branch who come to the Netherlands to learn additional techniques (apprentices)
  • top artists. If you are an employer active in dramatics, theatre, opera, musicals, classical music or dance, you can obtain a work permit for them. The artist's salary determines whether they belong to the top.

Work permit (TWV) for asylum applicant

An asylum seeker (refugee) without a residence document may work for you in the Netherlands (including as a self-employed person) if:

  • the asylum application has been pending for at least 6 months, and
  • you as employer (or client) apply for a work permit (TWV) to UWV (in Dutch).

You must pay an asylum seeker the same wage as a Dutch employee. UWV checks whether the employer pays enough wages.

No permit required

You do not need a work permit in the Netherlands for certain groups of workers (in Dutch), although other conditions do apply. You do not need a work permit for, among others:

Employees from Ukraine

Refugees from Ukraine can work in the Netherlands without a work permit under the Temporary Protection Directive. You must notify UWV in advance (in Dutch). This exemption does not apply to persons with a temporary residence permit for Ukraine.

Please note: Refugees from Ukraine must have a sticker or O-document as proof of residency in the Netherlands from IND to be eligible for this work permit exemption.

Temporary cross-border services by foreign companies

If your company is based outside of the Netherlands, but within the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, and it performs an assignment in the Netherlands with employees that come from countries outside the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland, these employees do not need a work permit TWV or single permit GVVA if:

  • they are allowed to work in your company's country,
  • you notify the service provider online prior to the start of the assignment, and
  • your company's service does not comprise the provision of employees (as intermediary, secondment, or subcontracting)

Change in permit

If there is a change in your situation or the purpose of your stay in the Netherlands, you may need to apply for a different permit. You are only entitled to a specific work and/or residence permit if you fulfil the requirements for that permit. If your situation changes, you will need to contact the Immigration and Naturalisation Service to apply for a different permit.

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