Work Permits for the Netherlands

EU citizens don't need a work permit for the Netherlands and don't have any restrictions when it comes to finding work. But non-EU residents face heavy restrictions that have been put in place to avoid flooding the job market.

Getting a work permit for the Netherlands

Dutch work permits are employer- and job-specific, so non-EU expats will have to apply through a company. Unfortunately, employers who hire foreign employees have to prove that the applicant’s skills can't be found elsewhere in the EU, which is highly unlikely. It is worth noting that those with highly sought-after skills or on an inter-company transfer may find that they are exempt from the labour market tests. 

Should expats wish to change jobs while working in the Netherlands, they won't be allowed to work for another employer until new papers have been issued.

Expats can also get a work permit if they have a Dutch partner who lives and works in the Netherlands willing to sponsor them. This means their local partner is prepared to be financially responsible for them while they look for a job. They'll need proof of their relationship, and if it ends then so does the permit's validity.

Generally, a Dutch work permit is only granted for a maximum duration for 1 year. The maximum duration depends on the specific type of work permit obtained. 

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, expats should register at their local municipality and apply for a citizen service number or BSN (Citizen Service Number). It's not possible to work in the Netherlands without a BSN, which is also needed to open a bank account, receive a salary, take out insurance and claim other benefits. 

EU citizens need to provide proof of identity and their registered address, while non-EU citizens have to provide extra documentation such as their residence permit and employment contract.

*Visa and work permit regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.