How to Find Sponsored Jobs in the Netherlands in 2023

In the Netherlands, sponsored employment is scarce due to the country's highly skilled population and a labor pool that encompasses practically all of the EU. But do not give up. Finding sponsored jobs in the Netherlands is feasible with success. If not, there are usually additional employment opportunities in the Netherlands!

How to Find Sponsored Jobs in the Netherlands in 2023
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A sponsored job is one where your company assists with obtaining your work visa. A Dutch business, university, or research center wants to hire you as an outsider to work for them. This employer is willing to go to immigration to vouch for you to acquire a visa to work in the country because they genuinely adore you and believe you'll do a great job there.

Not every employer in the Netherlands can sponsor a candidate for employment. They must typically be accepted as a recognized sponsor by the Dutch immigration office (IND). Later, we'll define "recognized sponsor" in detail and explain where to look for one.

Benefits of Getting a Sponsored Job in the Netherlands

Generally, getting a job in the Netherlands through sponsorship will make things much more straightforward than applying for a visa through another channel. If you accept a job with a recognized sponsor, the IND will expedite your application for a work visa (Dutch Immigration Department). Instead of three months, you will only need to wait about two weeks to obtain a visa! For you, that means less waiting for your visa and a speedier opportunity to start your new career (and new life) in the Netherlands.

There are further advantages. For instance, if you are a Highly Skilled Migrant or possess a European Blue Card and are hired to work for a recognized sponsor, your employer is required to pay you a respectable wage:

Visa Type

Minimum Salary 

Highly skilled migrants 30 years or older

€4,840 gross per month

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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?

In the Netherlands, finding sponsored jobs is not very simple. Some careers are more straightforward than others; for instance, au pairs frequently work through a sponsor-recognized agency, and there are frequently more opportunities available for au pairs than in other professions.

However, some companies choose not to go through the effort of asking for sponsorship when they have a ready market of workers right in front of them if they are in an industry with a lot of competition, particularly in the local market. This (sadly) occurs more frequently than you might imagine, given that the Schengen accord made it feasible for everyone in the Schengen Zone (26 European nations!) to live and work in the Netherlands.

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

In the Netherlands, one of the most popular choices for sponsored employment is a highly skilled migrant (HSM) visa. This visa is intended for highly educated foreign nationals who are not citizens of the European Union, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, or Switzerland and who are expected to contribute to the Dutch knowledge-based economy. A university instructor, a scientist, or a future doctor, for instance (though not only).

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

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

Other paid employment

Your company may also apply to other paid work if you do not meet the requirements for highly skilled migrants. This is challenging because you must first establish that no one in the neighborhood can do the duties of the job your business is providing you.

The IND will ask the UWV to confirm this (Employee Insurance Agency). If the UWV determines that there are qualified candidates for the position in the Netherlands, it will inform the IND, and your application will be denied. The labor market test does have some exceptions, though. For instance, the UWV does not need to be mentioned for outstanding athletes, spiritual clergy, singers, or Asian restaurant cooks.

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): This visa, despite its lengthy name, 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 that has applied to and been approved by the IND is a recognized sponsor, and as a result, their overseas employees' visa applications are expedited. Your employer must be a recognized sponsor if you apply as a highly-skilled immigrant or a researcher.

However, your employer need not be a recognized sponsor if you are applying as an Intra Corporate Transferee, European Blue Card, or for other work in paid employment. They can simply act 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 who 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

A corporation that "hires" you on behalf of your actual employer is called an umbrella company. These are frequently viewed as help (or workarounds) for payroll, taxes, or visa problems. Using an umbrella business is something your prospective employer might advise, or you might bring it up yourself.

These businesses serve as your employer, submit an IND application as a recognized sponsor, and then establish a contract with the business you want to work for that allows you to do so. Of course, there are costs associated with this, so you could have to accept a wage reduction. In general, recruitment companies operate similarly. It is less typical to obtain sponsored employment straight through your recruitment firm.

What Dutch Companies are Recognized as Sponsors?

The IND has already recognized thousands of businesses as sponsors. Important businesses, including Allianz, Booking.com, bunq, Shell, Johnson & Johnson, and Netflix, are among them. You may obtain complete lists of recognized sponsors in the Netherlands on the IND's Public Register if you're interested in finding out if your potential company is already one.

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

Don't worry if none of those mentioned choices appeal to you. Many alternative visa possibilities are available, even if you cannot get a sponsored job working in the Netherlands.

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