Japanese nationals soon requires work permition in The Netherlands

On June 16, 2016, the Dutch and Swiss governments issued a statement to confirm their interpretation of the 1875 ‘most favourable’ clause. The parties acknowledge that the treaty is without prejudice to the relevant national legislation relating to foreigners with respect to admission to stay on the territory, the right to work in any form of (self)employment including the requirement of work permits, and the establishment of businesses.

The ruling was based on a ‘most favourable’ clause in the trade treaty between the Netherlands and Japan (1912), which referred to the Dutch-Swiss Treaty of 1875, as a result of which Japanese nationals were to be treated equally to Swiss nationals.

Japanese nationals who currently have a Dutch residence permit with indication that they can perform work activities in the Netherlands without a work permit are allowed to continue such status for the remainder of their permit duration (even after October 1, 2016). However, this transitional arrangement will no longer apply to renewal applications received by the immigration authorities as from October 1, 2016.