Special scheme for Asian cooks stops definitely as from 1 July

Last update: 28 June 2024

From 1 July Asian restaurants will no longer be able to use the scheme for bringing specialised cooks from outside Europe to the Netherlands. Asian cooks can nevertheless still work here. For this purpose restaurants can apply for a work permit or a single permit, a combined residence and work permit (GVVA).

The special scheme for Asian hotel and catering establishments (in Dutch: horeca), also known as the "wok agreement”, was introduced in 2014 to make it easier for Asian restaurants to employ qualified cooks from countries outside Europe. The government stopped the scheme in 2022 after reports of abuses within the Asian hotel and catering sector. A transitional period for a longer time was chosen because the special assessment framework had already applied since 2014.

Asian cooks can still work here

Before restaurants are allowed to bring Asian cooks to the Netherlands, they must make efforts to find a suitable candidate within the Netherlands or Europe. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) monitors this by way of a labour market test.

Transitional law

Applications for Asian cooks that were submitted before 1 January 2022 come under transitional law. Then no complete labour market test will be needed for extension. A complete labour market test does however apply to applications for extension of permits that were granted after 1 January 2022. The Asian hotel and catering sector was informed of this in good time.

Abolition of the special assessment framework for the Asian hotel and catering sector does not have many consequences for the work of the IND, as evident from the implementation test.