Immigration Law / Work permit

There is a great shortage of labor in the Netherlands. This makes the Netherlands an attractive country to emigrate to on the basis of a work permit. There are two types of foreigners who want to work in the Netherlands. The EU foreigner who comes from another EU member state, and the so-called “third-country national”.


A third-country national is someone who comes from outside the EU. You can work in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant, with a European Blue Card, or with a combined residence and work permit (GVVA). But working as an independent entrepreneur or as a “start-up” is also a very attractive option. Below you will find more information.

Residence permit for self-employment


The Netherlands invites talent who wants to do business as a self-employed person in the Netherlands! If you are a born entrepreneur, or if you have a great idea, the “self-employed” residence permit may be ideal for you. Of course there are conditions that our office has extensive experience with. Our office can therefore assist you in preparing this application to convince the IND that your company is viable. The IND uses a points system to make decisions. There are a maximum of 300 points and a minimum of 90 points must be scored. Our office knows exactly whether you qualify for the points and can therefore guide you to a successful conclusion.




You meet the general conditions that apply to everyone.

Your work is of vital importance to the Dutch economy.

You are registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (KvK).

You meet the requirements to be able to practice your profession or start your business. This means that you have all the necessary permits.

You meet the income requirements. This must be apparent from the business plan.

If you are a freelancer, you must have one or more assignments in the Netherlands. Working freelance means you don’t have a boss and you take on individual assignments.

If you start a company in individual healthcare, you must be listed in the BIG register.


Essential for the Dutch economy


The product or services you offer must be new to the Netherlands. For the assessment, the IND requests advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The RVO provides advice on behalf of the Minister of Economic Affairs.

The RVO assesses the essential importance of the company you want to start on the following 3 components:

– Personal experience

– Business plan

– Added value for the Netherlands


In the assessment, RVO assigns a number of points to each component. Do you have at least 30 points on each part? Or 45 points for your personal experience and 45 points for your business plan? Then your company is of vital importance to the Netherlands. Do you have Turkish nationality or EU long-term resident status in another EU country? Then the point system does not apply.

What is a recognized sponsor? A recognized sponsor is a company, school or organization that has an interest in the arrival of a foreign national and is seen as a reliable partner of the IND, making it easier for it to invite a foreign national to come to the Netherlands. The sponsor is also often referred to as the “sponsor”.


There are four categories for which an organization can apply for recognition:

– Study: applications for residence permits for the purpose of study.

– Exchange: applications for residence permits for the purpose of au pair and cultural exchange.

– Research: applications for residence permits for the purpose of research in accordance with Directive (EU) 2016/801.

– Labour: applications for residence permits for the purpose of work as a highly skilled migrant, paid employment, seasonal work, work experience, transfer within a company or residence as a holder of the European blue card.


Our office can assist you in obtaining this recognition. After all, there is quite a bit involved with an application and each application also costs money, the so-called “leges”. It would be a shame if the application was not submitted correctly, because the fees then lapse and then you only have to submit a new application or lodge an objection, which will only increase the costs. Would you like to become a recognized sponsor for several categories? Then you must apply for recognition separately for each category.


Would you like to apply for recognition per business unit, location or faculty? Then you must apply for separate recognition for each branch, business unit or faculty.

The Highly Skilled Migrant Scheme is the most commonly used scheme for being allowed to work in the Netherlands as a foreign national. As a highly skilled migrant, you are only allowed to work with the correct residence permit. Only an employer recognized by the IND can apply for a residence permit for you.




You have an employment contract (contract) with an employer or research institution in the Netherlands. This employer is a sponsor recognized by the IND. Our office can also help you to get the employer recognized.

You meet the income requirements.

The agreed wage is in line with the market. Market-based means that you earn the same as what people earn on average in the same position.

If you are going to work in individual healthcare, you must be listed in the BIG register.

Other rules may apply to Turkish citizens and their family members.


Validity residence permit


Your residence permit is valid for as long as the period of your contract or position. The residence permit is valid for a maximum of 5 years.


Unemployment and looking for a new job


A first contract is often not offered for 5 years. Normally, an employer starts with a one-year contract. Unfortunately, it often happens due to the recession that contracts are not renewed. This means that you will become unemployed at that time. In that case, the IND will give you 4 months to look for a new job as a highly skilled migrant. This search period cannot be longer than the period during which your permit is valid. If your residence permit expires earlier, you have less than 3 months. The period to look for a job starts on the day on which your contract has ended.


Have the 3 months passed and is there no registration from a new employer? Then the IND can withdraw your residence permit. Your personal situation may then have changed, so that you may still be eligible for a different purpose of stay. Perhaps you have a Dutch partner or a Dutch child. These are important points that you can discuss with our office.

The Netherlands offers young entrepreneurs an opportunity to establish their innovative company in the Netherlands. There are of course conditions attached to it, but with the experience our office has we can help you to meet these conditions. It is important that you at least have a facilitator. A facilitator must be recognized by the RVO, unfortunately not every company can become your facilitator. If you have any questions about this form of residence permit, we will be happy to assist you.




– You meet the general conditions that apply to everyone.

– You work together with a reliable supervisor: a facilitator. This collaboration must be documented in a signed agreement between you and the facilitator.

– Your company is innovative in the following situations:

– The product or service is new to the Netherlands.

– The start-up uses new technology in production, distribution and/or marketing.

– The start-up has a new way of working and organizing.

– Visit the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) for more information about innovative entrepreneurship.

– You have an active role in the organisation. This means that you may not only be a shareholder or financier.

– You have a (step-by-step) plan to get from idea to company. RVO assesses the start-up and checks whether you meet the conditions for the step-by-step plan.



The roadmap contains the following information:

– The structure of the organization.

– The roles and tasks.

– The legal form.

– Personnel.

– The purpose of the company.

– A description of your intended innovative product or service.

– A description of the planning and activities associated with setting up the company.

– You and the facilitator are registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (KvK).

– You meet the income requirements.

You can prove this in 2 different ways:

– You show with a bank statement that you have sufficient money in your account.

– Another (legal) person, for example the facilitator, may finance your stay. The amount must be available for your entire stay (maximum 1 year).

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