What is the change? The Netherlands has created new work permit exemptions for non-EU nationals participating in certain projects involving collaboration between Dutch companies and foreign companies.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, non-EU workers participating in qualifying projects will be eligible for a work authorization exemption that is valid for up to three years and renewable if the project requires their continued participation.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change took effect July 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permit exemptions.
  • Who is affected: Employers and non-EU nationals seeking work permit exemptions.
  • Impact on processing times: The change will save the time it takes to get work authorization for qualifying foreign nationals.
  • Background: Dutch authorities implemented the change in part because of feedback from the business community, which would like to see relaxed work permit requirements where possible.

Projects must be approved by the Employee Insurance Agency for exemptions to apply. The projects must involve a collaboration, partnership or agreement between a Dutch company and a foreign company for the delivery of services or goods. Companies must be able to show that employees who are working under the exemptions are needed for their specific knowledge or expertise. Companies must also show that the job the employee is filling cannot be readily filled by EU/EEA or Swiss nationals. Once a project is deemed eligible for the work permit exemption, work authorization requirements will be waived, but companies must still provide notification when non-EU workers begin their assignments in the Netherlands.

The exemption does not cover the employee’s right to live in the Netherlands, and the employer and employee must obtain the appropriate residence permit with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

BAL Analysis: The goal of the program is to lower the threshold for employing non-EU nationals who are crucial to projects involving cross-border services, trade or cooperation between Dutch companies and foreign companies. Those with project-specific questions about whether the exemption described above would be available should contact BAL.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Netherlands. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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