Work Visa in the Netherlands - Requirement | Application

If you want to work in the Netherlands for a period longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a work visa. This article provides a comprehensive guide to getting a work visa for the Netherlands, the application process, documents and eligibility requirements, frequently asked questions, and more.

Work Visa in the Netherlands - Requirement | Application

US, Australian, South Korean, and a few other fortunate nationals don't require a visa to immigrate to the Netherlands to breathe a little easier. They must, however, seek a residency permit, which they can do after arriving in the nation. Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss ex-pats ought to find it even simpler. They don't have to go through any application procedures for a visa or residence permit to enter the Netherlands. They can live and work in the Netherlands with just their travel ID.

However, every non-EU citizen who wants to work in the Netherlands has to obtain a valid work permit. The employee or their prospective employer may request the license, although the employer usually makes the request. Depending on where you come from, you may require a different kind of work visa and work permit to live and work in the Netherlands. However, you do not need to submit a work permit or employment visa application on your own unless you are an investor or business owner. The employer serving as your host in the nation is in charge of the application process.

Working in the Netherlands

There is a great need for highly qualified professionals in the Netherlands, which has one of the world's most globally focused, educated, and multicultural workforces. Many people from all over the world find employment in prosperous cities like Amsterdam, attracted by the low cost of living, high pay, social security benefits, and gifts for foreign workers like the 30% tax ruling program.

The nation performs well on the OECD Better Life Index in every category. In terms of employment, 78% of people of working age are employed (higher than the OECD average of 66%), and almost anyone works long hours for a living. The household's net-adjusted disposable income of $34,984 is higher than the OECD average of $30,490. Furthermore, 13.4% of Dutch people are foreign-born, including many people who are of working age. In 2019, 63,605 persons moved to the Netherlands for employment-related reasons, accounting for 29.5% of all migrations that year.

The Netherlands has a two-tier immigration system, just like most other countries in the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA—Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). People from EU/EFTA countries can visit the nation for business. However, people who are not citizens of the EU or EFTA typically need a work visa or permit. These are usually limited to jobs requiring high levels of competence, temporary or seasonal employment, and shortage occupations.

Who Needs a Work Visa for the Netherlands

To work in the Netherlands, residents of the EU/EFTA do not need to have a visa or work authorization. With a legitimate ID, they may enter the nation and hunt for employment.

You must register with your local government if you are an EU/EFTA citizen and will be in the Netherlands for over three months. You will then be given a citizen service number and added to the Personal Records Database. This is the Dutch social security and tax identification number, which is necessary for many activities in the community, such as opening a bank account.

However, non-EU/EFTA nationals—also referred to as third-country nationals—typically require a citizen's residence permit to work in the Netherlands. Some residents, including those from Australia, Japan, and the United States, are permitted to stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days without a visa. However, if visitors from these nations want to work during their brief stays, their employers must obtain a work permit from the Dutch government. These nations must apply for a Dutch residence permit from the IND to stay for more extended periods.


Before traveling there, you must apply for your Netherlands work visa and residence permit, if you are from a nation whose residents cannot enter the Netherlands without a visa. On the IND website, look up the requirements for your country.

Types of Work Visas in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are typically three different categories of work visas. Which are:

  • Schengen category C visas, sometimes short-stay work visas, are valid for up to 90 days.
  • Temporary work visas, which are often only good for a year and are not renewable
  • Long-stay work visas, which are often for skilled jobs in the Netherlands and are renewable every one to five years

Short-stay work visas for the Netherlands

For visits of up to 90 days or a maximum of 90 days within any 180 days, this is the Schengen category C visa. This visa is valid for business travel, short-term employment contracts of less than three months, and trips relevant to your line of work. However, you will typically need a job offer or an invitation to a work-related event.

How to apply

The Dutch embassy or consulate in your country is where you can apply for this visa. Your employer must also apply for a TWV permit from the Dutch Employees Insurance Agency (UWV) (in Dutch). Your company will still need to use a TWV even though you are not required to have a visa to enter the Netherlands.

When requesting a business short-stay visa for Schengen, you must include the following information:

  • Valid passport or travel ID
  • Two recent passport photos
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself during your stay, for example, bank statements. This currently amounts to around €55 a day.
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Details of your accommodation covering your stay
  • Confirmation of your job offer
  • Details of your return flight confirming that you will leave the Netherlands at the end of your work-related event

Within 15 days, you should learn the outcome of your visa application. In most cases, you must pick up your visa from the embassy or consulate if it is approved. The cost of the ticket is €80. Payment must be made in full along with your application. Furthermore, short-stay visas can only be extended in extraordinary circumstances and are only suitable for 90 days out of every 180.

Temporary work visas 

Contractual employment lasting more than three months but no longer than a year is eligible for temporary work visas in the Netherlands. Currently issued temporary permits include:

  • A seasonal worker visa is required to work in Dutch agriculture. This visa has a maximum six-month validity period.
  • Available to nationals of nine countries between 18 and 30 and valid for up to one year is the Working Holiday Program (WHP) visa.
  • Ages 18 to 30 can apply for the au pair visa, which allows them to work as an au pair in the Netherlands for up to a year.

However, to get a temporary work visa, you must have a legitimate job offer or proof of enrollment in a program. If you want to work as an au pair in the Netherlands, you must apply to a sponsored au pair agency and have a host family offer.

How to apply

The application process is determined by the kind of visa and the country of origin. You should apply through the Dutch embassy or consulate in your native country if you require an MVV to enter the Netherlands. You can also use the IND on behalf of your sponsoring business or group and then pick up your MVV from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country.

The au pair agency must apply on your behalf if you travel on an au pair visa. While your company must get a work permit (TWV) from the UWV, you will require a resident permit from the IND. The TWV and residency are integrated into a single license when working seasonally. Typically, the employer submits the IND with an application for a GVVA.

To make an application, you will need to provide:

  • Valid passport or travel ID
  • Two passport photos
  • Confirmation of job/program offer or provisional employment contract
  • Health insurance coverage (usually paid for by the employer for seasonal workers)
  • Evidence of clean criminal record
  • Completed sponsor declaration form
  • Proof that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself if coming on a WHP visa

The WHP visa costs €69, whereas the au pair visa costs €345. The sponsoring business typically covers the €207 cost of the seasonal worker visa. While WHP and au pair visas are only good for a year and cannot be renewed, seasonal worker visas are only good for up to six months. You can only work while on a WHP visa if it is approved as a component of the program.


Long-stay work visas

In the Netherlands, where the employment offer is typically for at least one year, this visa is required for most employment agreements. The following long-term work visas are available in the Netherlands:

  • The general work-in-paid employment visa is an authorization for most jobs in the Netherlands general work-in-paid employment visa. It has a three-year validity period and is renewed, typically for a maximum of five years.
  • High-level positions requiring a minimum wage are eligible for highly skilled migrant visas, typically valid for five years.
  • High-skilled workers can use the EU Blue Cardin all EU and EFTA nations. This four-year visa is renewed each year.
  • Managers, experts, and trainees of international corporations who are transferred to the Netherlands are eligible for an intra-corporate transfer (ICT) visa, valid for three years (or one year for trainees).
  • Five-year valid researcher visa for conducting professional or academic research.

Typically, you'll require a job offer from a sponsoring company. When applying for a highly skilled worker or researcher visa, this must come from a recognized sponsor. Additionally, most job offers must provide a competitive wage that satisfies Dutch income standards.

How to apply

Your company often makes your application for a long-stay Netherlands work visa. They will submit applications to the IND for your MVV and the UWV for your work permits (TWV). They can now frequently submit an application to the IND for a single license (GVVA), which combines the TWV and the residency permit.

The following must be provided (and, if necessary, translated into Dutch, English, French, or German):

  • valid travel ID or a passport
  • passport photographs of two
  • confirmation of a work offer, such as a contract of employment
  • educational background or resume
  • Evidence that your income satisfies the requirements for income
  • insurance for health care
  • Check for criminal records
  • Form for Sponsorship Declaration (for non-recognized sponsors)

The processing time for long-stay visa applications in the Netherlands is 90 days, whereas it is only 60 days for researcher visas. If successful, you can pick up your MVV from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country (if necessary). Within two weeks of your arrival in the Netherlands, your residence permit/GVVA should be prepared for pickup at the IND.

In general, long-term work permits cost €345 each. The fee for a researcher visa is €207. Employers often cover ICT visas. The length of your passport or key depends on the kind of visa you have and how long your employment contract is. They are often renewed and typically have one to five years of validity. In some situations, you are granted a permit for an initial one-year period, and you can extend it by contacting the IND.

Work Permits in the Netherlands

In addition to visas and residency permits, work permits are still utilized in the Netherlands. Before a foreign employee can begin working in the Netherlands, the employer must apply for a TWV from the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency. Most international employees require a TWV. Some jobs, such as university research ones, do not, though.

The Gecombineerde Vergunning Voor Verblijf en Arbeid (GVVA), a single permit that combines residency and work permits, was adopted by the Dutch authorities in recent years to streamline procedures. Employers request this through the IND. In the Netherlands, the GVVA is currently the most popular permit. Some industries continue to issue separate TWV work licenses and residence permits.

Work Visas in the Netherlands for Family Members

Most long-term work visas in the Netherlands allow spouses, partners, and children to accompany the applicant. Your relatives cannot accompany you if you are employed on a short-term or temporary visa, such as the seasonal worker visa. Relatives typically have the same employment privileges as the family they are joining and must apply for their visa or residence permit as family members. If they start working, their employer must obtain a TWV license on their behalf.

Even if they are personally from outside the EU/EFTA, relatives of EU/EFTA citizens residing in the Netherlands may travel freely and join without a visa or authorization. This includes parents, grandparents, spouses/partners, and children under the age of 21. These family members can work without a work permit. To obtain a citizen service number and register for the Personal Records Database, they must register with their local government.

Families that wish to join non-EU/EFTA citizens residing in the Netherlands for an extended period or permanently must apply for a family visa. This process is comparable to that for other permits and permissions. Children pay €69, and spouses/partners pay €207. You typically have the same employment rights as your family members if you travel to the Netherlands to be with them on a family visa. Before hiring you, your employer will need to get a TWV.

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Bottom Line

The IND makes final decisions on visas, permits, citizenship, and asylum applications. If the IND rejects your application for a work visa in the Netherlands and you feel this is unfounded, you can appeal the decision within four weeks of receiving it. You need to send a written objection detailing your appeal reasons.

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