Living and working in the Netherlands if you are a top athlete from outside the EU

Applying for a GVVA as a third country national (from outside the EU) in the Netherlands as a top athlete.

If an employer from the Netherlands wants to employ someone from outside the EU (third country national) without using the Dutch knowledge migrant scheme, the ICT scheme or European Blue Card scheme they may in some cases consider applying for a GVVA: a Combined Permit for Residence and Work.
With the GVVA permit, a foreign employee is  entitled to reside in the Netherlands and to work in the Netherlands. It is a combined application that leads to a single decision and the issuance of one residence document. This application procedure is laid down in EU Directive 2011/98.

A GVVA can be applied for when you  wish to work in a specific professions in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) applies a labour market test in its advice to issue a GVVA. This means that the UWV assesses first whether the employer has made sufficient efforts to find suitable personnel on the local labour market. This involves an assessment of whether the recruitment activities have taken place over a period of three months in different media and there has been at least a vacancy notification outstanding at the UWV for a period of five weeks. If the employer did this, but there is a priority offer available in the Netherlands (= NL/EU residents who could also be eligible for the position), the UWV will still issue a negative advice. In other words, if there are suitable job seekers for the position on the Dutch and European labor market, regardless of whether they have applied, the application will still be rejected.

A number of categories of employees are, however, exempt from this rigorous labour market test under certain conditions. This includes top athletes who participate in the highest competition division of their relevant sport.
For athletes, the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) assesses whether they fall within the policy applicable to athletes. A permit will also be required for support staff such as a trainer. Depending on the sport and the salary offered, it may or may not be possible to arrange accommodation and work for employees in the sports sector.

Top division in the equestrian sport
Since the equestrian sport is an individual sport, a clear Eredivisie or Hoofdklasse cannot be easily discerned as objectively and in a straightforward way as is the case of team sports. This factor should always be considered and put forward (emphatically) when applying for a Dutch GVVA as a third country national top athlete.

For employment in the equestrian sector in the Netherlands, the contract should state a gross salary with 8% holiday allowance, ideally in the top 20% bracket. Additionally, the application must be properly motivated.

 If you are an equestrian from outside the EU wishing to work within the Dutch equestrian industry, reach out to our specialized team to estimate your legal position and advise you on this process.

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