Work Permit Options in the Netherlands for Non-EU Workers


I represent a business group that has recently established a company in the Netherlands, with a significant portion of Dutch ownership. This new Dutch entity shares the same ownership structure as our existing company in another European country.

Our inquiry is about the possibility of employing individuals from non-EU countries directly through our Dutch company, or transferring them from our existing European company to the Dutch one via intra-company transfer.

The discussion involves a substantial number of workers (over 40), and we are in the process of finding a Dutch partner to assist with the legal and administrative aspects. However, we first seek clarity on the necessary procedures to align our planning.

The workers we intend to transfer specialize in tasks such as metal assembly, use of construction machinery, and electrical installation. Most of these workers are from a non-EU European country.

We are also interested in understanding if our workers would qualify as “highly-skilled migrants” in the Netherlands.


You’ve set out a proposed scenario where you bring in to the Netherlands employees as Highly Skilled Migrants or as Intra Corporate Transferees (ICT), to work in assembling and installing high-racking automated warehouses. You would potentially require residence permits for these employees. Based on the description of the work that the employees will be doing, I would say there’s a strong likelihood that they will not qualify as Highly Skilled Migrants, nor as Intra Corporate Transferees, as they are not at a managerial level.

A possible alternative would be the International Trade Regulation (also called International Trade Scheme). This scheme in the Netherlands is designed to facilitate the temporary assignment of employees from foreign companies to Dutch companies, primarily for projects involving international trade and investment. It might be suitable if the work your employees will be doing in the Netherlands is part of a larger international project or trade agreement. This scheme can offer more flexibility compared to the Highly Skilled Migrant or Intra Corporate Transferee routes, especially for non-managerial staff.

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