Residence permit & work permit

In the Netherlands a verblijfsvergunning (residence permit) is issued by the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service). Work permit applications for expats already in the Netherlands or those who find themselves in cross-border working situations are usually made by the potential employer. 

Residence permit Work permit

Residence permit

A verblijfsvergunning (residence permit) allows a foreign citizen to reside in the Netherlands for a fixed or indefinite length of time. It does not necessarily allow the holder to work, nor allow them access to public funds.

There are different types of residence permit for the Netherlands, these are based on the verblijfsdoel (reason for stay). Examples of reasons for stay include:

  • joining a spouse/partner when they go to work in the Netherlands;
  • studying at an educational institution in the Netherlands;
  • starting a business in the Netherlands.

Not all foreign citizens require a residence permit to reside.

European Union / European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens have the right to free movement within the EU, so may come to live in the Netherlands. Non-EU/EEA citizens who wish to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months require a residence permit. The Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) determines who may be granted a residence permit.

Non-EU/EEA citizens moving to the Netherlands usually apply for a gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid – GVVA (a combined residence and work permit). To be eligible for a GVVA there must already be a job offer in place, and the employer will help with the procedure.

Expat Centre Maastricht Region has a dedicated section for Companies on this website. For more detailed queries a one-on-one appointment can be made with one of our expert consultants.

The IND website provides information about the various residence permits available, and the forms needed to apply can also be downloaded there. Note that some applicants are required to have completed the inburgering (civic integration) process before they are eligible to apply for a residence permit. The application fee will NOT be returned if the application is refused – the fee relates to the processing charge: it is not for the document itself.

The most important residence purposes for expats are related to work. Further information about the various work and residence permits available and how this may impact family or study can be found at the IND website.

Work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning – TWV)

Work permit applications for expats already in the Netherlands or those who find themselves in cross-border working situations are usually made by the potential employer. These applications are made to the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) and are free of charge.

Non-EU/EEA students studying in the Netherlands may work for up to 16 hours a week, but require a tewerkstellingswerkvergunning TWV – (work permit) as a werkstudent (working student). This is applied for by the employer. It is usually issued for a period of 1 year without question as long as the wages offered and other conditions conform to legal requirements.

For more information regarding students and studying in the Netherlands please go to our Education & Careers section.

The forms to apply for a work permit and for a combined work and residence permit (GVVA) can be found on the UWV website .

The IND website has guidance on renewing or replacing a work and residence permits.