Having the possibility to gain work experience while people are still into the asylum procedures in The Netherlands, will help to learn the language and integrate into the Dutch society. The law called “Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen (WAV)” contains the legal framework for Refugees who are still in the asylum procedure and statusholders.
Status holders, work and income
As soon as the IND officially gives you the status of “status holder” (statushouder), a Temporary Residence Permit (“asiel voor bepaalde tijd”) will be issued. With this status, you will have the same rights and obligations as the Dutch nationals and you are allowed to work. The official document that provides the status will carry the marking “arbeid vrij toegestaan” and “TWV niet vereist”. These markings together will tell your future employer that he/she is free to hire you under the same conditions as Dutch nationals.
Most statusholders will receive social assistance benefit from the municipality. The amount you receive depends on your age, the number of people in your household, whether you receive special assistance benefits (‘bijzondere bijstand;).
If you are aged under 27 years, your extra income will be deducted from your social assistance benefit. If you are aged 27 years or over, you can keep 25% of your extra income, up to a maximum of €201,- per month (this is the amount for 2017), for a maximum of six months. If you earn extra money and any income generated after 6 months, will be deducted from your social assistance benefit.
Report any income to your client manager at your municipality!
Always report and discuss your work plans and income with your client manager at the municipality (gemeente). If you don’t report your income, the municipality can claim the income later and give you a fine in addition!
Freelancers and people having their own business
The conditions described above also apply if you start your own business and generate income. However, you can apply for special programs at your municipality to start your own business with a business plan. Under this program you can start your own business with a guarantee to retain the income to be generated. Ask your client manager about this option!
Working during the procedure
If you have submitted an asylum application:
- you may not work during the first 6 months of your asylum procedure.
- After 6 months from the start of your procedure you are permitted to work for 24 of every 52 weeks, as long as the application is still being processed. Artists have the right to work no more than 14 weeks per year.
- Your (future) employer must obtain a temporary work permit (‘tewerkstellingsvergunning’ or ‘TWV’), issued by UWV.
- You must be able to present Declaration of Non-Extadition from COA.
Income and COA
In case you earn money, you are obliged to pay a certain part to the COA in order to cover your lodging and support costs. You are entitled to keep the first 25% of your income with a maximum of €185 per month. Should you earn more than the amount you would owe to the COA, than you are entitled to keep the rest as well.
Doing Work in the AZC
Of course you can also do work to help maintain your AZC:
- For a maximum of 25 hours per week.
- You can do chores like cleaning, garden maintenance, and maintenance of the building.
- For this work you don’t need a work permit.
- There is a small payment for this work of between € 0,56 to € 1,10 per hour. With a maximum of € 14 per week.