Immigrate to the Netherlands as a Skilled Professional With a Netherlands Work Visa

The Netherlands is an ideal place for many people to settle down. Long regarded as having one of the finest standards of living in the world, the country is also rated among the highest life expectancies and economic growth in Europe. Moving to the Netherlands can be very challenging, especially if you intend to do so on your own as a seasoned professional or business owner, despite the country being one of the founding members of the EU and having a long tradition of tolerance and openness.

Immigrate to the Netherlands as a Skilled Professional With a Netherlands Work Visa

When considering traveling abroad for work, many people only consider certain places, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Dubai. Very few people consider how they may enhance their income in the Netherlands by getting a work visa to make ends meet. The Netherlands is one of the unique destinations to visit, regardless of whether your objective is to start a business or work for a multinational firm. Compared to other well-known locales, it has more lenient laws and comfortable living conditions.

In a 2018 survey by HSBC Expat Explorer using key performance measures like economic productivity, the standard of educational institutions, English proficiency, and the green revolution, the Netherlands was named the most extraordinary country to live in. In this essay, I'll go over all you need to know about obtaining your Netherland work visa, regardless of whether you want to relocate to the Netherlands after accepting a job offer from an international company or want to do so to launch a business.

Understanding the Netherlands Work Visa

Anyone seeking employment in the Netherlands who is not a Swiss citizen or from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) must first get a work permit. There are two types of work permits in this nation;

  • The employment permit (TWV)
  • And the single permit (also known as a combined residence and work permit)

Netherlands Work Permit Requirements for Foreign Workers Outside the EEA

For new employees joining the Dutch workforce from other countries, the Netherlands requires employers who seek to engage foreign workers from Switzerland and non-EEA countries to get an employment permit (TWV). For foreign workers who are offered employment in the Netherlands that can be completed in less than three months, an employment permit is necessary. A single permit is frequently requested if the intended work detail would take more than three months to accomplish.

Stringent requirements must be met before the Dutch employment agency responsible for issuing employment permits to enterprises for their new foreign recruits will issue this work permission document. Conditions include proving there are no competent experts to fill vacant corporate employment within the Netherlands must be met before opening these openings to the global community. Less visibly, these requirements may be disregarded for a given work type.

When an employee is hired by an intermediate company, such as a human resources company, an employment permit (TWV) must be applied for on their behalf. Once granted, a copy of the recruit's ID and employment visa must be provided to the Netherlands sponsor (hiring company). The procedure described above is meant to ensure that the law has been followed and that the company hiring foreign workers keeps appropriate payroll records for all of its employees, depending on how difficult it was for the employing company to find the perfect candidate to fill the position, the capacity of the hiring company to assist a recruit who wants to work in the Netherlands in applying for a single permit (GVVA) with the immigration and naturalization services (IND).

Requirements for Dutch, EEA Nationals, and Other Special Conditions

People from the Netherlands and the European Economic Area do not necessarily have to apply for a work visa to work in various positions in different companies. Under certain conditions, foreign nationals who are not EEA or Switzerland residents may also use these benefits. For instance, in the rare case that a foreign national marries a Dutch, Swiss, or EEA citizen, they are eligible for employment without needing a work visa.

When a Netherlands Work Visa is Required, But Not a Work Permit

Some non-EEA foreign nationals are exempt from the requirement to apply for a work permit. However, this group must first apply for a residency permit in the Netherlands.

The group included in this rule is;

  • People with the phrase ‘arbeid is vrij toegestaan’ stenciled on their residence permit. This phrase means; ‘permitted to work in English.
  • Foreign nationals with a resident permit that contains the phrase ‘arbeid als zelfstandige.’ This translates to ‘self-employed,’ usually businessmen or traders who own their businesses.
  • Foreigners from other countries outside the EEA who are traveling to the Netherlands intend to start their businesses. This usually has the word ‘startup’ stenciled on their residence permit.
  • Exceptional migrants who are highly skilled in their areas of expertise. This is seen to potentially increase the knowledge base of critical sectors in the country.
  • Foreign nationals who live abroad but plying their trade in the Netherlands on a short-term basis.

Types of Dutch Work Visa

Candidates can apply for any of the numerous subcategories of the Netherlands work visa, depending on their circumstances. To prevent rejection, you must adhere to the requirements and guidelines for these subcategories.

The various types of Netherlands work visas and the requirements for obtaining them are listed below;

Workers entering the country on a work visa to start regular employment are typically referred to as labor migrants.

To apply for this work visa subcategory;

  • An employment contract that shows a Dutch company has offered the applicant a job is to be submitted as a supporting document.
  • The applicant will need to prove that the sponsor is willing to pay the minimum salary, which is a standard for working-class immigrants above the age of 23
  • The Dutch employer that seeks the services of the foreign national is mandated to prove that the open position cannot be filled by citizens of the Netherlands or other European economic area countries.

Dutch Seasonal Labor Work Visa

Foreign nationals intending to enter the Netherlands for seasonal employment, often in the agricultural sector, may apply for this subclass of work visas. The Dutch seasonal work visa allows the grantee to stay for 24 weeks.

The seasonal work visa has specific standards that must be satisfied before it is issued, just like the typically paid work visa. They do;

  • An employment contract that shows that the applicant has been duly employed or will be employed at a specified time in the future is required.
  • Whether with the assistance of a Dutch employer or by personal effort, a single permit has to be obtained before this visa can be applied for
  • The Dutch company seeking the applicant’s services must be willing to structure salary payments at minimum wage levels.

Dutch Intra Corporate Transfer Work Visa

The applicant can be employed by a Dutch company's abroad subsidiary and wish to move their services to a branch or head office in the Netherlands. An intra-company work visa is necessary to complete this.

  • The applicant cannot be a national of any country inside the European Economic Area.
  • The applicant must reside in a nation outside of the European Union at the time of application.
  • The candidate must be a specialist or trainee presenting their management-level skills.
  • The holder of this visa must work for the company in his or her home country for at least three months before being transferred to the Dutch branch.
  • The candidate must be suitable for the advertised post and have the necessary experience.
  • The salary structure must be set up such that the applicant's compensation complies with the requirements for a highly skilled immigrant.
  • To qualify for this work visa, the applicant must demonstrate that they intend to live in the Netherlands for the time they will be working for a Dutch business.
  • The visa recipient's existing employer in his or her home country must have a strong business relationship with the branch in the Netherlands to which they are relocating.
  • Before the applicant's transfer visa was approved, there must have been no change in the job.
  • The Netherlands branch or subsidiary to which the transfer is being made must not have violated the Alien Employment Act within the previous five years, particularly when paying wage taxes or employment insurance premiums.
  • Employees who enter the Netherlands to participate in trainee programs must make sure they apply for their visas under the appropriate trainee program rather than the legal employment status.

Dutch Highly Skilled Immigrant Visa

These employees are referred to as knowledge workers. Due to their professional contributions, these highly gifted professionals have the potential to advance knowledge considerably in vital sectors of the Dutch economy. They are categorized as highly-skilled immigrants depending on how much money an employee makes by improving a company's productivity. For those in this category under 30, a minimum income of €3,299 is required, and for those over 30, a minimum income of €4,500 is required.

Before a candidate is categorized under this subcategory, specific requirements must be met;

  • A Dutch employer or research institution must provide an employment contract.
  • The employer must be a sponsor acknowledged by the immigration and naturalization agencies to hire foreign nationals under this subclass (IND)
  • Research scientist employment agreements must be signed on behalf of the hiring organization.
  • Contracts issued to researchers must include a job description and code that follow the university's criteria for classifying jobs.
  • The medical specialist registration committee (MSRC), social medicine physician committee (SGRC), general practitioner registration committee, and nursing home physicians registration committee have all established institutions where doctors enrolled in this subclass must complete their training (HVRC)
  • To pursue further education, doctors in the Netherlands are required to register with a specific healthcare professional organization. Otherwise known as a BIG-register

European Blue Card

To live and work in any EU member state, a non-EU person must first get a European blue card, which serves as a work permit. Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions; the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark do not recognize this pact. Using a European blue card granted by another EU member in the Netherlands requires both a work visa and work authorization from the Netherlands. For this to occur, certain conditions must be met;

  • The candidate must have a Dutch employer's employment contract for at least a year.
  • After at least three years, the candidate must have completed a program that resulted in a higher education diploma.
  • All higher education certificates used in the application procedure must be evaluated by the Dutch organization for internationalization in education (Nuffic).
  • The candidate must prove they possess the necessary skills to work in their chosen profession.
  • Each European blue card has specified monthly pay criteria the holder must meet to be issued, typically not less than €5,272.
  • In particular, regarding the payment of wage taxes or employment insurance premiums, the Dutch employer requesting the applicant's services must not have broken the aliens' employment act within the previous five years.

Orientation Year for Highly Educated Persons

Some Dutch students who have completed their studies but whose study visa is about to expire or has most likely already expired may be able to apply for an extension to find employment. For the three years that follow their educational program, this set of applicants is qualified to apply for a work visa for the Netherlands to get a proper orientation by working there. To be qualified for this orientation year, you must fulfill one or more of the following conditions:

  • The candidate must have completed a Dutch BA or MA program from an authorized university.
  • Must be enrolled in a postgraduate program for which at least one year has passed.
  • The candidate must have previously had a visa to the Netherlands for scientific study.
  • Hold an MA from an Erasmus Mundus institution in a master's program.
  • Obtaining the ministerial decree's benefits by finishing a higher education program at a specific institution.
  • Completing a project supported by the Netherlands' minister of foreign affairs' development cooperation strategy
  • Possess a certificate issued by a Dutch institution under the Cultural Policy Act
  • Having earned an MA or other postgraduate degree while attending a designated university or higher education facility abroad

European Union Researcher Directive 2016/801

Candidates who held research positions in other EU members may immigrate to the Netherlands if they meet the following criteria:

  • They demonstrate that they have the background in higher education to meet the prerequisites for admission to a doctoral degree program.
  • a Dutch research center authorized to host research cooperation by the Immigration and Naturalization Services (IND)
  • When a Netherlands-based organization grants permission for a candidate or group of candidates to conduct a research project
  • A research institute has provided an employment contract or host agreement to the applicant for a work visa for the Netherlands.
  • The applicant for a work visa will be paid more by his or her Dutch employer than the required minimum.

Dutch Work Visa Requirements for Self-Employed Individuals, Freelancers, and Entrepreneurs

To start a business or work as a freelancer in the Netherlands, a foreigner from a country outside the European Economic Area needs one license. This is because a resident permit rather than a work permit is necessary. The requirements and limitations for a Dutch work visa for independent contractors are highly tight compared to those for other visa categories. The anticipated good or service that the company will provide must be intended to raise the standard of living for citizens of the country or help the economy for those applying for self-employed work visas. Candidates can be eligible for a startup visa if this is the case.

How to Apply for a Netherlands Work Visa

The Dutch consular agent must receive the applicant's application for a work visa in person, whether at an embassy or high commission. If there isn't an embassy or high commission in the country where the new hire is from, a submission must be made at a Netherlands consular service office in a neighboring nation. Before submitting the work visa application, an appointment must be made. To minimize mistakes or errors in the visa application process for employees wishing to immigrate to the Netherlands, most applicants typically seek a professional's assistance.

The Netherlands work visa acts as both a residence permit and a mandate to engage in employment for a period of three months or more. It's sometimes referred to as a single permit that serves two objectives. There are numerous subclasses of Dutch work visas, as was already mentioned. Before a work visa can be issued, the sort of employment the applicant is traveling to the country to accept must be declared. It's also crucial to remember that several open opportunities require Dutch residency permits. There are, however, requirements that are common to all work visa applicants.

A candidate must first find companies displaying open positions meant to be filled by foreign nationals before applying for a Netherlands work visa. Of course, this will depend on one's field of expertise. Several conditions must be met before candidates for the various categories can receive this visa. At the point of entry into the Netherlands, self-employed individuals may apply for a specific work visa subclass, such as a startup visa. However, a few necessary conditions must be met to be eligible for this visa program.

The immigration and naturalization service (IND), responsible for approving resident and work permits (single permits) for foreign workers staying for over 90 days, will reject such applications if a work visa application is accepted for a position that can be filled by local labor. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to such minor detail. Depending on the length of the intended employment, when applicants from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland are accepted to work for a company in the Netherlands, the recruiting company becomes the applicant's sponsor. It is responsible for applying for the new hire's employment permit.

Of course, this only applies to applicants who want to work in the country for a short period. The Netherlands sponsor sends the work permit application to the Dutch employment agency for approval. The rules are often different for people intending to work in the Netherlands for a period longer than 90 days. Foreign job seekers who wish to work and dwell in the Netherlands for longer than three months must apply for a single visa, which will provide them with both full residency and a work permit. They must apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) to get this permit. Without the assistance of a hiring company, they must finish this on their own.

The next stage is to apply for a Netherlands work visa after acquiring a permit from an employer (employment permit) or the immigration and naturalization agency (single permit). There will be no need to present proof of finances if the applicant's sponsor covers all costs. The applicant must provide proof of sufficient cash as a supporting document for a visa application if the Netherlands firm hiring the applicant is not covering the cost of living.

Dutch Citizen Service Number

Five days after arriving in the nation, the new hire for the Dutch company must visit the neighborhood city office to obtain a Dutch citizen service number. Living in the Netherlands without a Dutch citizen number is prohibited, so this is an important step. As a result, the recruiting company will suffer.

Required Documents for Dutch Work Visa Application

Depending on the advertised position, additional paperwork may be required to process a Dutch work visa for a foreign national who is a citizen of a non-EU country. Because different nations and continents have different laws, it also depends on where you are from. The aforementioned supporting documents are consistently required, regardless of the country or the position is filled:

  • A valid passport
  • Attested evidence that information contained in the visa application is true
  • Proof of funds that shows a statement of sufficient income earnings
  • Proof of employment from an employer recognized by the Dutch employment agency
  • Medical certificate showing the applicant is free from tuberculosis
  • A background check to show a lack of a criminal record

Final Thoughts

Getting a work visa for the Netherlands is a challenging enough process. A candidate must submit applications for positions in companies with national headquarters since the preliminary steps leading up to this are somewhat challenging. Before considering a foreign national for these positions, a list of prerequisites is reviewed to see whether the advertised position can be filled locally and for how long. The Dutch employment agency handles processing employment permits for contracts of less than three months.

People from countries outside the EEA who want to work in the Netherlands for an extended period must apply for a single permit to do both. But under some conditions, the Immigration and Naturalization Service will handle single permits on the employer's behalf (IND). The next step is to obtain these documents, apply for a work visa for the Netherlands, and then wait for a response.

When deciding whether to grant a work visa, thorough consideration will be given to the applicant's nation, the sort of work to be performed in the Netherlands, and other factors. The applicant must select the relevant subcategory of work visa and submit the required supporting documents for the visa application to be processed. Depending on how detailed the application is, the processing period for a visa application may take between 2 and 7 weeks. Foreign workers entering the Netherlands must still perform specific actions during the first five days after making a decision.