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Last updated: 4/9/2024, 3:48 PM

If you choose to stay in the Netherlands without a residence permit, you cannot earn money legally. This is why you have to watch out for human trafficking and exploitation. You can read more about this . on this page.

Working regularly without a contract

There are employers who hire people without residence permits. If you are working somewhere, but do not have an employment contract, you still have rights as an employee. If you can show that you work (or have worked) regularly with your employer, that can also count as an employment contract. Even if you haven't signed a written contract. If you cannot show how long you worked for your employer, then 6 months of work is assumed.

If you do have an employment contract, you are also entitled to everything agreed in the collective wage agreement. This means, for example, that you are entitled to continued pay when you are sick and that you are entitled to compensation when you are dismissed by your employer.

Working in the Netherlands is difficult for anyone who does not have a residence permit. There are employers who try to abuse your vulnerable position. Employers often do not give you an employment contract. Employers do this so they are less likely to receive a high fine for hiring people without a residence permit. An employer may also threaten to report your illegal residence. In addition, it can be difficult to exercise your rights because you don't always have proof of work.

Yet, as an employee, you are not powerless. There are several organisations in the Netherlands that can help you if you are being exploited by your employer. Some of these organisations can be found on this page.

Victim of human trafficking or exploitation

As some people do not have residence and work permits to work legally in the Netherlands, they are at high risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.


The Coordination Centre against Human Trafficking (CoMensha) is an organisation dedicated to fighting human trafficking and exploitation. If you are a victim of either of these, please contact CoMensha at (033) 448 11 86. You can call from Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 17:00.

FairWork stands up for the interests of victims of human trafficking and exploitation in the Netherlands. If you think you yourself are a victim of human trafficking or labour exploitation or you are wondering whether you are being exploited, FairWork helps you further in 18 languages.
More information about CoMensha can be found on the organisation's website.

The Red Cross will help

The Red Cross helps people without residence permits get information about local services such as legal support, healthcare and shelter.

The Red Cross
You can find more information about what the Red Cross can do for you on the Red Cross website.
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