Apply for recognition as sponsor

Last update: 16 September 2022

You would like to apply for recognition as a sponsor. A recognised sponsor is a company, school or organisation that has an interest in the arrival of a third-country national. Find out what the requirements are and how to apply for recognition.

Categories of recognition as sponsor

You can apply for recognition as a sponsor for the following 4 categories.

  1. Study: applications for residence permits for the purpose of study.
  2. Exchange: applications for residence permits for the purpose of au pair and cultural exchange.
  3. Research: applications for residence permits for the purpose of research under Directive (EU) 2016/801.
  4. Work: applications for residence permits for the purpose of work as a highly-skilled migrant, work in paid employment, seasonal labour, gaining work experience, intra-corporate transfer or residence as the holder of a European Blue Card.

Do you want to become a recognised sponsor for more than one category? In that case you must apply separately for each recognition category.

Do you want to apply for recognition for each business unit or faculty? In that case you have to apply for recognition for each branch or business unit. 

Recognition is sometimes mandatory

Recognition is mandatory if you want to apply for these residence purposes as a company, school or organisation.

  • Au pair
  • Exchange
  • Study
  • Highly-skilled migrant
  • Researchers under Directive (EU) 2016/801

An exception applies to highly-skilled migrants and researchers with Turkish nationality.

And recognition is not mandatory, but it is possible for these residence purposes.

  • Regular work in paid employment
  • Seasonal work 
  • Gaining work experience
  • Intra-company transfer
  • Holder of a European Blue Card

For these residence purposes, you can choose whether or not to have your organisation recognised as a sponsor. 

Advantages of recognition as sponsor

Recognition as a sponsor has several advantages.

  • The IND processes your applications faster. The IND tries to decide on an application within 2 weeks. In some cases the target period is 7 weeks, for example if a work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning) is needed.
  • You need to enclose fewer supporting documents with the application.
  • You can apply for residence permits online via the Business Portal.
  • You are not obligated to submit a minimum or maximum number of applications per year. However. the IND may withdraw the recognition if you do not act as a sponsor for foreign nationals and have not had a residence permit or mvv granted on behalf of a foreign national for over 3 years.

Obligations as recognised sponsor

If you are recognised as a sponsor, then you will have several legal obligations. See the obligations of a sponsor and recognised sponsor.


There are general requirements for applying for recognition as a sponsor that apply to all categories. In addition, extra requirements also apply to the categories research, study and exchange.

General conditions in applying for recognition as a sponsor

The following conditions apply to your organisation:

  • Your organisation is registered in the Commercial Register in the Netherlands (in Dutch: Handelsregister). This is not necessary if not required under the Commercial Register Act 2007 (Hrw 2007).
  • The continuity and solvency of your organisation  is sufficiently guaranteed.
  • Your organisation is not insolvent or has not been granted suspension of payment.
  • Your organisation, directors and officers and other natural persons and legal entities involved in your organisation are reliable. 
  • Your organisation complies with the Code of Conduct that applies to your organisation. Does your organisation carry out activities such as assigning personnel for payment? Then your organisation must be listed in the register of the Labour Standards Foundation (SNA).
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  • Continuity and solvency of the organisation

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  • Reliability of the organisation

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Additional requirements per category

Extra requirements to become a recognised sponsor apply to the categories research, study and exchange.

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  • Requirements for research

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  • Requirements for study

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  • Requirements for exchange

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Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for recognition.

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Application form

Download the form. Fill in the form and send it by post.

See also

Rules and regulations

All rules and regulations are only in Dutch.

Responsible organisation

Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst


Contact us

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