Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO-service, we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence.
Dutch visa, residency and permit regulations require expert guidance as they vary according to the country foreign nationals live in – the European Union, the European Economic Area and other foreign nationals are all affected by these complex regulations.
Our team is trained to research the latest information on Dutch visas and work permits - therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in Holland in no time.
What types of Work Visas and Permits for Netherlands are there?
Individuals from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland need not apply for a work permit, residence permit or entry visa, requiring just their national ID or passport.
Some non-EU countries have agreements regarding entry visas and their citizens are exempt, usually for 90 days in a 180-day period.
Employers wanting to employ Non-EU/EEA foreigners (Third Country Nationals -TCNs) need to become a sponsor for that worker and be recognized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) in order to apply for work and residence permits for employees.
Generally, the documents required to live and work in the Netherlands are:
- Entry Visa / temporary residence permit
- Work Permit
- Residence Permit
Main categories of Work Permit:
- GVAA - combined work permit and residence permit (Gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid)
- TWV - employment permit without residence (Tewerkstellingsvergunning)
- Permit for graduates – Orientation Year (zoekjaar) https://business.gov.nl/coming-to-the-netherlands/permits-and-visa/orientation-visa-for-highly-educated-persons/
- Entrepreneur permit / Start up permit https://business.gov.nl/coming-to-the-netherlands/permits-and-visa/startup-visa
For most foreign workers, they will require either a GVVA or TWV permit for employment with Dutch companies. They have the same requirements regarding assessment depending on the length of time they will be working in the Netherlands:
TWV – employment permit:
- To work for less than 90 days and this can be applied for through the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) but there are strict compliance regulations
- The job position has been offered and advertised to Dutch, EU/EEA, and Swiss nationals
- Only employers can apply for this permit.
Note: Highly skilled migrants may not require the employer to apply for the permit, but they will require a residence permit and the appropriate visa (temporary residence permit)
GVVA – combined work permit and residence permit:
- To work for longer than 90 days apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) who takes advice from the UWV
- Employers or employees can apply for this permit
- The job position has been offered and advertised to Dutch and EU/EEA and Swiss nationals for between five and 12 weeks and every effort has been made to fill the position (labor market test)
- An appropriate entry visa will still be required, if not exempt
Highly skilled migrants may not require the employer to apply for the permit, but they will require the residence permit and the appropriate visa depending on country of residence.
Main Residence Permits:
- GVVA Combined Residence and Work Permit – generally applied for by the employer, who needs to be registered as a sponsor with the IND.
- Highly Skilled Migrant Program (Kennismigrant) – the employer/recognized sponsor applies for Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) with the IND – regarding policy and security which takes about two weeks. The migrant needs a Temporary Residence Permit (MVV) and Residence Permit upon arrival in Netherlands.
- EU Blue Card is for highly skilled workers with at least a bachelor’s degree and a Dutch employment contract for one year with a minimum salary. But the employer does not need to be a recognized sponsor.
How to obtain a Netherlands Work Visa / Work Permit?
Citizens from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals do not require a Work Visa or Work Permit to live, visit or work in the Netherlands.
Generally Non-EU/EEA citizens (Third Country Nationals) coming for employment, require a Temporary Residence Permit (MVV) to enter the country, and a Combined Work and Residence Permit (GVVA) to stay and work; or a short term (three months) Employment Permit (TWV) with an appropriate entry visa if not visa exempt. There are other routes into the system such as EU Card, Highly Skilled Migrant Program, Intra-Corporate Transfer, Entrepreneur Start Up Pilot Scheme and as a Self-Employed worker.
Generally, the process for Non-EEA / EU nationals to work in the Netherlands, for longer than three months, comes under a Combined Work and Residence Permit:
- Have a valid passport
- Have a job offer and employment contract with a Dutch company with a minimum salary
- The Employer submits the application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).
- Documentation from both the employee and employer is required and is listed on the IND website as is the information on how to apply
- A letter of approval will be sent to the employer by the IND
- A copy should be forwarded to the employee with details on how they can apply for the MVV at their local Embassy or Consulate with required paperwork. This should be done within 90 days of receiving approval. An appointment is made, take all documents for the application
- The MVV is stamped in the passport allowing the employee to enter the Netherlands to collect the Combined Work and Residence Permit. Make an appointment to collect it from the IND
How to apply for Work Visa/Work Permit for Netherlands
- Gather all relevant documents - they must be notarized in home country and translated into an approved language: Dutch, English, French or German
- Copies of valid passport
- Educational certificates relevant to job position
- Ask employer what other documents are required to complete the Combined Permit, it’s on the website along with the form and details, in Dutch
- Once approved, apply for the Temporary Residence Permit (MVV) if not on the visa-exempt list. This allows entry to the Netherlands to collect the permit from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) or the sponsor/employer does the application for the employee
Points to consider:
- There will be a background check regarding any criminal record
- A tuberculosis (TB) test may be required for some foreigners
- The position may undergo a Labor Market Test to ensure the employer has advertised the position for between 5 – 12 weeks to Dutch / EU / EEA / Swiss nations first
To apply for the MVV (Temporary Residence Permit)
- Apply in person through the local Embassy or Consulate in home country of residence if you are a highly skilled migrant, an entrepreneur or startup professional or an investor
- Employer/sponsor applies through the IND if you have an employment contract
- Some applicants may be required to take a Civic Integration Exam, depending on nationality, the purpose of the stay or qualifications
- Application Form – completed and signed from Embassy’s website
- Passport and any other travel documentation. No older than 10 years with 2 blank pages. Valid for 90 days from the time you expect to depart the Netherlands
- Copies of your photo page of passport – current and previous.
- Copies of all pages with visa entry or exit stamps
- Proof of residence in the country from which you are applying for the visa e.g., passport (plus photocopy)
- Itinerary while in the Netherlands
- Proof that you intend to return to your home country
- Health insurance valid for Schengen area minimum €30,000 (US$35,000)
- Letter from employer with details of the job, salary etc.
- Proof of work permit
- Visa Fee
- Proof of financial means for duration of stay
- From your employer – proof of salary through employment contract or declaration from employer (within previous three months)
- Proof of accommodation and / or sponsorship
- Cover letter from employee confirming length and purpose of stay in Netherlands
Applicants will be notified through the Embassy or employer when approved and this will then need to be stamped in the passport to allow entry to Netherlands.
If employee is staying for longer than four months, then they will need to register with the municipality offices where they intend to live within five days of arriving in the Netherlands.
How much is a Netherlands Work Visa?
- Long-term MVV / Temporary Residence Visa - €320 (US$375)
- Short-term Visa / Transit / Business - €80 (US$94)
- EU Blue Card / Highly Skilled Migrant / Intra-Corporate Transferee - €320 (US$375)
- Combined Work and Residence Permit (GVAA) - €320 (US$375)
Working Visa / Permit for Netherlands
European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals do not require documentation to travel, live and work in the Netherlands apart from their National ID or their passports. Others should also check if they are visa exempt.
Third World Nationals will require:
- A Work Permit
- Residence Permit
- Long-Term Visa
A Work Permit (TWV) for employment are valid for less than three months. This can be applied for through the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) but there are strict compliance regulations. Only employers can apply for this permit.
Combined Work and Residence Permit (GVAA) for employment are valid for more than three months. The employers apply for this documentation for contracted employees.
A Residence Permit is needed by all foreign workers:
- Entrepreneurs can apply for this at the same time as their MVV at a Dutch Embassy or Consulate
- Start-Up is a one-year permit which will be evaluated by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency
- Highly Skilled Migrants who have an employment contract for three years, with a recognized sponsor/employer at the required salary, can apply and will not require a work permit
- GVVA as part of the work permit
- Blue Card scheme is for highly skilled workers with at least a bachelor’s degree and a Dutch employment contract for one year with a minimum salary. But the employer does not need to be a recognized sponsor
Long term-Visa which is also a Temporary Resident permit or MVV. This is required to enter the Netherlands. Depending on which Work Permit is being applied for, it can be requested by the employee at the local Embassy or Consulate, or by the employer at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) after the work permit / residence permit has been approved.
Netherlands Business Visa
A Netherlands Business Visa, or a Short-Stay Visa or C Visa, allows the holder to travel anywhere in the Schengen area, including the Netherlands. This can be for a maximum 90 days within a six-month window and depends largely on the applicant’s nationality. The type of business conducted can be training, attending meetings, conferences and networking as well as concluding contracts – but not for paid employment.
The visa is not required for Schengen, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens. There are also a number of exempt countries whose citizens can conduct business in the Netherlands without applying for this visa.
The process is:
- Checking if you meet the requirements for a visa. You can check here.
- Apply for this visa at a local Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. Book an appointment for it at least three weeks before travelling – it takes 15 days to process.
- Collect all required documentation:
- Visa application for Netherlands – completed, dated, and signed
- Photographs within Schengen rules
- Photocopies of previous entry and exit visa and stamps
- Itinerary for duration of stay
- Passport – copy of details page for current and previous passports
- Proof of accommodation for stay
- Proof of financial means for length of stay (approx. €34 (US$40) per day)
- Medical / health insurance for duration of stay
- Police report on any criminal activity
- Proof of intention to return to home country
- Invitation/s from company, conferences or for training purposes
- Proof of paid fees for Dutch Business Visa
Depending on nationality of applicant, more information may be requested from the Embassy. The cost of this Visa type is €80 (US$96).
Netherlands Visa for EU Citizens
Citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland do not require a visa for traveling to the Netherlands, only their passport (or ID card) of their home country, which provides sufficient evidence of their eligibility to live and work.
Those planning to stay more than 90 days must register with the local municipal records database to obtain their Citizen Service Number (BSN), as well as register for local taxes and social security.
Netherlands Visa for USA Citizens
Netherlands forms part of the Schengen area, so U.S. citizens may stay up to 90 days for tourist or business reasons without requiring a visa. Passports must be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay with at least two empty pages for entry/exit stamps. Visitors also need proof of sufficient funds for duration of stay and a return airline ticket.
An ETIAS (European Travel and Information Authorization System) waiver will be required for every U.S. citizen visiting for periods less than 90 days starting from December 2022. This is an online service, which is both very quick and easy to use.
To work and live in the Netherlands, US Citizens will require a Work Permit, Residence Permit and Long-Stay Visa (Temporary Residence Permit – MVV). They may qualify for the Combined Single Permit (GVAA).
Netherlands Visa for Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizens do not require a visa for short term trips to Netherlands. They can stay up to a maximum of three months in a six-month period for tourism, unpaid business trips and for family visits.
In 2022, An ETIAS (European Travel and Information Authorization System) waiver will be required for every Canadian and this can be completed online.
Passport and travel documents must be valid for a minimum of three months from travelling, with two blank pages for entry/exit stamps. Passports (or equivalent travel documents) must be issued at a maximum of 10 years before the date of travel, or they may not be accepted.
To live or work in the Netherlands will require more documentation, including a Work and Residence Permit (GVAA) and Long-Stay Visa (Temporary Residence Visa).
Netherlands Visa for Chinese Citizens
Travelling to the Netherlands from China requires a Schengen Visa. This is a short-term visa (C Visa) which allows people to stay (including the Schengen area) for a maximum of 90-days in any 180-day period. Applicants will need to go to a local Embassy in China that processes these visas in person along with up to 18 documents.
Chinese residents planning to stay more than 90 days need a long-stay MVV visa – applications can be made at the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing or the Consulates-General in Shanghai or Guangzhou.
For employment, a Work and Residence Permit is also required.
Netherlands Visa for UK Citizens
Netherlands’ Schengen membership means U.K. citizens may stay up to 90 days in a 180-day period, for tourist or unpaid business trips, for family visits, short-term studies, or training, without a visa. Passports must be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay with two empty pages for entry/exit stamps and in good condition. Visitors need proof of sufficient funds for duration of stay and a return airline ticket.
An ETIAS (European Travel and Information Authorization System) approval will be required for every U.K. citizen visiting for periods less than 90 days starting from December 2022. This is an online service and very quick and easy to use.
To work and live in the Netherlands, U.K. Citizens will require a Work Permit, Residence Permit and Long-Stay Visa (Temporary Residence Permit – MVV). They may qualify for the Combined Single Permit (GVAA).
Call us now!
Expanding into the Netherlands? You will need a firm grip on work permit and visa compliance if planning to move your staff there. The Immigration and Naturalization Service checks companies are following the rules and any non-compliance can attract up to €3,000 (US$3,500) penalties per violation. Mistakes will be costly to your business plans and waste valuable time.
As a global payroll service provider with PEO and EOR service platforms, Bradford Jacobs has the answers.
Do not take the risk. Contact us today!