If you want to employ staff from abroad, it is sometimes necessary to be a recognised sponsor. This is a person or organisation that has an interest in a foreign national coming to stay in the Netherlands.

The sponsor can submit an application for a residence permit from the Netherlands. When you employ foreing nationals, you become their sponsor. 

Organisations can become a recognised sponsor, whereas persons cannot. To become one, you must be a reliable partner for the IND. After recognition, your organisation will be registered in the Public Register for Recognised Sponsors. 

Go to the IND website
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Different categories

There are two categories for which you can apply: 

  • Labour: these are employees for work in paid employment, seasonal work, work experience, work as a highly skilled migrant, transfer within a company, or holder of a European blue card. 
  • Research: These are employees for research within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801 

You must apply for recognition for each category seperately. 

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How do I hire an employee from abroad as a recognised sponsor? - You can apply for a residence permit for your employee in 5 steps.

Advantages of recognition

  • Applications are handled more quickly, usually within 2 weeks. 
  • You need to provide fewer supporting documents with an application. 
  • You can use the online portal to submit digital applications and notify changes.  
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If you want to be a sponsor of Labour, the following general conditions apply: 

  • Your organisation is listed in the Commercial Register in the Netherlands. This is not needed if the Commercial Registers Act 2007 does not require this. 
  • The continuity and solvency of the organisation is sufficiently guaranteed. 
  • Your organisation may not be bankrupt, nor may there be suspension of payment. 
  • Your organisation, the directors and other natural persons/legal entities involved in your organisation are reliable. 
  • Your organisation meets the Code of Conduct that applies to that organisation. 

If you want to apply for recognition of Research, you must meet one of the following conditions, next to the general conditions. 

  • Your institution is a public research institution as referred to in Article 1d, first paragraph, under b, of the Implementation Decree of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act and uses job profiles under the job family 'research and education' for researchers in employment. 
  • Your institution is a public research institution and has been included in the Annex to the Higher Education and Research Act. 
  • Your institution is a private research institution that has been included in the National Academic Research and Collaboration System (Narcis). 
  • Your institution is a private research institution that has been issued with an R&D (Research and Development) statement under the Salaries Tax and National Insurance Contributions (Reduced Remittances) Act. 


This application costs € 4326. If you can prove that your company is a small business with a maximum of 50 employees, the application costs € 2105. 

Your application also costs € 2162 if: 

  • Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and is merging with another recognised sponsor; or 
  • Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and has been taken over fully by another; or 
  • Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and your company's legal form is changing. The nature of your company's activities has not expanded and control of the new company remains the same. 
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