There are a number of possibilities to work in the Netherlands as an employee or as a self-employed professional.

Entrepreneurs can hire highly skilled migrants from abroad for certain professions and positions. The employer has to apply for a residence permit for the highly skilled migrant’s stay. The visa and residence permit are applied for simultaneously. The employer should be a ‘recognised sponsor’, which ensures that it does not take long before the residence permit is granted. In this case, you don’t need a work permit!

If the work does not qualify as highly skilled, other conditions apply. For example, that the employer must apply on behalf of the employee for the GVAA (single permit) from the IND. The GVAA is a joint residence permit and work permit for non-EU nationals.  In the event of employment, you do not need to apply separately for a work permit for non-EU nationals from the UWV benefits agency.

However, some categories of workers remain subject to the obligation to obtain a work permit for non-EU nationals.

Different rules for qualifying for a residence permit rules apply to Turkish employees and self-employed Turkish professionals. Depending on the duration of the employment with the employer, and also after a divorce, there are possibilities to qualify for a residence permit for paid employment.

Aliens who wish to set up a business as self-employed professionals may qualify for a residence permit. The granting of this residence permit is determined on the basis of a points system.

This points system has three components:

  • personal experience;
  • business plan;
  • added value for the Netherlands.

A minimum score must be achieved on each component. The Ministry of Economic Affairs will evaluate the application and will make a recommendation to the IND, stating whether the conditions are met.

Recently, the State Secretary announced plans to make it even more attractive for self-employed professionals to start a company in the Netherlands, in order to strengthen the Dutch knowledge economy.

There are many possibilities for Turkish entrepreneurs to open up a branch or start a company in the Netherlands. It is important to prepare a sound business plan, describing what (added) value your company will have for the Dutch economy. In this, the IND will seek advice from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.