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Ukraine and working in the Netherlands

Per 1 April 2022 there will be a waiver for the work permit requirement for displaced persons from Ukraine who fall within the scope of the EU Directive 2001/55/EG “Temporary Protection Directive”.

The Dutch Secretary of State of Justice  and Security informed the Parliament by letter about this.

The work permit waiver is for paid employment, volunteer work and internships. Work as entrepreneur is not allowed.

The exemption from the work permit requirement will have retroactive effect as of 4 March 2022 onwards.

The following persons fall within the scope of the Temporary Protection Directive:

1.Ukrainian nationals who:

  • Resided in Ukraine on 23 February 2022;
  • Fled Ukraine on or after 27 November 2021 due to increased tensions, or who were on Union territory on or after 27 November 2021;
  • Persons that prove that they already resided in the Netherlands in the period before 27 November 2021, based on a residence permit, or that have submitted asylum application before that date.

2. Stateless persons or third-country nationals with a nationality other than Ukrainian, that:

  • On February 23, 2022 resided in Ukraine and received international protection or equivalent national protection, or
  • on 23 February 2022 hold another valid Ukrainian a residence permit.

3. Also family members of the above-mentioned categories fall within the scope. Family members of the displaced person are: spouse, unmarried partner that is into a durable relationship, minor unmarried children, and family members who lived in the same household and are dependent of the displaced person.

BSN number

Displaced persons and family members can register themselves in the Dutch national population register (Brp). Through this registration they will receive a citizens service number (BSN). With this BSN number displaced persons can work in paid employment, as the employer requires this number. With the BSN it is also possible to a bank account.

Notification requirement for work permit exemption

The employer that employs the displacedperson must notify the Dutch Labour Office at least two days before the start of the work. Non compliance with this notification requirement, is considered a violation of the Act on Employment of Foreigners and can be fined.

To ensure proper use of the work permit exemption, it is necessary for the displaced persons to have documents (like a residence permit card) from which their lawful residence and residence status under the Temporary Directive protection in the Netherlands can be determined. Without this  document it is for employers not possible to determine whether the foreign national is lawfully resident in the Netherlands and is residing under the Temporary Protection Directive and therefore falls under the work permit  exemption.

However, as the Secretary of State writes it takes some time to make this residence document available to all displaced persons. In view of this, a transition period is applicable. During the transition period, the exemption from the work permit requirement applies to all Ukrainian nationals who can prove their nationality by means of documents like a passport. The transitional period will initially run until 31 May 2022 (with the possibility of extension) to ensure that all displaced persons who are entitled to it can be provided with residence documents proving their residence status and access to the labor market.

Click here for the most recent information on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service IND) on Ukraine and work and residence rights in the Netherlands.