Kroes Advocaten Immigration Lawyers is a boutique law firm specialized in Netherlands and European immigration law.

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Work Permit

An employer can only offer employment to non EU nationals, except Croatians, after they have a work permit for them. This is not required for highly skilled migrants.

It is the employer who is responsible for requesting the work permit. The employee cannot do this. 

Work permit

A work permit is then only issued after it has been established that the employer was unable to find a suitable candidate within the Netherlands and EU.

  • The vacancy has to have been open and placed with the UWV Werkbedrijf for at least 5 weeks without any positive result.
  • The employer has had to have actively searched for a suitable candidate for at least 5 weeks.
  • For positions which are difficult to fill, this can be extended to three months.

This test is referred to as the labour market test. Only if no such candidate is available is an employer in a position to apply for a work permit.


The application for the work permit takes place via the UWV Werkbedrijf which has up to five weeks to make a decision. (The UWV is the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – office for reintegration and temporary income.) 

  • The UWV Werkbedrijf assesses if enough effort has been made to find a suitable candidate.
  • Furthermore, they assess if the salary of the foreign recruited employee conforms to the (local) market and if adequate housing has been arranged.

Parallel to the application for a work permit, a visa and residence permit also needs to be applied for before employment can begin.

The successful application of a work permit requires careful preparation. We will be glad to advise your company. Please feel free to contact one of our immigration lawyers.


Do you have questions?
Pieter can assist you.

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