The Ins & Outs of the GVVA / Single Permit

By: 12-05-2016 4:18 PM
Categories: Tips for internationals,

In a continuing series concerning how to acquire a work permit in the Netherlands, we now look at more detail at the single permit. What it is, how to apply for it, and what to expect.

The Single Permit is a combined residence permit and work permit that entitles foreign employees to stay and work in the Netherlands . An additional document states for which employer the foreign national is permitted to work and under which conditions. Applicants now need only apply to the IND. Either the employer or the foreign employee will have to apply for the permit, where it is more common for the employer to be the one applying.
The Single Permit applies to anyone outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland. So any foreign national outside of these countries that is coming to work for a period of more than 3 months will need to apply for the permit at the IND, or the employer can do so. (A different permit is needed for those who come to the Netherlands with a visa and want to work for a period shorter than 3 months.)

The most important thing to know about the Single Permit is that a foreign national may only work in the Netherlands if there is no labour supply available for that job within the Netherlands or the EU. In other words, EU citizens are given first priority. It will also be assessed if the foreign national is employed under the correct terms and conditions of employment.

The single permit also applies to these circumstances:
• Spiritual counsellor
• Supply of goods to a foreign company
• Supply of goods by a foreign company
• Young Workers Exchange Program (YWEP)
• To gain work experience for study purposes
• To gain work experience for employment purposes


The application form is available only in Dutch, and in most circumstances, it is the employer who will apply on behalf of the employee they wish to hire. However, when an employer will not be doing this, it is up to the potential employee to seek out a translator to assist in filling out the necessary information and supplying all requested documents .

You can expect to wait a maximum of 90 days before a decision is made by the IND on the request for a single permit. If the IND informs your employer that a Single Permit will be issued, then you can already travel to the Netherlands.

Other issues to bear in mind, which are circumstantial—depending on the nationality you have, the language you will be working in etc.—include the necessity to complete a basic Dutch language course (it may be necessary to do this in the country you currently reside in), have to undergo a TBC test, give a declaration on any criminal record and so on. These are included in the application form for the Single Permit.


Samir Rawas Sarayji

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