Employers are generally required to obtain a work permit before they can hire employees from outside the EU to work in the Netherlands. An exception is the highly skilled migrant category where the employer does not need to apply for a work permit. Work permits are required for employees who do not fall in the highly skilled migrant category, or for short-term employment.
An employer must show that recruitment efforts have taken place to find a suitable employee in the Netherlands and other European Union countries before a work permit application can be filed. Only after these recruitment efforts have not led to a suitable candidate can an employer start looking for employees outside Europe. In some cases the foreign employee must also apply for an entry visa (MVV) or residence permit.
When all requirements are met a work permit application procedure can be started with the UWV (Employment Office). There are several different types of work permits depending on the type of employment.