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The Netherlands Immigration, Visa, Employment, Residency and Sponsorship


Can I come to the Netherlands on a Tourist Visa to find work and start work instantly?

You can look for a job, that’s not a problem. However, you cannot start working without a valid working visa or a sticker with the same value. It is illegal to work without the right visa. Only people from the EU can work immediately. Other nationalities have to apply for a work / knowledge migrant visa.

The risk involved in working illegally is a high fine and deportation with the chance of being banned in entering the Netherlands again for a certain period.

How can I apply for an employment visa?

You could start the procedure in your home country, but after that your future employer always needs to sign and fill in certain things.

Options in obtaining an employment visa would be for you to get a salary in a certain salary range; then you can apply for a shorter processing period of two weeks (highly skilled migrant procedure).

Another option is if there are no locals in Netherlands or Europe to do the job function, there is a possibility for you to obtain an employment visa. This process will take a few months and has very little chance of succeeding.

Who can sponsor my employment visa?

The designated sponsor will be the company you will be working for. As long as the contract is valid and as long as it isn’t terminated the company will stay as the sponsor. The employee will receive a residence card with which he can prove legal stay with the purpose of working in the Netherlands.

Apart from getting an employment visa, how else can I reside in the Netherlands?

You can stay in the Netherlands for the following subjects:


Can someone who is not a local sponsor my residency?

Only citizens / valid EU residence permit holders, spouse and children who work and live in the Netherlands are able to sponsor, depending on certain qualifications.

Upon getting my work visa, when can I apply for permanent residency?

You can apply for permanent residency after having a residence permit for 5 uninterrupted years.  You will be given a choice for getting a permanent residency or if you’d like to accept the Dutch nationality.

Can I get a job when I have my residency sponsored?

You can get a job if you have a valid residence permit.  If you have a residence permit for example stay with family, your residence permit status will stay the same.

How long is the validity of employment visa?

It depends on the validity of the contract; usually one year. If the contract is for an undetermined period the IND officer decides if the residence permit will be given for one year first or immediately for 5 years; this depends on the officer with whom the application is being processed by. And the validity is as long as the purpose of stay is still applicable. If within the 5 years you will lose the job and won’t find any other, then still the residency stops, despite the validity of 5 years.

How can I transfer my sponsorship from one employer to the next?

The new employer needs to send a letter and some information to the Immigration office. The old employer terminates their connection at the Immigration office.

To renew an employment residence permit you have to start the procedure of extension around 3 months before the residency expires. The start date of the extended contract or new contract should directly start after the end of the previous contract.

After my work visa expires in the country, what can I do to re-enter the Netherlands and accept a new position from the same or another employer?

If your work visa is expired you will have to leave the country. The best is to leave the country at the end date of the permit the latest. If your employment contract ends you will also have to leave the Netherlands. There is only one way to stay - you will have to ask for permission to stay in the Netherlands for another 3 months. If this is not granted then you have to get out of the Netherlands as soon as possible after your employment contract has ended.

If you still stay in the Netherlands, you will be here illegally and that can cause you to be placed on a ‘black list’ and thus banned from the Netherlands for a certain period of time. If it is granted you have 3 months to look for another employer/job and apply for a new residence permit.  Make sure you stay here legally always and return on time when you have to.

What are the government fees I have to pay for while I’m on my work visa?

The fees in obtaining an MVV visa and for residence permit are:

  Residence Permit TOTAL
Employee €750 €188 €938
Partner / Spouse €188 €188 or €830 €376
Child €188 €188 €376

 Taxes are paid through your salary. Otherwise, there are no other costs and fees to consider.

What happens to an expat’s child born in the country?

The parents will have to report the birth of the child to the city hall in the place of residence and apply for a residence permit. The child’s citizenship depends on the parents’ decision. For consideration, the parents will have to see what the rules are of the country of origin concerning nationality and registrations there.



We are specialized in the relocation of personnel from all over the world to the Netherlands. Our specialty is to assist with, or take over the complete procedure in getting a valid work permit for the employee. For the relocation to the Netherlands there are all other aspects too in what we can assist you with. Our experienced employees are ready to help you!

E :    W : nor the author guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page. It is recommend that particularaly prior to your travels you check with the relevant government authority. Please contact us with any updates you may have.

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