Improved access to the Dutch labour market

Improved access to the Dutch labour market

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Everaert Advocaten is a respected leader in Dutch migration law. Based in Amsterdam, its multilingual team advises expats on residency and migration-related legal issues.

From April 1, 2017, highly skilled migrants, scientific researchers and students have gained broader access to the Dutch labour market. Now, the employment status on their residence card includes the possibility to work as a self-employed person. Scientific researchers are free on the labour market; meaning they can accept work in paid employment, next to their position as a researcher.

Making use of the self-employed option

If you want to make use of the self-employment option, you do not have to apply for a new residence card first. You can go to the Chamber of Commerce directly to register your company. Just keep in mind that the conditions for the residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, scientific researcher or student have not changed and you still need to comply with them - your employment or studies may not be negatively affected by your business activities.

This newly gained access to the labour market as an entrepreneur, and for scientific researchers as an employee as well, can prove useful if at some point you wish or need to change (the purpose of) your residence permit.

Increased chances

If you are able to set up a running business next to your work or studies, and you find yourself having to change your permit or wanting to commit yourself to your business full-time, your chances of successfully applying for a residence permit based on self-employment increase somewhat.

Scoring system

A residence permit based on self-employment is difficult to obtain. All applications, save for some exceptions, are reviewed based on a scoring system. This scoring system consists of three categories:

  • You as an entrepreneur (education, work and entrepreneurial experience in the Netherlands).
  • Your business plan (organisation, market potential, financial plan).
  • Investments and job creation.

You will only be issued a residence permit based on self-employment if your plans obtain the minimum score.

The scoring system relies heavily on your financial plan, so you may have more of a chance if you pay extra attention to it. It adds a great deal to your financial plan’s credibility if you already have a running business with several assignments, as well as financial statements showing an increase in activity and revenue.

Building your network

Even if you do not opt for a permit based on self-employment, either because your company is not yet sustainable enough or you do not want to be an entrepreneur full-time, you can use this opportunity to establish your own company to build a network in the Netherlands and abroad.

If you have any questions about the new employment status or the application procedure for a residence permit based on self-employment, kindly contact Everaert Advocaten for more information and advice:

everaert advocaten immigration lawyers

Eline Van Deijck


Eline Van Deijck

Eline focuses mainly on the business side of migration law. She assists - among others - Chinese companies and represents companies in procedures about fines for illegal employment. From her...

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