Nationals from outside the EEA or Switzerland or from Croatia

If you own a company in the Netherlands and you want to hire foreign workers from outside the EEA and Switzerland or from Croatia, generally they need either a TWV or a combined work and residence permit [Dutch: gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA]. However, conditions apply to obtaining one of these permits. Among others, you must first do everything within your power to hire someone from within the EEA or Switzerland and the vacancy should be reported with the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) first. If you hire someone through an intermediary or you outsource work to another company, then these third parties must apply for the work permit.

Less than 90 days

If you want to employ the foreign worker for less than 3 months, they will probably need a work permit. You can apply for this work permit (Dutch) to the Employee Insurance Agency [Dutch: Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV]. It is valid for a maximum of 1 year, after which you must apply for a renewal.

More than 90 days

If you want to employ the 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 must apply for the single permit, GVVA, (Dutch) to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service [Dutch: Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND].

Temporary cross-border services foreign companies

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

  • they are allowed to work in your company's country
  • you notify UWV (Dutch) 2 days prior to the start of the assignment
  • your company's service does not comprise the provision of employees (as intermediairy, secondment or subcontracting)

No permit required

You do not need a work permit for:

Please note: knowledge workers in the Netherlands for less than 3 months do need a visa, but there is a simplified procedure for the application.

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.