Spiritual counsellor

You wish to work in the Netherlands as a spiritual counsellor. You need a residence permit for this. What are the conditions for this residence permit? And how does the application procedure work?

​You or your employer apply for a Single Permit. This is a permit that entitles the foreign national to stay and work in the Netherlands. The Single Permit combines the residence permit and the TWV. You only have to apply for one permit, to one authority: de IND. The IND asks advice from the Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency (UWV) about the labour market aspect. UWV assesses the request for advice based on the criteria of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wav). The IND takes a decision on the basis of the advice of UWV. If the decision is positive and the Single Permit is issued, the IND will inform you accordingly.

The Single Permit consists of a residence document and an additional document. The additional document states for which employer the foreign national may work and under which conditions.

Your employer can choose to become a recognised sponsor. This is not obligatory. Recognition as sponsor has various advantages.

Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country  or Switzerland and their family members.

Conditions

There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition, you and your employer have to meet the following conditions:

  • You have passed the civic integration examination abroad or you are  exempt   and do not have to take the exam. If you do not carry out your work in public, you are exempt and do not have to take the exam. You are, for example, going to work as a monk, or an internal officer or as a member of the board.
  • You are going to earn sufficient income.
  • Your religious or philosophical organisation has to be a legal entity or be part of another organisation that is a legal entity. This is shown by the fact that the organisation is entered in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce (if required by the Commercial Registers Act 2007).
  • Your religious or philosophical organisation must meet a number of additional conditions on solvency, continuity and reliability of the organisation.
  • The organisation has to make sure that within 4 weeks after you received the permit, you are registered with the Executive Agency for Education (DUO) for your civic integration.
  • The organisation has to ensure that you accept the offer of your civic integration. And, has to give you the time and opportunity to integrate.

Criteria Foreign Nationals Employment Act

To get the work permit, you and your employer have to meet a number of criteria within the category spiritual counsellor set out in the Foreign Nationals Employment Act. You see these criteria below. There are 2 sets of criteria: spiritual leader or minister of religion and monk or missionary.

Spiritual leader or minister of religion

  • The spiritual counsellor (spiritual leader or minister of religion) works as a leader of a ceremony at a religious or philosophical organisation.
  • This requires specific education, knowledge or experience.
  • The presence of a spiritual counsellor is of essential interest to the ceremony and the functioning of the religious or philosophical organisation.
  • The wage must at least be 100% of the minimum wage of a 23-year-old employee.
  • The duration of the work is for no more than 3 years.

Monks or internal officers

  • The spiritual counsellor (monks and nuns or internal officers) carries out work that is necessary to achieve the purpose of the organisation.
  • There is no employment with the organisation. One of the following situations applies to you:
    • In the Articles of the organisation is set out that you have to take a vow of poverty and you have done so.
    • The organisation takes care of your livelihood. The organisation provides you with at least the minimum wage in money or in kind.
    • You have access to means at the level of at least the minimum wage.

Please visit www.werk.nl/werkvergunning for more information on the conditions based on the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wav).

Other conditions may apply for Turkish nationals and their family members.

Costs

This application costs € 290. 

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you must enclose with the application.

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

 

Na uw aanvraag

Collect your residence permit

The IND aims to have the Single Permit ready for you within 2 weeks following your arrival in the Netherlands. You receive a letter when you can collect the Single Permit. For this, you have to make an appointment online at the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. Therefore, please schedule an appointment in time.  

Check to see if the information on the Single Permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If something is incorrect, inform the IND staff member at once.

Registration with the municipality

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP)  in the municipality you are going to live.

To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated  birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.

Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.

TB test

You have indicated your intent to undergo a tuberculosis test (TB test) when you applied. You have to make an appointment for this with the Area Health Authority (GGD). You do this within 3 months after having received your residence permit. Please take the 'TB test referral form' with you to the appointment.

In some cases you are exempt from taking a TB test.

Take out health insurance

Anyone living in the Netherlands must take out health insurance. You do this within 4 months following your arrival in the Netherlands.

Validity residence permit

The period of validity of the Single Permit is up to 1 year.  

Right to work /Please submit a renewal application GVVA in time!

The Single Permit consists of a residence permit and an additional document. The residence permit states 'Arbeid toegestaan conform aanvullend document' (work permitted according to additional document). The additional document states for which employer you may work and under which conditions. The residence document and additional document allow you to live and work for your employer in the Netherlands. Your employer receives a copy of the additional document.

Please submit a renewal application GVVA in time!

For employees for whom, after 5 April 2017, a renewal application GVVA has been submitted, it is, under specific conditions and pending the decision of the application, possible for them to keep working for their employer.

They must have a residence sticker (VA sticker) with an indication of work status placed in their passport. With this VA-sticker in the passport, the employee can then show that he is staying legitimately in the Netherlands and is allowed to work. If the application for renewal can be granted, then the GVVA (including the supplementary document) will be linked, in principle, to the earlier GVVA.

Conditions
The worker may, pending the decision on the application for renewal, keep working if:

  • the application is submitted in time, that is, if the request is received by the IND before expiration of the period of validity of the previously granted GVVA;
  • the employee continues to do the same work for the same employer; and
  • there is a VA sticker placed in the passport, with which it can be demonstrated that he is allowed to keep working for his employer.

Requesting an extension on time
It is advisable to submit a renewal request for the GVVA for your employee on time, that is about 3 months before the expiration of the GVVA. The IND will then, in most cases, have ruled on the request before the period of validity of the previously granted GVVA has expired. In that case, the employee does not need to apply for a residence endorsement sticker. The IND needs a total of 90 days to process a GVVA request, the so-called 'statutory period.' The statutory period of 5 weeks, in which the UWV formulates an opinion, is part of this. The IND does strive to make a decision on a fully submitted GVVA application within 7 weeks.

Making an appointment

To request a residence endorsement sticker at the IND Desk, the employee must make an appointment online. Please take into account that it may take some time before you are given an appointment at the IND desk.

Labour market notification 'work freely permitted'

Have you worked in the Netherlands for 5 years? Then you are free to work in the Netherlands. You do not need a TWV anymore.

Is your residence permit still valid for a least 4 months? You can replace your residence permit for a document with the labour market notification 'arbeid vrij toegestaan' (work freely permitted).

Does your permit expire within 3 months? Apply for extension. Write on the form that you wish to have the labour market notification 'arbeid vrij toegestaan' on your new residence permit.

Legal obligations

There are a number of legal obligations that apply to you and your employer.

The IND monitors your compliance with these legal obligations. Failure to meet these legal obligations may have consequences.

Further applications (extend or change) / return visa

Replace residence permit

Is your residence permit damaged, lost or stolen? In that case, have the residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit due to expire soon? Apply for an extension.

Change residence permit

Has something changed in your situation that influences your residence permit? Please report this immediately to the IND. It may mean that the residence permit has to be changed.

Permanent stay

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Becoming a Dutch citizen

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for Dutch citizenship.

Return visa

If you are awaiting a procedure, you do not have a valid residence document at present and you wish to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands. This could be the case if your current residence permit is no longer valid or your current residence permit will expire during your stay outside of the Netherlands. To apply for a return visa you must meet certain conditions. ​

TWV

​A TWV is a work permit. The employer applies for a TWV with UWV (Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency). UWV examines among other things if there is no employee with the Dutch, EU/EEA or Swiss nationality that is qualified for the job.

Provisional residence permit (mvv)

​The provisional residence permit (mvv) is a visa you need if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. For more information, check Regular provisional residence permit (mvv).

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

Country of continuous residence

​A country of continuous residence is a country (other than the country of origin) where you may lawfully live for more than 3 months. This means you have a valid residence permit for that country. Or that you are waiting for your application for a residence permit to be approved.

Are you in a country in your free term? Or with a visa for short stay (maximum of 3 months)? This is not continuous residence.

formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.