This means that a work permit will still be required, but the rules that apply to the application process are less stringent. This means, for instance, that your employer does not need to prove that they could find no suitable person within the EU before hiring you for the job.

These less stringent rules apply to foreign nationals who work in higher education (researchers, scholars, guest lecturers) and other sectors that suffer from a shortage of adequate professionals. The Dutch labour market needs foreigners to fill certain positions in order to maintain and improve its competitive position in certain areas (like research).

In practical terms, this will mean that for these sectors, there is no need to check whether there are adequate professionals available in the Netherlands (or even within the EU) before hiring someone from outside the country or EU. This saves your future employer a lot of paperwork and time during the application procedure. More importantly for you, it greatly increases the chances that you will be cleared for a work permit.

Work permit Netherlands

Applying for a work permit

If neither the exemptions that were mentioned nor the less stringent rules detailed above apply to your situation, your employer will have to apply for a full work permit. This means that there will be now be a check to see if there are no suitable professionals available within the EU who could also fulfil this position.

It is up to your employer or sponsor to apply for the work permit at the social security agency UWV. It takes at least 5 weeks for the application to be processed. Employers who hire foreign nationals without obtaining a work permit first, risk a fine of €8,000 for every illegal employee. The work permit itself is free of charge.

Regulations concerning work permits and immigration procedures are quite closely intertwined. A Schengen visa or (provisional) residence permit will be granted only if the work permit has been issued. Your employer therefore needs to allow for some extra time for immigration procedures when applying for your work permit; ideally approximately 5 weeks.