Work experience as trainee or apprentice

You wish to gain work experience in the Netherlands as a trainee (for study purposes) or apprentice (for work purposes). You need a residence permit for this. What are the conditions for this residence permit? And how does the application procedure work?

​Are you a trainee or apprentice within the framework of an action programme of the European Union? Other conditions apply for you.

You or your employer apply for a Single Permit. This is a permit that allows a 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: the 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 permit and an additional document that states for which employer the foreign national is permitted to work and under which conditions.

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, the following conditions apply:

Trainee

  • You are studying at an educational institution outside of the Netherlands (at mbo-, hbo- or university level), or you graduated at hbo (higher vocational) or university level no more than 2 years ago.
    In case you are studying at mbo-level, the traineeship has to be mandatory for your studies.
  • You have a trainee agreement.
  • You have a trainee programme.
  • Your employer declares that he or she is your sponsor.
  • The Dutch organisation is entered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (if required by the Trade Registers Act 2007).

Apprentice

  • You are going to work for a Dutch company to gain the experience needed for your job in your country of origin.
  • You have a trainee agreement.
  • You have an education plan.
  • You have a return statement.
  • The Dutch organisation is entered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (if required by the Trade Registers Act 2007).
  • Your employer declares that he or she is your sponsor.

Young Workers Exchange Program (YWEP)

  • You have Canadian nationality.
  • You live in Canada or in another country of continuous residence.
  • You are 18 years of age or older, but younger than 31 years of age.
  • You are a student or you have graduated less than 12 months ago.

Criteria Foreign Nationals Employment Act

In order to get a work permit, you and your employer have to meet a number of criteria as set out in the Foreign Nationals Employment Act:

To gain work experience for study purposes (trainee) and YWEP


To gain work experience within the context of a studies (
higher vocational or university level)

  • The trainee is enrolled in a regular educational programme, or graduated at hbo (higher vocational) or university level no more than 2 years ago.
  • There is a phased trainee agreement including learning objectives.
  • The trainee has an income, including the trainee allowance, which is not lower than 50% of the minimum wage for a 21-year-old.
  • A traineeship at hbo- (higher professional education) or university level is no more than 1 year.

To gain work experience within the context of a studies on mbo level (senior secondary vocational level)

  • The trainee is enrolled in a regular educational programme  and is in general, in the final year of the educational programme.
  • The traineeship is required to complete the educational programme.
  • The trainee has sufficient specific professional basic education.
  • There is a phased trainee agreement including learning objectives.
  • The number of trainees (if there are more than 2) does not exceed 10% of the permanent staff.
  • The trainee has an income, including the trainee allowance, which is not lower than 50% of the minimum wage for a 21-year-old.
  • A traineeship at mbo level (senior secondary vocational level) is no more than 6 months.

To gain work experience within the context of a Young Workers Exchange Program (YWEP)

  • The trainee is enrolled in a regular educational programme, or graduated at hbo (higher vocational) or university level no more than 12 months ago.
  • There is a phased trainee agreement
  • The trainee has an income, including the trainee allowance, which is not lower than 50% of the minimum wage for a 21-year-old.
  • A traineeship is no more than 1 year.

To gain work experience for employment purposes (apprentice)

  • The apprentice is already employed by a foreign employer.
  • There is an agreement on the learning programme between the foreign employer and the Dutch company.
  • The experience gained is important to the development of the foreign employer's business operations.
  • The apprentice does not occupy a regular job position.
  • The trainee will return to the foreign employer.
  • He has sufficient specific professional basic education.
  • The number of apprentices (if there are more than 2) does not exceed 10% of the permanent staff.
  • The wage is in accordance with market conditions and meets at least the minimum wage of a 21-year-old employee.
  • The learning programme lasts up to 24 weeks.

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.

 

After the application

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.

You are not obliged to take out Dutch public health care insurance if you have not found a job yet, or your internship allowance is less than the Dutch minimum wage. Your foreign health care insurance will be sufficient in those cases.

You can find more information on the website of the Zorgverzekeringslijn.

Validity residence permit

The period of validity of your Single Permit depends on the duration of your traineeship or apprenticeship. The residence permit is valid for no more than 1 year. 

Right to work

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

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

Replacement of residence permit

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

Extend residence permit

You generally cannot  apply for an extension of the residence permit granted to gain work experience. The residence permit can only be extended if it was first issued for a less than 1 year.

Change residence permit

You are going to quit your job or traineeship and you wish to stay in the Netherlands. You must change your residence permit.

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.  

Apprentice

​An apprentice is a person who has completed a study abroad. To gain work experience in this profession, he is going to work with a Dutch company.

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.

Sponsor

​A sponsor is a person, employer or organisation that has an interest in the arrival of the foreign national in the Netherlands. A sponsor has rights, but also obligations with regard to the foreign national. The sponsor can start the application for the foreign national from the Netherlands .

return statement

​Statement in which the foreign employer declares that the apprentice will be rehired by them immediately after return.

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.

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.

formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.