How to get a work permit in the netherlands

All information correct as of July 2022

Are you looking to work in The Netherlands, but are not completely sure what permits you need in order to do that? Then worry not because we are here to answer your questions! Working in The Netherlands is very easy for most, and getting all the required permits is just as easy. If you are from the EU, you luckily do not need a work permit. However, if you are from any country outside the EU, then you do need to make a work permit.

So what types of work permits are there? The main types of work permits in The Netherlands include:


  • GVVA or single permit: These permits are a combination of a TWV work permit and a residence permit and are the most common choice for migrants.

  • Highly skilled migrant permit: This permit consists of Dutch employers being allowed to bring a talented foreign professional to The Netherlands and keep them under their work.

  • Orientation year permit of expat graduates: This is a permit that can be obtained by non-EU graduates that graduated from a Dutch university.

  • Entrepreneur permit: Lastly, this permit is for those who want to come to The Netherlands and start their own business.

How to get a work permit in the netherlands

Types of Permits

The requirements for a work permit in The Netherlands are as follows:

  1. You need an employment contract with an employer in The Netherlands.

  2. You need to earn at least minimum wage if you are over 23. You can find the minimum wage according to hours worked and age further down in this article.

  3. Your employer has to be sure that the position could not have been filled by a Dutch or other EU national.


What is a GVVA or a single permit?

When you obtain a GVVA permit, you concurrently obtain a legal work and stay authorisation in The Netherlands. Your employer is usually the one who applies for the GVVA however you can also do so yourself. Therefore, the employer does not need to be a recognized sponsor. A recognized sponsor is the person who can apply for a residence permit for employees or students. If you would like more information on recognized sponsors, check the Immigration and Naturalisation Service website.

Generally, in other cases a separate work permit (TWV) is needed, and the employer is the one who should make the work permit application. This application has to be submitted to the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). This permit can only be done by the employer. The residence permit can be done separately with the IND.


What is a highly skilled migrant permit?

A highly skilled migrant is an employee who works for a certain sponsor in The Netherlands. This permit is under a work contract that conforms to a specific age, salary and experience requirements. To know more about these requirements, check the Immigration and Naturalisation Service website.

If you are a highly skilled migrant that is 30 years or older, a higher income than a highly skilled migrant under the age of 30 or someone born in The Netherlands is required. This requirement of income is not applicable for those highly skilled migrants that work with scientific research or to physicians training to become a specialist. In cases like this, the income must meet the Dutch Minimum Wage Act.

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What is an orientation year permit for expat graduates?

The orientation year permit for expat graduates allows for recently non-EU country graduates and scientific researchers to come or stay in The Netherlands for up to 12 months. During this stay, they can attempt to find work without the need of an extra work permit. They have free access to the Dutch labour market since employers do not need to apply for a work permit for them. Within three years after graduation, international graduates can apply for the special work and residence permit. For more information on the orientation year permit for expat graduates, check the IAmsterdam website!

What is an entrepreneur permit?

An entrepreneur permit or a startup visa is a residence permit for people from outside the EU in which are looking to start a business. This visa is valid for up to one year and during this year you are expected to produce and/or introduce an innovative idea, product, or service under an experienced facilitator. This visa makes it possible for entrepreneurs from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland to apply for temporary residence and give them time to bring their idea to life. The ambitious entrepreneurs' facilitator can submit his or her application for a visa using the application form. By applying with this form, they also must provide a business plan. For more information on an entrepreneur permit, check out the Business Government website for The Netherlands!

Student work permit in The Netherlands

Are you from the EU/EEA? If so, you can work in The Netherlands without any restrictions, you do not need a work permit and there are no restrictions when it comes to working hours.

Are you from outside Europe? If so, there are some restrictions if you want to work while studying. Your employer has to be able to give you personal work, and you can only work either a maximum of 16 hours a week throughout the year, or you can work full-time only during the months of June, July, and August

Minimum Wage in The Netherlands


Hours per week 21 years + 20 years 19 years 18 years 17 years 16 years 15 years
36 hours €11,06 €8,85 €6,64 €5,53 €4,37 €3,82 €3,32
38 hours €10,48 €8,39 €6,29 €5,24 €4,14 €3,62 €3,15
40 hours €9,96 €7,97 €5,98 €4,98 €3,94 €3,44 €2,99

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to get a work permit in The Netherlands?

  • Once the application is complete, it takes around two weeks to get a work permit in The Netherlands.

  • Can a foreigner get a job in The Netherlands?

  • Foreigners who want to work in The Netherlands need to meet some requirements. People outside the EEA need a work permit, in which there are two types; an employment permit (TWV) and a single permit (GVVA).

  • What is a Netherlands blue card?

  • The EU blue card is a residence permit for highly qualified employees of third country nationals in the EU.

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Working in The Netherlands