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How can I get a work permit in the Netherlands?

Few places can match the Netherlands when it comes to work and lifestyle. And fortunately, obtaining a work permit is relatively simple. Located in Northwestern Europe, the country is famous for its canals, tulips, cycling routes, and windmills. Its capital city, Amsterdam, was one of the wealthiest cities in Europe in the 17th Century and boasts a variety of canalside mansions. And if you’re an art lover, well Amsterdam is a treat. From Rembrandt to Vermeer to Van Gough, Amsterdam’s art world will entrance you.

The Dutch believe in work-life balance and put in less time in the office than the British. According to an ex-pat speaking to the BBC:

“The Dutch expect their employees to have a life outside work, even during the week. No one expects you to be at the office at 07:00 and sit there until 20:00; in fact, in many companies, this behaviour would not be appreciated and in some, it would definitely be frowned upon.”

Almost everyone in the large cities speaks English (although to integrate you will need to learn Dutch), and the standard of living is high.

The Netherlands consistently ranks in the top 10 of the world’s happiest nations, according to research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And the OECD economic survey of the Netherlands was extremely positive.

“The Dutch economy is performing very well. A number of challenges that were faced during the financial crisis have been addressed. In recent years, the Netherlands has undertaken a number of structural reforms to heal public finances, strengthen the banking sector, foster competition, and address some long-standing challenges in the labour and housing markets.”

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to result in the economy contracting by 6.8% by the end of the year; however, there are still plenty of opportunities, especially in the technology sector.

So how do you obtain a work visa to live in the Netherlands? Read on to find out.

The Brexit transition period runs until 31 December 2020. Until this time, British citizens are free to live in the Netherlands so long as they are exercising their Treaty rights by either:

  • Working
  • Studying
  • Being self-employed
  • Being economically self-sufficient

You will need to apply for a residence document before 1 July 2021 to stay in the country.

From 1 January 2021, if you are a British citizen and want to work in the Netherlands, you will need a work visa.

The Dutch Work Permit System

There are various types of work visas in the Netherlands. If you are only working for 90 days or less, you will need a short-stay visa. You will need to complete an application form and provide a passport that has been issued in the last ten years. At least two pages must be blank for the visa to be attached and the passport must be valid for three months after you leave the Schengen area.

The earliest you can apply is six months before you intend to travel and you should apply no later than 15 working days in advance. You will normally receive a decision on your visa application within 15 days.

If you plan to work in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, you will need a residence permit. Your employer can apply for a single permit (gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid or GVVA) in your name, which combines the Dutch residence and work permit in one application.

In most cases, your employer will need to conduct a labour market test and pay you a competitive salary. They will also need to keep detailed records regarding your employment and prove if asked, that your position could not be filled by a Dutch national or an EU/EEA citizen.

If you are moving to the Netherlands via an intra-company transfer or for an internship your employer, does not need to run a labour market test.

Highly-skilled migrants must have a contract for work for four months or more from a recognised Dutch employer. The minimum income requirement as at July 2020 are as follows:

  • older than 30 €4,612 a month
  • under 30 €3,381 a month.
  • graduates eligible for or holding an orientation year permit €2,423 a month

As a highly skilled migrant, your work permit will be valid for as long as your employment contract lasts, up to a maximum of five years (it can be extended if required).

Can Family Members Come with you to the Netherlands?

If you are granted a Netherlands work permit, your spouse/partner and dependent children under 18 years can join you. However, if you are entering the country on a residence permit as an exchange youngster, au pair, for work experience as a trainee (study purposes) or apprentice (work purposes), or seasonal labour, you cannot apply for residence for a family member or relative.

You must be able to support your family members financially and they need to be living with you while you are in the country. Furthermore, you will need health insurance for every family member.

Applying for Settlement

If you have lived in the Netherlands for five consecutive years on a residence permit, you may be able to apply for permanent residence status. This will allow you to stay in the country for good and not require a work permit.

You will need to prove you have integrated into Dutch society and pass a Dutch language test. There is also a minimum income requirement (70% of the statutory minimum wage).

It is possible to apply for Dutch citizenship; however, you may have to give up your British citizenship to do so, unless:

  • You are married or a registered partner of a Dutch citizen.
  • You are under 18 years.
  • You have an asylum residence permit.
  • You were born in the Netherlands and now live in the country, although you may have lived in other nation/s throughout your life
  • You are a national of a state that is not recognised by the Netherlands, for example, Taiwan or Palestinian territories.

To find out more about obtaining a work permit for the Netherlands, speak to experienced immigration solicitors.

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