April 2015
This summary is designed to provide basic information about business visits and work authorization requirements and processes for The Netherlands. Please remember that, as with any country, Dutch immigration laws may change without notice. The information in this summary is of a general nature and does not constitute legal advice. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your immigration professional.

Dutch business immigration policy has features that are designed to protect local labor from foreign competition. However, recently, the policy has been liberalized for talented employees or employees of multinational companies who meet specific criteria. The Netherlands has procedures in place for business visitors, intercompany transferees, and highly skilled workers.

Business visitors to the Netherlands typically use a local version of the Schengen C Visa, which most foreign nationals are required to obtain prior to arrival in the Netherlands. Although the overall Schengen Area stay limit for visitors is 90 days in a 180-day period, the Netherlands limits stays as a business visitor to four weeks in a period of 13 weeks (multiple stays are allowed in a year), or a single visit of up to twelve consecutive weeks in a period of 36 weeks for certain installation, repair and related activities.

The main work authorization categories are Key Personnel – for intracompany transferees who are managers or personnel with specific technical skills; and Highly Skilled Migrants – for intracompany transferees or local hires who have advanced degrees and/or specialized knowledge or experience. Foreign nationals must also obtain residence permits for legal residence in the Netherlands. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals do not need work authorization to work in the Netherlands except for Croatian nationals, who still require work and residence authorization. Work Permit employees can only work at the addresses stated on the Work Permit. Each Work Permit is valid for up to five years, with indefinite extensions available for the Highly Skilled Migrant category.

Note that birth and marriage certificates, Certificates of Registered Partnership and Certificates of Single Status must be issued no more than six months prior to the work permit filing date and must be subsequently legalized and translated into Dutch, English, French or German (if not issued in one of these languages).