Labour Migrant

If you wish to bring a foreign employee (or trainee or apprentice) to the Netherlands for longer than 3 months and you and the employee do not meet the requirements for the highly skilled migrant procedure, you can seek admission as a labour migrant. A labour migrant is a foreign employee who comes to the Netherlands to work as an employee. You can bring a foreign employee to the Netherlands as a labour migrant if he/she earns at least the social assistance standard. Check the IND website for the table of standard amounts considered adequate financial resources.


In most cases (non EEA citizens excluding Romania or Bulgaria or citizens of Switzerland), you will also need a work permit for the employee (see/link section on work permit). You can get the work permit when nobody in the Netherlands and the European Union (excluding Croatia) is available to fill the position. There are also situations when you do not have to apply for a work permit. For example, when the employee has a valid Dutch residence permit or a stamp from the Aliens Police or the IND, which states: Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist (Free to work, no work permit needed). Guest lecturers, musicians, and journalists can also be exempted. Please check with the CWI for further details.


If required and after approval of the work permit, it will take the IND 3 to 6 months to approve the issue of an MVV. The decision on an application for a residence permit will be made within six months. As an employer, you may also qualify for an accelerated procedure. If you meet the requirements, the MVV can be issued within 4 weeks.


Voluntary MVV

Foreign workers holding a passport that does not require an MVV to enter the Netherlands can voluntary ask for an MVV as well (USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea). The advantage of doing this lies in the residence permit application. When the employer applies for an MVV, the application is reviewed before the arrival of the migrant and when applying for the actual residence permit the migrant will receive a sticker in his/her passport that serves as a residence permit. This will allow the employee to start working immediately after the residence permit application. Furthermore, the BSN (Citizen Service Number) can be issued much faster.



There are fees associated with the application for entry into and residence in the Netherlands. The Dutch Embassy or consulate in the country of origin can charge extra costs (for instance fax costs). Check the costs for stay on the IND website.


How do you pay the charge for the MVV?

First of all, you should pay any charges for the MVV application by direct debit. To this end, you should send in a signed direct debit form along with your request for advice. The IND will collect the charge the moment you receive a positive advice from the IND on your request for the granting of an MVV. If you do not want to pay for the MVV by direct debit, you will receive an invoice from the IND. If you pay on the basis of an invoice, the IND will only inform the embassy of the positive advice that has been given after the charges for the MVV request have been received.


How do you pay the charge for a residence permit?

By signing the declaration, you as the employer agree to pay any charges by direct debit. This is the fastest way to obtain the residence permit. The charge for the residence permit application will be collected the moment you file your application. If you do not want to pay by direct debit, you or the highly skilled migrant will be sent a giro collection form. It will take a number of weeks before the IND will be notified of this.



  • If you hire a foreign employee who is already living and working in the Netherlands, the employee must apply for a new residence permit. The IND will check his or her new application. The new employer will apply for a new work permit at CWI if required.
  • The employee can start working as soon as the CWI has issued the work permit. He or she does not have to wait for the IND to make a decision regarding the application for a residence permit. If the application for a residence permit is ultimately refused, he or she will no longer be allowed to work in the Netherlands.


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