• The Netherlands - New Work Permit Exemptions for Certain Approved Projects
  • July 19, 2017
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has announced a new program known as the International Trade Regulation under which certain foreign nationals will be eligible for a Work Permit exemption if they are performing specialized work on approved projects involving Dutch companies.

    Although the Regulation establishing the new program came into effect on July 1, 2017, the exact criteria that will be applied to any application are yet to be announced publicly and are expected to develop as applications are adjudicated.

    The Regulation stipulates the following essential requirements:

    1. The project is a collaboration, a partnership or an agreement between a Dutch and a foreign company for the delivery of goods or services or training;
    2. The project has been approved by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), the authority responsible for issuing Work Permits;
    3. The foreign national will be engaged in work on the approved project in a specialized position that cannot be performed by a Dutch, European Economic Area, or Swiss passport holder; and
    4. The foreign national will be remunerated at an amount no less than the Dutch national minimum wage.

    The Work Permit exemption does not apply to any foreign national staying over 90 days who qualifies for the European Union Intracompany Transfer Residence Permit, in line with the EU ICT Directive.

    Project Approval Process

    Only Dutch companies are eligible to submit projects to the UWV for approval under this program.

    The UWV has a broad discretion to approve a project considering the nature and duration of the project, the tasks and number of employees involved and the value of the goods and services. Further details about the requirements for project approval are expected to be developed as applications are adjudicated.

    Although the Regulation does not require an intracompany link between the Dutch and the foreign companies, the Dutch company must show proof of collaboration with the foreign company, e.g., a service agreement.

    The Regulation provides that the UWV should adjudicate the application within five weeks of application submission.

    Following project approval, the Dutch company will be required to notify the UWV of the arrival of any foreign national engaged on the project.

    Approved projects will be registered for a maximum duration period of three years, and can be renewed. Projects ending earlier than three years must de-register with the UWV within three months of conclusion.

    Foreign National Requirements

    Foreign nationals can commence work on an approved project within two days of notification by the Dutch company to the UWV without the need to apply for a Work Permit.

    Foreign nationals remaining in the Netherlands for less than 90 days will still be required to obtain the necessary visas in accordance with the Schengen regulations.

    Foreign nationals who will be engaged on the project for more than 90 days will also need to obtain a Residence Permit with the Dutch Immigration Authorities and a long-term entry visa, if applicable. Residence Permits issued under this program will be valid for the duration of the project, issued with an initial maximum validity period of up to one year, requiring renewal thereafter.