Working in the Netherlands

Residence permits

For working in the Netherlands different residence permits to work are available. The Dutch immigration service IND employs the following main categories for paid employment:

  1. Cross-border workers
  2. Staying shorter than 30 days
  3. Staying beyond 30 days

Note that separate conditions may apply for nationals and their family from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland.

1. Cross-border workers

If you plan to work in the Netherlands, but keep residence in a bordering nation (Belgium or Germany) you qualify as a cross-border worker. To work in the Netherlands, you have to obtain a residence sticker in your passport. The applicable conditions are:

  • You live in the bordering Member State of the EU and you have a valid residence permit for that country
  • You work in the Netherlands
  • You visit your residence location in that other Member State at least weekly 

Your employer is required to apply for a TWV for you.  Family of the TWV-holder from a Member State of the EU are allowed to work in the Netherlands without a TWV. You will need to apply at the Register for Non-Residents (RNI) for a Dutch social security number (BSN) with the municipality where your employer is located. 

2. Staying shorter than 30 days

A special short-stay visa is available for individuals who will work for less than 30 days. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply with the Dutch Embassy in your home country. Usually, the employer is required to apply for a TWV for you.  

3 Staying beyond 30 days

If you intend to work (paid job) for longer than 30 days in the Netherlands, you will need to apply for a residence permit. The following residence permits are issued by the Immigration Service IND for working in the Netherlands beyond 30 days:

  1. Work in paid employment
  2. Intra Corporate Transferees (Directive 2014/66/EU)
  3. Highly skilled migrant
  4. European blue card
  5. Researcher within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801
  6. Work experience as a trainee or apprentice
  7. Cross-border service provider

1. Work in paid employment

This is the standard residence permit for a paid job in the Netherlands. Various working permits exist each which it's own specific set of rules. For more information, visit the immigration service website www.ind.nl.

2. Intra Corporate Transferees (Directive 2014/66/EU)

If you are seconded by an employer located outside the European Union (EU), which transfers you to it's branch in the Netherlands, than your employer is required to apply for residence permit with the IND. 

3. Highly skilled migrant

Employee hired for their specific knowledge and expertise may receive a highly skilled migrant residence permit. Specific salary requirement may apply or being recognized as a university lecture, trainee doctor or scientific researcher. The employer act as sponsor on behalf of for the immigration service IND and applies for the residence permit of the highly skilled migrant. 

4. European blue card

The European blue card is a residence permit for employees from the EU, hired for their specific knowledge and expertise.  This residence permit may also allow the employee to work in different EU Member States under the same European blue card. The employer applies for the residence permit with the IND.

5. Researcher within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801

Researchers recognized under the Directive (EU) 2016/801 received a residence permit to work in the Netherlands. No need to receive a salary. A grant may suffice. The employer act as sponsor on behalf of for the immigration service IND and applies for the residence permit of the highly skilled migrant. 

6. Work experience as a trainee or apprentice

Students and those who take an internship in the Netherlands or those who will work for a Dutch company for the purpose of gaining work experience can apply for a this type of residence permit. An internship or work experience assignment for an EU action program is also eligible for this type of permit.

7. Cross-border service provider

If you already work for a company in the EU, EEA or Switzerland you can apply for the cross-border service provider's residence permit. You continue to work for this company in the Netherlands.

National and health care insurance

The Health Care Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet) is a distinctive Dutch system that provides for universal health care cost coverage. The rules and regulations of this act apply virtually to all residents in the Netherlands. Apart from the Health Care Insurance Act, various national insurance contributions, such as state pension contributions and social security issues are presented here.

National insurance contributions

National insurance schemes are social security insurance schemes, with participation which is obligatory by law, that insure residents and employees in the Netherlands against the financial consequences of old age, death, exceptional medical expenses and costs of children. The national insurance schemes consist of:

  • General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW)
  • Surviving Dependants Act (Anw)
  • Long-Term Care Act (Wet langdurige zorg, Wlz)
  • General Child Benefit Act (AKW)

Employers withhold the national insurance contributions of the employees and pay the contributions directly to the Dutch tax office. Employers are not obliged to pay a contribution to the General Child Benefit Act (AKW).

Employed persons' insurance contributions

The employed persons' insurance schemes are social security insurance schemes for which an employer by law is required to participate. Under these schemes, employees are insured against the income loss due to illness, occupational disability, and unemployment. The employed persons' insurance schemes are:

  • Sickness Benefits Act (ZW)
  • Invalidity Insurance Act (WAO) / Work and Income according to Work Capacity Act (WIA)
  • Unemployment Insurance Act (WW)

The employer pays in full for the contributions of these schemes.

Pregnancy and maternity benefits

Pregnancy and maternity benefits applies to self-employed persons, business owners, employed persons, and unemployed persons eligible for unemployment benefits, sickness benefits or disablement benefits. The Social Security Agency UWV handles registration and payments of these benefits. More information (in Dutch) can be found at www.uwv.nl.



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Living and working in the Netherlands for a time? We can help you with your Dutch taxes, so you don't have to deal with the Belastingdienst yourself. Whether you're employed or have a small business, we'll make your life easier and save you money.

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