Home Travel & Adventure Asylum Seekers in Netherlands Gain Unfettered Access to Labor Market

Asylum Seekers in Netherlands Gain Unfettered Access to Labor Market


The Netherlands’ government will apply new changes to the rules for asylum seekers’ employment, taking into account a ruling by the Council of the State, which deemed the 24-week requirement inconsistent with the European Reception Directive.

The new changes mean that asylum seekers are now eligible to work for more than 24 weeks a year if their asylum application has been pending for at least six months.

Asylum seekers are permitted to work in the Netherlands if the employer has a work permit. The permit is requested from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). A work permit can be issued for no longer than 24 weeks.

The ruling of the Council of State provides clarity for asylum seekers who would like to work more. They contribute to our society and learn the language faster. Employers now also know where they stand if they employ an asylum seeker. 

Minister Van Gennip

The Dutch government has said that status holders, or those seeking asylum with a residence status, often are subject to difficulties when finding a job mainly after they are only permitted to do temporary work during the asylum procedure.

Regioplan has conducted research into obstacles for asylum seekers to find work. In addition to the 24-week requirement, the evaluation of foreign diplomas and the work permit requirement also emerged. Various options are currently being developed to limit or remove obstacles, so that the next cabinet can decide on this.

Netherlands Government

Authorities in the Netherlands are dealing with an increased number of asylum applications.

The figures provided by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), revealed that as of November 1, more than 30,000 new asylum applications have been received, thus bringing new difficulties for the authorities to process all the requests.

In spite of the fact that the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) claims to be handling more requests than its capacity permits, the waiting period has surged significantly. Persons are now experiencing an average wait of over a year for a decision in the general asylum procedure.

In addition, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) revealed that in September this year, a significant increase in the number of minors who have travelled to the Dutch territory unaccompanied by their parents to seek asylum also was noted, with a total of 915 cases reported by IND.

The same revealed that this year, there has been noted a consistent increase in the number of requests from unaccompanied minor foreign nationals each month compared to the same month in the previous year.

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