Working as an Employee

If you do not qualify to come to the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant, you and your employer can choose to follow the procedure ‘working as an employee’ (arbeidsmigrant). In this case, the employer must apply for a work permit at the Centre for Work and Income, CWI. The employer only gets the work permit when nobody in the Netherlands and the European Union (excluding Romania and Bulgaria) is available to fill the position. Only after this permit is issued you can start the residence permit procedure.

There are situations when your employer does not have to apply for a work permit. Your employer does not have to apply for the work permit when you:


  • Are a Dutch national;
  • Have the nationality of one of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland (excluding Croatia);
  • Have a valid Dutch residence permit or a stamp from the Aliens Police or the IND stating: Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist (Free to work, no work permit needed).


In other situations or for more information, you can contact the CWI. If your future employer applies for an authorization for temporary stay on behalf of employees at least 10 times a year, he or she may be eligible for the accelerated procedure which only takes a few weeks.


Conditions you must meet?

Besides the work permit requirement, you must also meet the following conditions: 

  • You must have a valid passport. 
  • You must have a health insurance that provides cover for the Netherlands. 
  • You must not constitute a risk to public order or national security. 
  • You must be prepared to undergo an examination for tuberculosis. 
  • You must have sufficient funds.


Additional conditions in respect of apprentices:

  • You must be working with a Dutch company in order to gain experience for the purpose of carrying out your role in your country of origin.  


Additional conditions in respect of trainees:

  • You must be engaged in studies at an educational institution outside the Netherlands. 
  • You must be working for a Dutch company as part of a compulsory work placement. (You must be able to prove this by means of a declaration from your educational institution). 


Additional conditions in respect of spiritual professions (For example, a member of the clergy):

  • You must take the civic integration examination abroad.   





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