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NETHERLANDS: New Work Permit Exemptions

The government is introducing additional work permit exemptions on January 1, 2014. Currently, foreign staff attending an in-house company training in the Netherlands are not exempted from the work permit requirement. This will change for multinational organizations transferring employees to their Dutch establishments for certain training purposes. The maximum period for this work permit exemption is 12 uninterrupted weeks in a period of 36 weeks.

The work permit exemption for the purpose of business meetings will also change. Business meetings under the current regulation are allowed for 4 weeks, interrupted or not, in a period of 13 weeks. This will change to 13 uninterrupted weeks in a period of 52 weeks. Due to the addition of "uninterrupted," this change could work out in practice as an important limitation on the existing possibilities. The new rule allows business visitors only one business trip to the Netherlands per year, whereas under the old rule several trips were allowed. The government has not explained why the new rule was formulated in this way. The general view is that the addition of "uninterrupted" was a legislative fluke that should be corrected as soon as possible.

An exemption is also being introduced for accompanying staff of performing artists and sports professionals.

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