Do I need a work permit to work in the Netherlands and if so, how can I apply for it?

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You wish to work in the Netherlands- fantastic! Do make sure to ask yourself, before you apply or attend interviews, whether you still need to arrange a work permit to start the next chapter in your new home country. 

Who needs a work permit to be able to work in the Netherlands?

Are you a citizen from within the EU, the EEA, Switzerland or Croatia? Then you do NOT need a work visa or residence permit to work legally in The Netherlands. You have the ”freedom of movement”. Since 2018 Croatia was added to the list of countries that are granted the right to work in the Netherlands without a permit.

Are you a citizen from a non-EU country? Then you will need to obtain a permit to work in the Netherlands. 

Please be aware that Abroad Experience cannot assist you with obtaining a work permit. We cooperate with international companies that only accept applications from candidates who already have a valid work permit! For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the blog article. 

Other situations in which somebody does not need to apply for a work permit:

1. You are in a registered partnership with a Dutch or EU citizen who is legally able to work in the Netherlands

2. You have a one-year working holiday visa: If you are from Australia, New Zealand or Canada and you are between 18-30 years old, you can work for one year in the Netherlands.

3. You are enrolled in a Dutch university program and came to the Netherlands for education as a non-EU citizen, then you are able to work on the side of your studies for a maximum of 16 hours during the academic year and full-time in the months between June-August. You will need to apply for a TWV work permit to do so. A work permit is not required if you do an internship as part of your studies.

4. You had a work permit for the Netherlands in the past: If you worked in the Netherlands in the past for at least 5 years and had Dutch residency (3 years for Turkish citizens), then your employer does not need to apply for a work permit again.

I have Dutch residence but how do I know if I need an additional work permit? 

Your residence card will state on the backside that you are free to work in the Dutch labor market without a work permit (it will state in Dutch: Arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV is niet vereist).

What are the different kinds of work permits and which one do I need?

There are different kinds of work permits:

  • An employment permit (TWV) 
  • A single permit which is also known as a combined residence and work permit (GVVA)
  • A highly skilled migrant permit
  • A search year visa (zoekjaar visa) for expat graduates
  • A holiday working visa

Depending on how long somebody is aiming to stay in the Netherlands, they need to apply for a TWV or GVVA. Only the GVVA is a permit that job seekers can apply to themselves. A TWV can only be applied to by an employer. 

For more detailed  information about different work permits, we advise you to check the following websites:

Please be aware that Abroad Experience cannot assist you with obtaining a work permit. We cooperate with international companies that only accept applications from candidates who already have a valid one! 

Below you can find an overview of all the types of work permits that our recruitment agency and clients consider:

EU Citizens

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals do not require a work permit to work legally in the Netherlands.

Dutch Citizens 

There are three ways to acquire Dutch citizenship: by means of naturalizationoption procedure, or by law (birth or family ties).


You are able to stay in the Netherlands when you are married or in a registered relationship, should you wish to stay with your unmarried partner or are a minor who wishes to stay with your parent(s).

Highly Skilled Migrant

In order to receive this permit, you will need a residence permit or provisional residence permit (mvv).  Only a recognized employer is able to submit an application on behalf of the highly skilled migrant.

Recognized sponsorship companies that can offer support with residence permits + work permits:

If none of the above situations applies to you, please check the link below where you can find a list of companies that offer sponsorship visas. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) publishes a list each year with recognized sponsorship companies.

Abroad Experience BV is an international recruitment agency that offers unique career opportunities to multilingual job seekers. See our vacancies.

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We have recently been alerted about a potential threat. It has come to our attention that individuals are attempting to impersonate our organization, contacting job seekers via different social media channels, including Whatsapp and Messenger, with the purpose to exploit unsuspecting job seekers. Please stay alert, regarding unusual e-mail addresses as a sender or Whatsapp messages when the landcode is not +31 (landcode NL). Abroad Experience would never request any form of payment, including money, to assist you in your job search. Any such claims or demands made by individuals posing as representatives of our company are unequivocally false and not in accordance with Dutch law.

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