How to Find Sponsored Jobs in the Netherlands as a Foreigner

Due to the Netherlands' highly skilled workforce and a labor market that essentially covers the entire EU, sponsored employment is difficult to come by there. But keep trying. It is possible to find sponsored jobs in the Netherlands. If not, there are frequently more job openings in the Netherlands!

How to Find Sponsored Jobs in the Netherlands as a Foreigner

A sponsored jobis one in which your employer helps you get a work visa. You wish to work for a Dutch company, university, or research facility as an outsider. This employer really loves you and thinks you'll do a fantastic job there, so they're willing to go to immigration to vouch for you to get a visa to work in the nation. Not every firm in the Netherlands is able to sponsor a job applicant. The Dutch immigration office must normally accept them as a recognized sponsor (IND). We'll define "recognized sponsor" in more detail and outline how to locate one later.

What are the Benefits of Getting a Sponsored Job in the Netherlands?

In general, asking for a visa through another route will be far more difficult than being sponsored for a job in the Netherlands. Your work visa application will be processed more quickly by the IND if you take a position with a recognized sponsor (Dutch Immigration Department). You will only have to wait roughly two weeks to get a visa rather than three months! That means less time spent waiting for your visa and a quicker chance for you to begin your new life (and career) in the Netherlands.

There are further benefits. For instance, if you are employed by a recognized sponsor as a Highly Skilled Migrant or have a European Blue Card, your company is required to give you a reasonable wage:

Visa Type

Minimum Salary 

Highly skilled migrants 30 years or older

€4,840 gross per month

Highly skilled migrants younger than 30 years

€3,549 gross per month

Reduced salary criterion

€2,543 gross per month

European Blue Card

€5,670 gross per month

Compared to such figures, the Dutch minimum salary in 2022 will be €1,725 gross per month.

How Difficult is it to get Sponsored Jobs in the Netherlands?

Finding sponsored employment in the Netherlands is not very straightforward. Some jobs are easier to enter than others; au pairs, for example, usually work through a sponsor-recognized agency and frequently have more chances than people in other professions.

However, if a company is in a highly competitive field, particularly in the local market, they may decide not to make the effort of seeking sponsorship when they have a ready market of workers right in front of them. Given that the Schengen Agreement made it possible for everyone in the Schengen Zone (26 European states!) to live and work in the Netherlands, this (unfortunately) happens more frequently than you may think.

How to Get Sponsored Job in the Netherlands

However, you might have more chances if you believe you have a competitive advantage or are skilled in a workforce that is in high demand. What choices do you therefore have? Let's look at it.

Highly-skilled migrant

A highly skilled migrant (HSM) visa is one of the most popular options for sponsored employment in the Netherlands. Foreigners with advanced degrees who do not hold citizenship in the European Union, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, or Switzerland and who are anticipated to contribute to the knowledge-based economy of the Netherlands are eligible for this visa. For example, a future doctor, scientist, or university professor (though not only).

To be eligible as a highly-skilled migrant, the migrant needs to: 

  • have a job lined up with a recognized sponsor and,
  • earn a minimum and competitive income.

Other paid employment

In the event that you do not match the standards for highly qualified migrants, your organization may also apply to other paid work. This is difficult because you must first demonstrate that no one in the area is capable of performing the responsibilities of the job your company is giving you.

The IND will request that the UWV verify this (Employee Insurance Agency). If the UWV judges that there are Dutch citizens who are qualified for the position, it will let the IND know and your application will be rejected. However, there are several exceptions to the labor market test. For instance, the UWV need not be mentioned when referring to exceptional musicians, spiritual leaders, athletes, or cooks from Asian restaurants.

Other visa options for a sponsored job

Don't worry if you discover you are ineligible for a highly skilled migrant visa or another paid employment visa. You might also think about

  • A European Blue Card: The European Blue Card is for educated individuals, much like the highly skilled migrant visa. The HSM visa, however, is more popular because it has a lower minimum wage threshold, a shorter processing process, and fewer documentation requirements.
  • Intra Corporate Transferee: for workers moving to a branch in the Netherlands as a trainee, managers, or specialists from a company outside the EU.
  • Researcher within the Council Directive (EU): Despite its lengthy name, this visa is for researchers who are engaged by a recognized sponsor and will be compensated with a grant or pay.
  • Orientation year highly educated persons: You might be qualified for a zoekjaar visa even if you haven't found work but have graduated, earned a Ph.D. or conducted scientific research in the Netherlands. With this, you can work and live in the Netherlands for a year while looking for a longer-term solution.

What is a Recognized Sponsor, and Why is it Important?

An organization is recognized as a sponsor when it has submitted an application to the IND and received approval; as a result, the visa applications of their international workers are processed faster. If you submit an application as a highly skilled immigrant or a researcher, your employer must be a recognized sponsor.

In contrast, if you're seeking for a European Blue Card, an intra corporate transfer, or any other type of compensated employment, your employer does not have to be a recognized sponsor. They might serve as a sponsor.

There are plenty of recognized sponsors already. According to the IND, there are:

  • Over 90 recognized sponsors who are registered educational institutions
  • Over 30 companies are recognized as sponsors for au pairs.
  • Over 9,000 companies can sponsor labor or highly skilled migrants
  • Over 130 recognized sponsors for research purposes under the Public Register Researcher Directive EU 2016/801.

Some significant companies or companies that hire internationals regularly may already be recognized sponsors. Otherwise, they must apply, be approved, and pay a significant fee.

Does my company need to be the recognized sponsor?

No, actually. Your employer doesn't need to be the registered sponsor if you wish to be sponsored for employment in the Netherlands. Instead, you may use a recruitment agency or, in uncommon circumstances, an umbrella firm.

How to use an umbrella company or recruitment agency as a recognized sponsor

An umbrella company is a business that "hires" you on behalf of your real employer. These are typically seen as solutions (or workarounds) for issues including wages, taxes, or visas. Your potential employer might suggest using an umbrella company, or you might bring it up on your own.

These companies function as your employer, submit an IND application as an approved sponsor, and then set up a working relationship with the company you want to work for. You might have to accept a wage reduction because, of course, there are costs involved. Recruitment agencies typically run similarly. Finding sponsored employment directly through your recruitment agency is less common.

What Dutch Companies are Recognized as Sponsors?

Thousands of companies have already been acknowledged as sponsors by the IND. Among them are significant companies like Allianz,, bunq, Shell, Johnson & Johnson, and Netflix. If you want to check to see if your possible company is already a sponsor in the Netherlands, you can discover entire lists of recognized sponsors on the IND's Public Register.

What Other Options do I Have for Obtaining a Work Visa in the Netherlands?

If none of the options described above appeal to you, don't worry. Even in the event that you are unable to secure a sponsored job in the Netherlands, there are numerous alternative visa options accessible.