Financial rights of migrant workers

Dear Readers.

Immigration is not only about (not) getting and keeping residential status. It is also about economical interests. People usually are aware of their present and clear financial interests but forget about the less clear and long term interests. In this article, I want to inform readers about the potential financial interests migrants might overlook.

For whom is this article relevant?

This article is relevant for everyone who has resided lawfully in The Netherlands for a while and certainly those who were allowed to work here during that time. During this legal stay you likely built up financial rights. After this legal stay, whether or not you migrated voluntarily or involuntarily is not so relevant. Migrants with a valid residential status build up the same rights as Dutch nationals. Since the system of building up financial right works about the same in the rest of the European Union, the general information given in this article is more or less applicable in other EU countries.

What economical interests am I talking about?

First thing that come to my mind is the right of old age pension, called AOW. Just by living and having a residential status in The Netherlands, you build up this right. Also those who paid income tax in The Netherlands build up such a right. So anyone who can prove that he has been working and paying taxes has an interest to check out whether (often partial) old age pension is available. For more information and questions about the AOW, I suggest you ask the Sociale Verzekeringsbank for information. See

Second thing is the regular pension that one sometimes build up when one is working for an employer. For that, in my opinion it’s not required to have a residential status. As long as one had a regular and formal job in any sector of work where it was an obligation to take part in a pension fund and your employer paid the contribution to the pension fund, one builds up pension. I strongly suggest that all those who think this applies to them should check it via the website of

How to check whether you are entitled to any financial benefit?

First, one needs to gather all information such as social fiscal number, names of your employers, Vreemdelingennummer, and every piece of information about oneself. Those numbers are needed for the authorities to be able to identify you and to trace your registration in their computer. One must be able to provide the information on first request.

Then go to the websites of the relevant authorities and seek for the option “contact”. Trough this contact one can e-mail the authority and ask for information about your registration and the whether there is any financial benefit for you. The manner of applying for this information is self-explanatory. It is very important to realise that the question must be clear and supported with information.

What can be done if request for information is denied?

First thing I advise people to do is to judge the answer to their request themselves. If one comes to the conclusion that the request was not clear, clarify the request. If one thinks the request was clear and reasonable then it might be worth asking for support from someone who is more skilled in researching matters like these. Maybe it is a good idea to ask the people from Het Juridisch Loket for good and free of charge support. For their details follow the link

What if there’s a serious problem?

If you have a serious case, do not hesitate to send us an e-mail with a clear description of the problem and the relevant documents to support your mail.

It is the mission of my law firm to provide access to the legal system of The Netherlands to all who have a valid reason to seek this access. Because of this we will do our best for you, even if you do not have substantial financial means. Just make contact by e-mail and we will see what we can do.

What to do when you want to visit our office?

Readers who are in need of legal support are welcome to visit our office for free consultation. This of course, only after you made an appointment. For an appointment call 070 427 3215 and explain to our Secretary what your question is.

Do not hold information back because our Secretary will decide if and when an appointment is possible and which of our lawyers is best qualified for the specific problem.

When you come to the appointment, bring all information that is available. Only then can we judge the case and do make good use of the time.

*A.G. Kleijweg ǀ Advocatenkantoor Kleijweg, Koninginnegracht 22 A, 2514 AB Den Haag ǀ Tel: +31 (70) 317 7700 ǀ ǀ