The Netherlands stands out as a top destination for technology companies and is renowned as the most digitally connected country in Europe.
They offer a four-year work visa known as the Essential Starter Personnel Work Permit, which applicants can obtain based on specific eligibility requirements. This program, initially launched as a temporary pilot in June 2021, is a novel initiative by the government. It is set to run until 2025, at which point they will assess whether to make it a permanent fixture, and the processing time for this permit is 90 days.
The Essential Starter Personnel Work Permit empowers individuals to work with any startup of their choice in the Netherlands.
For individuals from outside the European Union (EU) who aspire to work in the Netherlands, securing a valid work permit is mandatory. Typically, it is the prospective employer who initiates the permit request, and it remains valid solely for the employer making the application. Should the employee change jobs, the permit becomes invalid. It is important to note that there is no general work permit applicable to all employers in the Netherlands.
Citizens from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, and Switzerland are exempt from the need for a work or residence permit in the Netherlands. This is because they enjoy the privilege of free movement within these nations. The most recent countries to gain this freedom of movement within the EU were Bulgaria and Romania in early 2014. As of July 1, 2018, individuals from Croatia no longer require a Dutch work permit to work in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, certain categories of expats, such as press service staff, musicians, and visiting lecturers, do not require a work permit when they come to the Netherlands to perform specific short-term, occasional work. However, for all other international workers, some form of permit is essential for employment in the Netherlands.