Work permits in the Netherlands

Do you want to work in the Netherlands? In that case you might need a work permit.

The good news: there are a lot of exceptions that might preclude you from having to get one. Just as with the residence permit, a lot depends on your nationality and the purpose of your stay. Read on to see if you need one or not!

Do I need a work permit to work in the Netherlands?

If you’re coming to the Netherlands and have already bagged a job here, the general rule is that the your (future) employer will have to arrange a work permit for you if you are not from an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland. However, as the Dutch government wants to stimulate its ‘knowledge economy’, scientific researchers are usually exempted from this requirement. A good thing to know if you come here with an academic purpose in mind!

You don’t need to get a work permit if:

  • You are a citizen from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland; you have free access to the Dutch labour market as a part of the European Single Market.
  • You are a foreign national who has had a Dutch residence permit for the purpose of work for five consecutive years and still have the Netherlands as your main place of residence.
  • You have a residence permit which provides full exemption of the obligation to get a work permit, such as:
  1. You are on an Orientation Year for Highly Educated Persons (Zoekjaar hoogopgeleiden in Dutch).
  2. You are a scientific researcher under Directive (EU) 2005/71.
  • You have a residence permit which provides full exemption of the obligation to get a work permit in accordance with the purpose of your stay. This could be the case if you:
  1. Fall under the Highly Skilled Migrant Scheme (Kennismigrantenregeling).
  2. Possess a European Blue Card.
  • You are doing scientific research at a university.
  • You are doing research as part of an EU project or other bilateral research project.
  • You are holding a position as lecturer at a university (of applied sciences).

Does the above not apply to you? If you plan to be working in higher education or another sector with personnel shortages, you might still enjoy some leniency during the application process.

Check all categories and regulations