Who can sponsor my Dutch work visa?

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably getting ready to go on an exciting journey to a new country. But before you fully immerse yourself in the Dutch way of life, there’s one important thing you need to take care of: getting a work visa in the Netherlands.

Visas can be confusing, but don’t worry! In this blog, we’ll explain the different types of visas available in the Netherlands and help you understand your options so you don’t have to spend endless hours searching on Google and losing sleep over complicated application forms.

What does sponsorship mean?

An approved sponsor is a company, school, or organisation that wants to bring someone from another country to the Netherlands. To be an approved sponsor, they need to follow some rules and do certain things. For example, they have to tell the Immigration Service if anything changes for the foreign person they’re bringing here. They also have to keep the foreign person’s information safe and keep it for at least 5 years.

Certainly, it’s not necessary to be someone else’s “sponsor” to apply for a visa. You can actually be your “own sponsor” in a way. When we use “sponsor” in that sense, we mean that you have enough money to take care of yourself financially. However, if an organization becomes an approved sponsor through the Immigration Department, your visa application will go through faster. They won’t need to send as many documents with the application, and they can also apply online as many times as needed.

Work Permits

In the residency category, there are different types of visas that you can apply for. Some important ones are the Family and Partner visas, which are for people who want to join their family members or partners who already live in the country. There are also Work and Study visas, which are essential for those who want to pursue professional opportunities or educational programs.

In this blog post, we will focus on the “Work” visas. We will explore the requirements and opportunities available for ambitious individuals like you who are interested in working in the Netherlands. Get ready to explore a diverse range of opportunities, including:

  • Work Permit (TWV): Opening doors for employment.
  • Combined Residence and Work Permit (GVVA): Seamlessly integrating work and residence.
  • Visa for Knowledge Migrants: Unlocking specialized expertise.
  • Blue Card: Fast-tracking your career in high-demand fields.
  • Seasonal Work Residence Permit: Embracing temporary employment.
  • Residence Permit Researcher: Pioneering research and innovation.
  • Start-up Visa: Fueling entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Residence Permit Self-employed Person: Empowering independent professionals.
  • Visa for Intern or Apprentice: Gaining valuable industry experience.
  • Residence Permit for Orientation Year: Transitioning to post-study work opportunities.
  • Residence Permit for Work Experience: Expanding your professional horizons.

While there is a plethora of visa types available, we understand the need to prioritize the most common and sought-after options. We aim to streamline your journey by focusing on the most prominent options in today’s dynamic work environment. This blog zooms in on the GVVA, the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa (HSM), and the prestigious Blue Card.

Combined Residence and Work Permit (GVVA)

For this visa, the company employing you doesn’t need to be a registered sponsor. They just need to be a Dutch employer, and offer you an employment contract. Therefor the GVVA offers a great alternative for the HSM, in case the employer is no known sponsor at the Immigration Department.

The GVVA is designed specifically for individuals seeking paid employment and grants you the remarkable opportunity to live and work in the Netherlands with a maximum of 3 years. 


Here’s the scoop on the exhilarating eligibility requirements for a GVVA:

  • Passport Power: Ensure you possess a valid passport or travel document, ready to embark on this thrilling adventure.
  • Thriving Earnings: a gross monthly salary (including vacation pay) of € 2,089.16
  • Company Credibility: Your employer’s company or organization must be registered in the Trade Register, establishing their legitimacy and commitment
  • Regional Talent Search: Demonstrate that the Job Description has not targeted only people from abroad
  • Fair Compensation: Make sure you will receive a salary that aligns with the collective bargaining agreement applicable to your organization or company, ensuring just compensation for your skills and contributions.
  • Home Away from Home: Rest easy as your employer arranges proper housing for you, ensuring a comfortable and seamless transition into your exciting new chapter

Costs and process time 

By choosing to file your application independently, the cost amounts to €350. 

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) strives to reach a decision within a 90-day decision period. However, it’s important to note that the IND has the authority to extend this period if additional time is needed—for instance, if the application is incomplete. 

Highly Skilled Migrant visa

For this visa, the company employing you needs to be a registered sponsor.

The HSM visa is designed for people who are highly skilled and excel in their fields, possessing exceptional skills and expertise or qualify as a knowledge migrant, two important factors are considered: having a high salary and a good level of education. This visa category includes diverse professions such as teachers, researchers, and doctors in training, showcasing the wide range of talent it encompasses.


Prepare to meet the criteria below:

  • Passport Power: Hold a valid passport or travel document, your gateway to an extraordinary adventure.
  • Educational Excellence: Possess a diploma from a higher education program, spanning at least three years. This academic achievement showcases your dedication and expertise.
  • Highly Qualified Contract: Secure a contract for highly qualified work in the Netherlands, a role that demands the specialized knowledge acquired through higher education.
  • Income in Line: Meet the income requirements of a minimum of € 5,867.00 per month.
  • Contract Confidence: Hold an employment contract valid for a minimum of 12 months, providing a solid foundation for your professional aspirations.
  • Regulated Profession Alert: If you practice a regulated profession, such as medicine or law, demonstrate your authorization to practice in the Netherlands. Validate your competence within your field, showcasing your ability to make a meaningful impact.
  • Employer Integrity: Ensure your employer has maintained an unblemished record, free from fines for breaching the Aliens Employment Act or Tax Law. This reflects their commitment to ethical employment practices and your peace of mind.

Costs and process time

By choosing to file your application independently, the cost amounts to €350. 

Due to the fact that you can only apply as a sponsor for this type of visa, the IND processes your applications faster. The IND tries to decide on an application within 2 weeks. In some cases the target period is 7 weeks when either additional information is needed or a work permit.

Difference between HSM and Blue Card 

While we’re not going into all the details like requirements, process times, and costs of the Blue Card, it’s important to understand what this visa is and how it’s different from the HSM. The HSM visa not only lets you work in the Netherlands but also helps you live comfortably there. It’s like an all-in-one solution that makes it easier for you to get around and live in the Dutch environment.

The Blue Card does has a special advantage in comparison with his big brother. It stands out because you don’t need your employer to be a registered sponsor for this visa, but you can apply for it yourself (or via a company like us ;)).


We hope this blog has provided you with valuable insights into the different types of visas in the Netherlands and the opportunities they present. Whether you are considering the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa, the European Blue Card, or any other visa category, we understand that you may have further questions or specific concerns.

We are here to assist you every step of the way. If you need more information, clarification, or personalised guidance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or book a free orientation call via the website.

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