Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

On this page you can find answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic of labour market integration in the Netherlands.

Looking for a job

A beneficiary of international protection is a person who has been granted a refugee status, a subsidiary protection or a temporary protection.

A refugee status is granted to a person „whose life and liberty are threatened in his/her country of origin on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or whose fear of being subject to persecution is well founded, and is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it. (article 1A (2) Refugee Convention 1951).

A beneficiary of subsidiary protection „does not qualify as a refugee but in respect of whom there is reason to believe that the person concerned, if returned to his/her country of origin would face a real risk of suffering serious harm, and is unable, or, owing to such risk, unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country.” (article 2, directive 2011/95/EU).

The temporary protection „may be granted to groups leaving their home country in masses, on the basis of the decision of the Council of the European Union or the Government.

* There are different sources with different definitions of a beneficiary of international protection. Member states apply rules differently in accordance with national and international law.

Asylum-seekers are permitted to work six months after they made their asylum claim. In order to start working, you need to apply for a ’tewerkstellingsvergunning’ (work permit). This allows you to work 24 weeks a year. You can apply for a work permit at Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV). Request a work permit here.

An exception is made for volunteer work, for which you don’t need a work permit. Organizations that wish to hire asylum seekers for volunteer work, do however need to possess a volunteer statement (vrijwilligersverklaring).

Asylum-seekers are permitted to complete an internship six months after they made their asylum claim. In order to an internship, you need to apply for a ’tewerkstellingsvergunning’ (work permit). This allows you to work 24 weeks a year. You can apply for a work permit at Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV) here.

Internships differ from other jobs in the sense that they are particularly focused on learning and gaining work expeirence, rather than completing tasks as a staff member.

In the Netherlands, the law requires people from outside the EEA (European Economic Area) to have a working permit. However, beneficiaries of international protection are exempted from this rule if they have an official residence permit, so you do not need to obtain a work permit to be legally permitted to work (Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen, article 3).

In principle, refugees follows the same rules as Dutch citizens, and it is permitted. Internships differ from other jobs in the sense that they are particularly focused on learning and gaining work experience, rather than completing tasks as a staff member.

The Netherlands has possibilities for adults to start and finish their secondary school education. You can find more information here.

There are also possibilities to continue your education in the Netherlands. On this page you can find institutions that can help you to validate your diploma.

Several organizations in the Netherlands assist refugees to continue their studies or to finda job, including curriculums designed for adults who have not been to school, or lack reading/writing skills. More information can be found here.

You can find information on the institutions that validate diplomas here. Validation can measure your qualification and determine the equivalency in the Netherlands.

If you do not have a copy of your diplomas, you may be able to have your skills recognized through different ways, such as an acknowledgment of relevant working experience. Find more about organizations that provide these services here.

In the Netherlands, several organizations help migrants with career guidance, including help with writing a CV or cover letter. You can find an overview of these organizations here.

Not necessarily, if you have a good level of English. In the Netherlands, several universities or other higher education institutions offer courses in English. You can find an overview of English programs in the Netherlands here.

Similarly, there are job opportunities that do not require Dutch language skills, or only a limited proficiency, but it is beneficial to learn Dutch. You can find information on Dutch language learning opportunities here.

In the Netherlands, discrimination on the basis of disability is not allowed. The Dutch participation law has also created quotas to stimulate employers to hire people with disabilities.

Additionally you might be eligible for an allowance if you don’t work (fulltime).

Do you feel discriminated as a result of your disability? Contact the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.

The minimum wage (minimumloon) is the minimum salary that employers must legally pay to workers. In 2018, the national minimum salary in the Netherlands is €1578,00 per month for fulltime employees from 22 years and older. The minimum wage differs per person, based on your age and family situation. Find more information here.

Salary differs per location and per sector. The gross average salary is generally higher in the financial, insurance and business sectors and lower in the education sector. Furthermore, average salaries will be higher in the Randstad region of the Netherlands where the cost of living is also higher.

According to a UWV report (2017), the most demanded skills in the Dutch labour market are found in the following sectors: technical-industrial-building; information and communication technology; care system; economic-financial; education; transportation; horticulture, catering industry.

Looking for an employee

According to growing evidence from academia and practice, the benefits are the following: 
- Diversity leads to a stronger workforce where individuals can share and learn from each other;
- Diverstiy can enhance global competitiveness, amongst others because of a greater variety of problem-solving approaches (according to McKinsley’s report on diversity);
- Migration allows companies to address labour shortages and specific skill needs;
- Migrants represent an expanded customer base, often creating new market opportunities;
- Better integrated migrants are successful due to higher motivation and productivity, and display higher loyalty towards their employer, resulting in less turnover and absenteeism;
- A diverse workplace boosts competitiveness and innovation among employees;
- Migration allows businesses to engage with local communities, and those composed of migrants;
- Migration allows businesses to engage with governments, for or against migration policies (according tot the Hague Process on Refugee and Migration’s report on Return on Investment on Migration).

To verify this, the (temporary) residence permit must state the following: ’tewerkstellingsvergunning niet vereist: arbeid toegestaan’. Additionally, the residence permit has to be valid for the period of employment (this information can also be found on the residence permit).

contact the IND for more detailed information.

Asylum-seekers are permitted to work six months after they made their asylum claim. In order to work, an asylum-seekers requrie a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning). As employer, you can request the work permit Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV), which allows an asylum- seeker to work 24 weeks a year. Request a work permit here.

An asylum seeker may work as a volunteer, on the condition that the host insitution has a Volunteer’s Statement (vrijwilligersverklaring). Request a vrijwilligersverklaring here.

See a number of initiatives offering such support  on this page.

Offering help to find a job

If you are willing to support a beneficiary of international protection to develop his/her skills and to find a job, you can volunteer in the different NGOs that are working to foster migrants' integration in the labour market and in the society. You can find them all listed here.

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