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Netherlands Work Permit Based on the International Trade Regulation

The International Trade Regulation is a flexible ruling to hire employees in the Netherlands for a particular project. The project itself should be of a temporary nature, for example installation of new equipment or machines. It can be a collaboration, a partnership or an agreement for the delivery of goods of services between a foreign company and a Dutch company.


The project should be registered and approved by the UWV (Dutch social security agency). In general, the following information should be provided to the UWV by the company in the Netherlands:

  • The contents of the project;
  • The duties of the employees who will be transferred on that project;
  • The duration of the project;
  • Value of the delivered goods of services;
  • Expected number of employees that will be transferred for the project;
  • Value of the project.

The company in the Netherlands also needs  to explain why the foreign employees are required for that project and why it is not possible to hire European employees for that project. The normal decision term is 5 weeks.


If the project has been approved by the UWV, the foreign company can bring the foreign employees to the Netherlands and they can work in the Netherlands without a work permit. Only a notification should be sent to the UWV before an employee starts working in the Netherlands. This is applicable to the employees who do not need any entry visa or who stay in the Netherlands for maximum 90 days in 180 days.

If a foreign employee needs an entry visa or if a foreign employee will work in the Netherlands for a period longer than 90 in 180 days, he or she will need a residence permit. The residence permit can be applied for at the Dutch Immigration Services. In that case the Dutch Immigration Services will take into consideration that a project has been already approved by the UWV.

Advantage of a work permit based on International Trade Regulation

As already mentioned,  if the project is approved, the company will have flexibility to choose which employees will come to the Netherlands and also the flexibility to choose how long the employees stay in the Netherlands. If the company needs employee A for 2 weeks and after that employee B for 4 weeks, the company does not have to apply for two separate permits anymore. This is an advantage if several foreign employees are involved in the project.

Work permit for UK-Citizens

This procedure can also be used for UK-citizens working on a project in the Netherlands on a temporary basis, who actually need a work permit but who do not qualify for e a work permit as a highly skilled migrant or for a work permit based on the Trade Cooperation Agreement.

For more information about the International Trade Regulation or about sending your employees to work abroad, please contact our global mobility specialists.

Crowe Peak
Olympisch Stadion 24-28 1076 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+3188 2055 000 contact@crowe-peak.nl