Work permit (TWV)

Protect the Dutch labour market

In order to protect the Dutch labour market, certain categories of foreign employees may only perform work if the employer has a TWV. An application for a TWV must always be submitted to UWV WERKbedrijf (in Dutch) by the employer.

The term labour should be interpreted broadly: internships, practicals, doctoral studies, visiting research. Nor is the existence of an employment contract required. The mere fact that someone performs actual work at the EUR complex for another party is sufficient to require a TWV.

No TWV is required for EU nationals, except for nationals of Croatia. An application for TWV must be submitted for them for the first year of work. After this year has elapsed they have unrestricted access to the labour market.

Not required for certain categories of personnel

No TWV is required for certain categories of personnel:

  • Highly skilled migrants;
  • Scientific researchers falling under the EU directive the 2016/801;
  • If the applicant receives a scholarship from:
    • the European Union;
    • the Dutch government;
    • a Dutch educational or research institution;
    • an institute or institution for international education or research that is subsidised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science;
  • If the applicant carries out research in the context of a bilateral or multilateral agreement to which the Netherlands is party;
  • If the applicant is a visiting lecturer;
  • If the applicant will perform work in the context of an action programme of the European Union, for example: Leonardo da Vinci and Socrates;
  • People who have worked in the Netherlands uninterrupted for three years with a TWV.

A TWV can be refused if:

  • supply that enjoys priority is available on the Dutch labour market;
  • it concerns a job whose availability was not reported to UWV WERKbedrijf at least five weeks before the submission of the TWV application;
  • the employment involved does not pay at least the gross minimum wage per month.

Should an academic employee need a TWV nonetheless, relaxed regulations apply. For this category the test for supply enjoying priority and the required vacancy reporting do not apply. In such cases the following documents must be included with the application:

  • (draft) letter of appointment, otherwise a copy of a (translated) employment contract or a letter of appointment from the foreign employer;
  • information about the research (aim, research method, advisers, sources of financing and timeframe);
  • documentary evidence (application for) a Schengen visa, MVV or VVR with employment reported as the purpose of stay;
  • copy of a valid passport;
  • copies of diplomas and references (certified and translated into Dutch, English, French or German).

Period of time

A TWV is issued for a specific period of time to a maximum of three years. After three years the individual no longer needs a TWV in order to be able to work in the Netherlands. A TWV cannot be extended. When the period for which the TWV has been issued expires, a new application must be submitted.

The TWV is issued for the work reported on the application and exclusively for work at the employer who submitted the application. A second (part-time) job is never permitted unless a TWV application is also submitted for that other job.

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