Getting a work permit

Want to work in the TopDutch region? We have many types of work permits for talented professionals. Here’s an overview to help you find the right one for you.

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Types of work permits

olding an EU/EEA/Swiss passport have free rights to live, study and work in the TopDutch region without a visa. If you do require a working visa, we have a number of different types.

  • Single permit: Combines the residence and work permit for workers intending to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months.
  • Highly-skilled migrants: To attract and retain foreign professionals to the Netherlands. After employers proved to have fulfilled certain requirements, the process of obtaining a work permit is fast-tracked.
  • Self-employed / freelance: To apply for a self-employed visa you must prove that your work is in the Dutch national interest, and meet certain requirements considering the performance of your profession or business. The visa is for two years, but after that it can be extended.
  • Graduates: Foreign graduates of a Dutch university or post-graduates from specific foreign universities can apply for orientation-year visas. These allow you to search for work freely (with no permit restrictions) for 12 months.
  • Scientific researchers: Researchers accepted into a Dutch research institution can receive a combined resident-working visa for up to 5 years. The visa must be applied for by your institution.
  • Short-term workers: We have separate visas for Au Pairs, working-holiday makers from certain countries and seasonal labor employees who are staying only for a short period in the Netherlands.
  • EU Blue Card: This is a visa similar to the highly-skilled migrant visa, but also includes limited intra-EU mobility rights. There are again specific requirements you and your employer must fulfil in order to obtain one.

If you are staying in the Netherlands on a partner residence permit, this will indicate whether you are allowed to work or not. If your partner is a Dutch or EU citizen, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands without restrictions. However, there can be restrictions under specific conditions.


In any case, if you’re moving to the Netherlands, you must register as a resident at your respective municipality to receive a citizen service number (BSN), which you'll need for everything from filing your taxes to signing a housing contract.

In order to make moving to the TopDutch region as easy as possible for our talent, the International Welcome Center North provides a service to accelerate the visa application process. You can find more details about this and the application form on their website.