An employer who wants to get staff from outside the EU for employment to the Netherlands other than as a highly skilled migrant may apply for the so called “single permit for residence and employment’ (Gemeenschappelijke vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid GVVA).

The employer applies for the employee to the Immigration service (IND) for a work permit on the basis of  a labor contract. In before deciding on the application, the IND will seek advice from the UWV (Dutch Labor Authority). Only on the bases of a positive advice from the UWV will the IND approve the application for the work permit.

The UWV applies in its advice the so-called labor market test. This entails that the UWV assesses whether the employer has undertaken sufficient efforts to find a suitable candidate in the local labor market. If this condition is met, but there is, according to the UWV, still suitable staff locally present in the Netherlands, the UWV will still give a negatieve advise.

Some categories of employees are excluded from this labor market test under certain conditions which makes it therefore easier to obtain work permits for these categories employees:

  • Personnel being transferred for the purpose of assembling and repairing equipment supplied by foreign companies;
  • Athletes who participate in the highest league division of the relevant branch of sport;
  • Spiritual leaders and pastors;
  • Teachers in international education;
  • Musicians and artists;
  • Ancillary work of students who have a residence permit as a student here;
  • Key Personnel from non-profit organizations;
  • Intra-corporate transferees (key personnel, trainees, specialists);
  • Personnel being transferred for the purpose of inspection and training related to delivery of goods to a foreign company;
  • Personnel being transferred for the purpose of starting, changing or expanding business from smaller companies.