Work permit (TWV)

Every non-EU citizen who wants to work in the Netherlands has to obtain a valid work permit. Either you or your prospective employer may request the permit.

If you are from the EU/EEA or a resident of Switzerland, you don’t need a work permit. You also won’t need a work permit if you are here to perform certain types of work for short periods of time on an occasional basis.

All other internationals will need a permit of some kind to work in the Netherlands. There is no general work permit for the Netherlands. The work permit you request is only valid for that specific employer you request the permit for.


Types of work permits in the Netherlands

The types of work permit you can apply for are:

  • GVVA or Single Permit. It’s a combination of the TWV work permit and the residence permit. You can apply for this at the IND and your application will be assessed by the UWV (Dutch Social Security Agency)
  • Highly skilled migrant permit. Employers in the Netherlands can organize Dutch work permits quickly for highly skilled international employees, without having to prove that there are no suitable Dutch or EU candidates. Only if you have an exceptional skill or specialization that is scarce at the Dutch employee market. This request can only be done by an organization that is recognized by the IND as a sponsor.
  • Orientation year permits for expat graduates. This is for you if you are a non-EU / EAA / Swiss citizen who has graduated at a Master’s or Ph.D. level at one of the top 150 universities worldwide in the last three years.
  • Entrepreneur permit. If you want to start up your own business will need to apply for a residence permit for self-employment. To qualify for this permit, you must meet the requirements for the performance of your business or profession and be in possession of all necessary permits for the performance of your company. Also, your business activity must demonstrate a substantial benefit to the Netherlands. You can read more on our website about a start up visa



No permit needed

There are also a few other situations in which non-EU expats may work in the Netherlands without applying for one of the major work permits:

  • Having had an EU / Dutch work permit previously for five years
  • Working (maximum of 16 hours) whilst studying in the Netherlands
  • Working as an internship. The internship agreement, however, must be signed between the employer, the intern and the educational institution.
  • Doing voluntary work in the Netherlands if you have a volunteer declaration
  • Working holiday visa in the Netherlands for Canadian, Australian or national from New Zealand
  • Internationals who have a residence permit through their Dutch or EU partner or parents are able to work in the Netherlands without restriction.




More information about the work permit can be found on the website of the Dutch Government. If you have any questions, we would like to offer you our help and guidance. Please contact us at