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The Netherlands offering work visas to foreigners — See requirements and how to apply



A European country, The Netherlands, is offering work visas for foreigners interested in migrating and yes, Nigerians are welcome to apply.

Before you read on, here are quick facts about the country:

  • The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe
  • Dutch men are the tallest in the world
  • The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage
  • The country’s national anthem is the oldest in the world
  • Carrots here have orange color
  • The Netherlands is one of the happiest countries in the world
  • The Netherlands has one of the highest English proficiencies
  • Frisian is is the only regionally-specific official language of the Netherlands.

Back to the main purpose of this article.

Requirements for applying for work visas in The Netherland

Workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland typically require permits to work in the Netherlands. The permits come in two forms: a tewerkstellingsvergunning (work permit) and a gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid (GVVA), which translates to a combined residence and work permit.

Non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals going to The Netherlands to work for longer than three months must apply for a GVVA.

They may do so only if their employer has issued TWV on their behalf. Work permits will not be issued by the Employment Insurance Agency unless rigorous restrictions have been complied with. For example, an employer must be able to demonstrate that they are unable to find a qualified applicant within the EU. Special types of workers are subject to less strict requirements.

When a company or temporary employment agency hires a foreign citizen worker, the firm or temporary employment agency must apply for a TWV and deliver a copy of the worker’s identification, together with the permit, to the hiring company. Before starting employment, the employing firm compares the duplicate to the worker’s original identification and preserves the copy in the corporate records.

As with most work permits, skilled migrants (i.e., those who are highly educated and can contribute to the knowledge-based economy in the Netherlands) stand a good chance of getting work permits and being employed.

Depending on how long the foreign national will be employable in the Netherlands, one of the two permits may be necessary. Foreign employees apply for a GVVA for themselves while employers only apply for a TWV.

Conditions for work permits

An employer can only employ someone from outside the EEA and Switzerland in the following cases:

  • The employer cannot find a suitable candidate from an EEA country or Switzerland;
  • The vacancy has been open for at least five weeks or three months and is difficult to fill. The UWV decides whether a vacancy is difficult to fill.
  • The employer has done everything possible to find a worker from the Netherlands, the EEA, or Switzerland.

Less stringent requirements

Although some groups of foreign workers require a GVVA or TWV, the application requirements can be less stringent for others. The persons covered by this rule include:

  • Students who combine their studies with a job of no more than 16 hours a week;
  • Interns;
  • Trainees (on-the-job learning);
  • Artists whose income is higher than a threshold amount;
  • Asylum seekers who work up to 24 weeks over 52 weeks;
  • Spiritual leaders, such as ministers, imams, and clerics;
  • Nuns, monks, or missionaries

You can learn more about these and other categories of foreign workers on the UWV and IND websites.

Some Dutch multinationals companies who can check out for possible employment opportunities:

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