• Many Foreign Worker Categories Can Now Benefit from Relaxed Entrepreneur Rules
  • May 10, 2017
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Holders of the EU Blue Card, Knowledge Migrant Permit, Student Permit and the Permit for Scientific Research can now perform work activities as self-employed entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, as long as their primary work activity remains what is indicated on their work permit. Current holders of these permits are not required to update or renew their existing work authorization documents. In addition, scientific researchers are now exempt from a work permit.


    The new legislation was introduced to allow knowledge migrants, EU Blue Card holders, scientific researchers and students to start their own companies in the Netherlands. Previously, such workers were not allowed to undertake activities as entrepreneur.

    Authorization Documents

    Newly-issued documents for the relevant work, research and study categories will now state that self-employment is permitted in addition to the work for which the document has been granted, e.g., work, scientific research or study.

    The scientific researcher residence permit will now state that no work permit is required to perform work activities.


    The entrepreneurial activities must remain secondary activities for the foreign worker. New and current holders of the Knowledge Migrant Permit, EU Blue Card, Student Permit or the Permit for Scientific Research cannot change the main work purpose stated on their permits and must continue meeting the requirements of their respective category.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Current holders of the EU Blue Card, Knowledge Migrant Permit, Student Permit or the Permit for Scientific Research can immediately work as entrepreneurs without updating or renewing their work authorization documents. New permits for these categories will specify that the foreign national can work in the designated primary work activity and as a self-employed entrepreneur.

    Lastly, employers can now hire scientific researchers without applying for a work permit on their behalf.