Trainee or apprentice in the Netherlands

Last update: 2 June 2022

In order to be a trainee or apprentice in the Netherlands, you need a single permit (in Dutch: gecombineerde vergunning verblijf en arbeid or GVVA. The GVVA is a combination of the residence permit and the work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV). Find out what the requirements are and how to apply for the GVVA.

Are you going to do a traineeship or apprenticeship via an action programme of the European Union? Visit the web page Application for a residence permit to gain work experience under an EU programme for more information.

Requirements

The following requirements apply to you.

  • You meet the general requirements that apply to everyone
  • You meet the income requirements.
  • Your employer is registered in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce (in Dutch: Kamer van Koophandel or KvK). This applies only if your employer must register under the Commercial Register Act 2007 (Hrw 2007).
  • Your employer is a company, organisation or official Dutch branch of a foreign company, established in the Netherlands.
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  • Extra requirements for trainees at secondary vocational education (MBO) level

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  • Extra requirements for trainees at university (WO)/university of applied sciences (HBO) level

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  • Extra requirements for a student on work placement

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  • Extra requirements Young Workers Exchange Program (YWEP)

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Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for the residence permit:

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  • 1. Check requirements open minus
  • 1. Check requirements open minus
  • 2. Collect documents open minus
  • 2. Collect documents open minus
  • 3. Apply open minus
  • 3. Apply open minus
  • 4. Pay for application open minus
  • 4. Pay for application open minus
  • 5. Wait for decision on application open minus
  • 5. Wait for decision on application open minus
  • 6. Decision on application open minus
  • 6. Decision on application open minus
  • 7. Collect MVV and travel to the Netherlands open minus
  • 7. Collect GVVA  open minus
  • 8. Collect GVVA open minus

Application forms

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

Written application forms

I am an employer and not a recognised sponsor (only available in Dutch):
I am a trainee or student on work placement and I am applying myself:

Written application forms

I am an employer and not a recognised sponsor (only available in Dutch):
I am a trainee or student on work placement and I am applying myself (only available in Dutch):

The single permit

Find out what else you need to know about the single permit (GVVA):

TB test

Did you indicate at the time of the application that you will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment with the public health service (Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD). Do this within 3 months after you have received your single permit (GVVA). Take  with you to the appointment:

Working with the single permit

The single permit consists of a residence permit and an additional document.

 The residence permit says ‘Free to work in accordance with the additional document’ (in Dutch: Arbeid toegestaan conform aanvullend document). The additional document says for which employer you are allowed to work. It also sets out the conditions under which you are allowed to work. You may live and work for your employer in the Netherlands with the residence document and the additional document. Your employer will receive a copy of the additional document.

Legal obligations

As a sponsor, your employer has an obligation to provide information and an obligation to keep and retain records. Is your employer a recognised sponsor? Then your employer also has a duty of care. You only have an obligation to provide information. 

Read more about the legal obligations of the (recognised) sponsor  and the obligation of the foreign national to provide information. 

The IND checks whether you meet your obligations. What if you do not? Then you may get an administrative fine.

 Validity of the single permit

The period of validity of the single permit depends on the duration of your traineeship apprenticeship agreement. The single permit is valid for 1 year at most. 

Other applications

Replacement of the residence permit

Has your residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Then have the residence permit replaced. Visit the web page Residence permit damaged or change of personal details  or Residence permit lost or stolen.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit valid for less than 1 year? Only in that situation you can  sometimes extend the residence permit. But only if your traineeship or apprenticeship experience agreement has not yet ended.