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NETHERLANDS – Court Rules No Work Permit Required for Japanese Nationals

The Dutch High Administrative Court in the Netherlands (Raad van State) has ruled in an appeal judgement on 24 December 2014 that Japanese nationals are allowed to work in the Netherlands without the need to secure Dutch work authorisation.

What is the Impact of the Ruling?

Although the Dutch labour authorities have not yet officially responded to the Judgement, (they are awaiting the official response from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, which lost the case) it is likely to have major implications for Japanese nationals on the Dutch labour market and for employers who seek to hire Japanese nationals on a temporary or permanent basis.

In short, this would entail that several Dutch work and residence permit conditions (e.g. intra company transfer or highly skilled migrant conditions) will no longer be applicable and a ‘mere’ residence permit as an employee would be sufficient for a Japanese national to legally work in the Netherlands.


The judgement is based on the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Netherlands and Japan of 1913, which is similar to the Treaty on Friendship, Establishment and Commerce between Netherlands and Switzerland of 1875, whereby Swiss nationals are allowed to work in the Netherlands without the need for a Dutch work permit.

The Court ruled that the same principles should be applied regarding the Japanese treaty, and that Japanese nationals should no longer be subject to Dutch work authorization when taking up employment in the Netherlands.

Action Items

  • If you have Japanese national assignees going to the Netherlands, please talk to your Dutch immigration adviser about the possibility that they will not require a work permit.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Expat Management Group (EMG).

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.