I am in the Netherlands as a Skilled Migrant worker (Kennismigrant). My residence permit expires in 2020. Since moving here, I've decided to change employers. My new employer is not set up to sponsor me in the Netherlands. Does this matter?

My plan was to switch to a spouse visa to remain in the Netherlands, but my reading in a few places suggests that once I have a residence card as a skilled migrant, I can work essentially anywhere, with no further sponsorship requirements. Is this accurate?


Employers are generally required to obtain a work permit before they can hire employees from outside the EU to work in the Netherlands. An exception is the skilled migrant category where the employer does not need to apply for a work permit. source

However, other sources seem to contradict this understanding (and seem more in line with what I would expect):

If you are not able to find a new job within the three months - one that matches the requirements of your permit - your residence permit will be withdrawn with retroactive effect as from the termination date. source

  • 2
    As the spouse of an EU citizen living in the Netherlands, you have a legal right to live and work in the Netherlands. I don't understand why you care about skilled migrant status. It doesn't matter whether your residence permit is withdrawn with retroactive effect because they cannot deport you or deprive you of your right to work unless your wife leaves the country or you become a threat to public safety or public health, or for reasons of public policy (e.g., they discover that you are a war criminal or the like).
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 12:43
  • What's your exact status? Kennismigrant or EU blue card?
    – Gala
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 12:44
  • @phoog: Are you saying no change of status is even necessary?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 13:14
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    @Gala the residence card isn't optional for non-EU family members is it? So they could fine him for not having one. I don't know the details of the Netherlands' implementation, but in France they raise the fee for the card from nothing to €340. So, Flimzy, the worst they can do to you if your permit expires with retroactive effect is to fine you and make you get a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen. To avoid that, you should apply for the card now. Then you won't have to worry about work permits or anything else.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:03
  • 1
    "No change of status is even necessary": Under EU law, you have a right to stay (and work) in the Netherlands as long as your wife does (I assume she has a job). Your right is not contingent on any registration or application for any kind of status. However, as a non-EU national, you can be required to have a residence card as evidence of this right, and in fact the Netherlands does have such a requirement. If you don't have the card, though, it doesn't impinge on your right to stay; it just makes you potentially liable for a fine.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


I am not sure the sources necessarily contradict each other but, based on my reading of the info available on IND.nl, my understanding is that there is a distinction between work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning) and residence permit and, for employers, between applying for a tewerkstellingsvergunning to hire a foreigner for a non-skilled position and being registered as an employer for kennismigranten (or referent).

As kennismigrant, you should therefore be able to work in any "skilled" position without applying for a change of your residence permit. It is not tied to a specific job or employer and if you leave your job, you have three months to find another one fulfilling the regular kennismigrant requirements like the salary threshold and, indeed, employer registration as referent. But you do not need a tewerkstellingsvergunning.

This also means that you are not free to take any job (except if you are a Japanese citizen). If you want to take a job below the salary threshold or work for a non-registered employer, then you do need this work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning) on top of your current residence permit. So the fact that your employer is not set up to sponsor you may matter, if what they mean by that is that they are not recognized as referent.

Or at least it would matter to others in your situation, but as discussed elsewhere, your status as the spouse of an EU citizen should make all this moot.

  • After re-reading the question a couple of times, it occurs to me that Flimzy might want to delay the application for the residence card until his current permit expires in 2020. If I understand your answer correctly, he can do that if the salary of the new job is above the threshold. Is that right?
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 21:33
  • @phoog Yes but my understanding is that the employer also needs to be registered to employ kennismigranten (Erkenning als referent).
    – Gala
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 6:01

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