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Work permit Netherlands

If you intend to live and work in the Netherlands, you may need a work permit. The likelihood of being granted a Holland work permit depends on your nationality, qualifications and profession. There are different types of Netherlands work permit, depending on the type of work you intend to undertake. Highly skilled migrants are encouraged. There are fast track immigration processes and tax benefits to make it easier and more attractive to live and work in the Netherlands. Find out what type of Holland work permit you need below.

EU Citizens

If you hold a passport from an EU or EEA nation, then you do not need to apply for either a residence or a work permit. Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland are free to live, work and study throughout Europe, without any restrictions. Citizens of Croatia, who recently joined the EU, must apply for a Holland work permit for their first year. Japanese citizens can also work in the Netherlands without a separate work permit. They just need a valid long-term residence permit.

Non-EU Citizens

The type of Netherlands work permit you will require depends on the type of job you are going to undertake. The most important thing is, that in most cases, you need to have a job secured before you start the application process. Your employer or prospective employer acts as your sponsor and must apply at the IND (Department of immigration) for you. They must be able to provide your contractual information and prove that your job could not be filled by an EU citizen. The Netherlands work permit processing time could be up to a month and you cannot book your flights until you have received your MVV residence permit. Make sure you have all your documents legalised before you apply because this can take longer than expected.

Types of Work Permit

A single permit (GVVA) allows you to move to the Netherlands and work for a specified employer. Usually, it lasts one year when it will need to be renewed. Sometimes they last three years. If you change your job, your new employer will need to apply for a new permit for you. Before the application process, you should make sure that all your documentation is translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

Highly skilled workers, employed to work in a high-level position, still need their employer to apply for a residence permit which entitles them to work. The employer must prove that earnings will be higher than a certain threshold. The permit will be specifically tied to the job and will be valid for the duration of the contract up to a maximum of five years. After which it can be renewed.

People who have recently qualified from an institute of higher education could apply for an ‘orientation’ work permit. This will allow them a year to find employment relating to their study.

It is possible to apply for an ‘entrepreneurial’ work permit if you wish to start your own business in the Netherlands. The process is quite vigorous, and you will need to prove that your business is viable and in the interests of the Dutch economy and society.

EU Blue cards

If you’re highly educated and highly skilled in certain professions, your employer can apply for a special type of residence permit called an EU Blue card. This will entitle you to move around within the EU as an EU citizen. You are free to work in another EU country after 18 months and your stay will contribute towards your permanent EU residence. Check the IND website to see if you meet the requirements.


Your family should have the right to join you and will be able to work without a separate Netherlands work permit. You will need to prove your relationship and be able to financially support them for the first year. They will have the right to live and work in the Netherlands, so long as your contract is valid. Providing your relationship status does not change.


Once you’ve found the perfect job, you then start the complicated process of relocation. At Mundialz we understand the stress that moving abroad can entail. We aim to be your guide along the way. Read our pages on living in the Netherlands and moving to the Netherlands to find out more useful information about Holland work permits and lifestyle.

Search amazing job opportunities in the Netherlands today!

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