Recognition as a sponsor

You are an employer and you wish to hire foreign employees. In some cases you first have to be a (obligatory) recognised sponsor to do this. What are the conditions for recognition? And how does the application procedure work?

​This page only gives you information on recognition as sponsor for employment and researcher (Directive (EU) 2016/801). You can find the conditions for work-related residence permits on the pages of these purposes of stay (in the text on this page your can find links to a few of these purposes; the other purposes can be found through the page Work). However, you can find here the notification forms for work.

A sponsor is a person or organisation having an interest in the residence of a third-country national in the Netherlands. When you engage a foreign employee, you are the sponsor for this employee. You can be a sponsor for several employees at the same time.

Advantages of recognition

As an employer, you can have your company be recognised as a sponsor by the IND. Recognition as a sponsor has a number of advantages:

  • The IND handles your applications faster: a decision is usually taken on a completely submitted application within 2 weeks.
  • Fewer pieces of evidence: you need to send fewer pieces of evidence with the application. Your own attestation that the employee meets the conditions is usually sufficient.
  • You can use the Business Portal to submit digital applications.

Recognition as a sponsor obligatory

To hire highly skilled migrants and researchers, your company has to be recognised by the IND. In order to be recognised as a sponsor, your company must be a reliable partner for the IND. After your organisation has been recognised, it will be entered in the Public Register for Recognised Sponsors

Recognition is related to a business entity (with corresponding Chamber of Commerce number - KvK-nummer). Does your company exist of more branche (business entities with their own KvK-number)? All company branches have to be recognised separately.

As a recognised sponsor you can off course also apply for work-related purposes for which recognition is not obligatory through the procedure as a recognised sponsor.

Recognition as a sponsor not obligatory

Recognition is not required for hiring foreign employees in relation to Intra Corporate Transferee (Directive 2014/66/EU), work in paid employment, European Blue Card, work experience and seasonal work. Recognition is also not required for hiring highly skilled migrants and researchers with the Turkish nationality. A non-recognised sponsor has to report changes under the obligation to provide information. You can use the 'Notification form for labour-related residence purposes (sponsor)' listed below.


To be recognised as a sponsor your organisation needs to meet certain conditions. There are certain conditions that apply to all recognised sponsors. For recognition as sponsor for researchers within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801 one of the following additional conditions applies:

  • Your institution is a public research institution as referred to in Article 1d, first paragraph, under b, of the Implementation Decree of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act and uses job profiles under the job family 'research and education' for researchers in employment.
  • Your institution is a public research institution and has been included in the Annex to the Higher Education and Research Act.
  • Your institution is a private research institution that has been included in the National Academic Research and Collaboration System (Narcis).
  • Your institution is a private research institution that has been issued with an R&D (Research and Development) statement under the Salaries Tax and National Insurance Contributions (Reduced Remittances) Act.

There are no additional conditions for recognition as sponsor for employment.


This application costs € 4017.

  • Are you submitting an application for recognition as a sponsor for labour? Is your company a start-up or a small business with a maximum of 50 employees and can you prove this? Then the application for recognition as a sponsor costs € 2008.
  • Your application for recognition as a sponsor also costs € 2008 if:
    - Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and is merging with another recognised sponsor; or

    - Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and have been taken over fully by another recognised sponsor; or
    - Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and your company's legal form is changing. (The nature of your company's activities has not expanded and control of the new company remains the same. This must be evident from the deeds or articles of association.)

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you need for your application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.


After the recognition

Recognition only serves the purpose for which the recognition was given

You are recognised sponsor for the purpose of stay 'employment' or 'research within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801'. This recognition only applies to this purpose of stay. Employment includes the following purposes of stay: 

  • Work in paid employment;
  • Seasonal work;
  • Work experience:
  • Highly skilled migrant (including researchers according to the Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme);
  • European Blue Card holders;
  • Intra Corporate Transferees (ICT, Directive 2014/66/EU).

Submit applications for foreign employees and researchers

After your recognition has been approved, you can submit applications for your foreign employees and scientific researchers. Your organisation declares in the application form that your employee meets the conditions. You do not have to send the documents given by your employee to show this, to the IND.

You can find the conditions, procedure and the application forms on the page of the target group in question.

Do you wish to hire highly skilled migrants or are highly skilled migrants working for your organisation? And would you like to learn more about the applications for highly skilled migrants? Team Business organises information meetings and workshops for companies both with little or no experience with applications for highly skilled migrants as for companies that have already gained experience with applications for highly skilled migrants.

Having applications submitted by an authorised representative

You can authorise an organisation or institution to submit the applications on your behalf. You send a one-time authorisation to the IND. This authorisation states who you authorise to submit the applications on your behalf. You sign the authorisation.

The authorised representative enters the name of your organisation and his own data on the application form when submitting the application. The application form has a separate field for this.

Change in business entity

​When the business entity of your institution or company changes, you will again need to apply for recognition as sponsor for the new business entity. This application for recognition costs € 2008.

Rights and obligations


As a recognised sponsor you have a number of rights: 

  • The aim of the IND is to decide on your applications within 2 weeks. This is only possible if you complete the application in full. Are documents missing? The IND cannot then meet the term of 2 weeks.
  • You can send less documentary evidence to the IND. An own statement is often enough. This states that the employer meets all the conditions set out for entry and stay in the Netherlands.


As recognised sponsor you have a responsible task. You assess and submit all the application forms for the employees. The IND hardly has any contact with your individual employees. Everything runs through you.

The migration policy is based on trust in you as recognised sponsor. The IND checks afterwards if:

  • the employee (still) meets the conditions;
  • you continue to meet the conditions for recognition; and
  • if you fulfil your obligations as sponsor.

You are also responsible for organisations (for example relocation agencies) that you have authorised to submit applications on your behalf.

Apart from your rights, you must, as recognised sponsor, meet a number of statutory obligations.