Dutch residence permit for short-term contract workers
Seasonal workers can obtain Dutch residence permits to live and work in the Netherlands for up to 24 weeks, which their employer can apply for on their behalf before arriving.
If you move to the Netherlands as a seasonal worker, your employer may be able to submit a fast-track residence application on your behalf.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and/or a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, you (or a sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
To find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit, read Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.
Conditions for seasonal workers' permits
In addition to the general requirements for entering the Netherlands (see MVV and temporary residence permits), if you want to come and work as a seasonal labourer, you must:
- stay in the Netherlands for no more than 24 weeks;
- have lived outside the Netherlands for at least 14 weeks prior to this application;
- work for an employer who has a work permit in your name.
How to apply for a seasonal worker residence permit
Your employer must submit an application on your behalf as well as organise a work permit in your name.
In addition to your passport/ID document, you must also supply a copy of your employment contract and an employer's declaration.
It costs a non-refundable fee to process the application, so you don't get a refund if your application is refused. For more information on current fees, click here.
If your employer is a sponsor formally recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), they will aim to make a decision on your application within two weeks of receipt.
Once you have your residence permit
You are allowed to work in the Netherlands as long as the employer has a work permit in your name.
How long is the permit valid for?
The permit is valid for the same length of time as your work permit, up to a maximum of 24 weeks. It is not extendable but if you wish to stay in the Netherlands, you can apply for a new resident permit before your existing permit expires.
If your circumstances change
If you take on seasonal work for another employer during the 24 weeks, the IND must be informed and the new employer must have a work permit for you in your name.
If you stop your seasonal work, you must inform the IND and apply for a new permit with a change of stay or leave the country. Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you're eligible to apply for a new permit with a different purpose of stay.
The information given here is for guidance only and you should seek specific advice from the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country.
Need advice? Post your question on Expatica's Ask the Expert service to see if we can help.
Updated from 2013.
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.