Work and residence permits

and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

When may I, as a migrant, work in the prostitution sector?
Are you a foreigner and do you want to work in the Dutch sex industry? If so, you will need to take a number of things into account.

From the European Union (other than Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia)
When you are a citizen of one of the other Member States of the European Union you don’t need a residence permit to live and work legally in the Netherlands. However, you must register with the Municipal Personal Records Database (GBA).
Are you a citizen of Romania, Bulgaria or Croatia? If so, other rules are applicable to you. These are explained in “From Romania or Bulgaria” and “From Croatia”.

From Romania or Bulgaria
Are you a citizen of Romania or Bulgaria and do you want to work in the Netherlands?
If so, you can work legally in the Netherlands only when you can demonstrate that you are self-employed. This means that until 1 January 2014, you cannot be employed as a prostitute by an owner of a club or escort service or work for an owner on the basis of structural conditionality. However, as from 1 January 2014, you will be permitted to be employed as a prostitute or work for an owner on the basis of structural conditionality.


From Croatia
Are you a citizen of Croatia and do you want to work in the Netherlands?
If so, you can work legally in the Netherlands only when you can demonstrate that you are self-employed. This means that you cannot be employed as a prostitute by an owner of a club or escort service or work for an owner on the basis of structural conditionality.


Outside the European Union
Are you a citizen of a country which is not a Member State of European Union?
If so, you may not work as a prostitute in the Netherlands, even when you are self-employed.


Married or living with your partner
Are you married or do you live with your partner and do you have a residence permit to live with your partner?
If so, you have free access to the Dutch labour market when your partner also has access to the labour market. Are you a citizen of a country which is not a Member State of European Union and do you have a residence permit which offers you free access to the Dutch labour market? If so, you may also work in the prostitution sector either as an employee or a self-employed person.


Working in the Dutch prostitution sector: Who may do what and when?
A large number of foreign prostitutes work in the Dutch prostitution sector. However, all those involved in the sector do not always have a clear insight into who may work in the Netherlands and the conditions that must then be met. Recently some changes in the rules and conditions of the Dutch policy have been made. 
Read the updates document (only in Dutch).

More information
You can surf to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) website. This website offers more information about the rules and procedures for working in the Netherlands.
The IND's telephone number is: 0900 – 123 45 61.

More information about this subject is available from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment's website or call 1400.

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