How to become a recognised sponsor

16 October 2023

Employers in the Netherlands who want to recruit highly skilled migrants or researchers need to be a recognised sponsor (erkend referent).

Recognised sponsors have certain rights and obligations. For instance, they have the right to make use of the Fast-Track procedure. This is an accelerated way of arranging the administrative processes including the residency permit (verblijfsvergunning) registration with the municipality and the citizen service number (burgerscervicenummer, BSN). The obligations include selecting highly skilled migrants who meet specific conditions for admission to and residence in the Netherlands.

This process also works in reverse, young people who want to work as an au pair in the Netherlands, take part in a cultural exchange programme or study at a tertiary institution here must find a recognised sponsor to act as an intermediary between themselves and the Government of the Netherlands in regards to issuing a residence permit and a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV).

To become recognised as a sponsor, your organisation must be seen to be a reliable partner for the Immigratie- en Naturalisatie Dienst (Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND). The application procedure is processed by the IND. Organisations that receive recognition as a sponsor are then listed in a public register. In which register your organisation is listed depends on the nature of your business.

For more detailed information in English about recognised sponsors in the Netherlands go to:

IND - Apply for recognition - Information for employers IND forms