Highly Skilled Migrant

Asylum seekers in the Netherlands and work

Good news for employers as well as asylum seekers in the Netherlands! According to the latest ruling by the highest Administrative Court in the Netherlands, asylum seekers are now allowed to work for more than 24 weeks per year. Until recently, the UWV allowed asylum seekers to work for a maximum of 24 weeks within a period of 52 weeks.

More opportunities for asylum seekers in the Netherlands

The above mentioned limitation meant a significant obstacle for asylum seekers in finding a job in the Netherlands, as employers are usually looking for long-term staff.

The Court therefore ruled that the 24-week limitation is contrary to the European Reception Directive. This Directive requires EU Member States to ensure that asylum seekers have effective access to the labour market.

As a result of the highest Administrative Court’s ruling, the UWV (employee’s insurance agency) will extend the validity of already issued work permits. New permits will be valid for as long as the asylum seeker remains in the Netherlands.

This is a positive development given the current labour market shortage, as it will allow employers to better utilize the labour potential of asylum seekers. The possibilities are limitless as many asylum seekers have a good background. Asylum seekers can work in any sector, we already know stories from people who work in sectors such as production, logistics, healthcare, and installation, but also in the building industry, for instance as architect.

Required: work permit

While the abolition of the 24-week requirement ensures better access to the Dutch labour market, other requirements remain. An asylum seeker in the Netherlands who wants to work needs to have a valid work permit. The application can only be started up after their asylum application has been pending for the IND for at least six months.

Moreover, before an asylum seeker in the Netherlands can work, he/she needs to obtain a Citizen Service Number (BSN) and open a Dutch bank account.

How can Anywr Netherlands help you as an employer?

The entire process of obtaining a work permit might mean a significant administrative burden for employers. Therefore, if you have any questions or would like assistance with applying for a work permit, please feel free to contact us.

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