Not needed: Work Permit for Japanese Nationals in the Netherlands

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

The judgement is based on a Treaty between the Netherlands and Japan signed in 1913, which includes a clause regarding ‘most favoured nation treatment’, similar to the Dutch-Swiss Treaty of 1875, whereby Swiss nationals would be allowed to work in the Netherlands without the need of a Dutch work permit. The Court ruled that regarding the Japan Treaty, the same principles should be applied and that Japanese nationals should no longer be subject to Dutch work authorization when taking up employment in the Netherlands.

Although the Dutch Labour Authorities have not yet officially responded to the Judgement, it will 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 to have the employee legally work in the Netherlands. 

EMG will closely monitor any updates and developments regarding the Japanese exemption of work authorization. For further questions or details on this topic, please feel free to reach out to EMG.