Certificate of residence
To work in the Netherlands as a refugee doctor from Ukraine, you must hold a certificate of residence. You will receive this certificate once you have registered with a Dutch municipal council.
NB: until 1 November 2022, a certificate of residence is not required. Until that date, refugees need to show a Ukrainian passport, identity document or certificate from the Ukrainian Embassy. Alternatively, they can show a Ukrainian residence permit or Ukrainian recognition as a refugee that was valid on 23 February 2022.
You may perform paid work without a work permit, which is known as a work permit for persons from outside the European Economic Area (‘tewerkstellingsvergunning’, or TWV). This is because Ukrainian refugees have been given protection within the Member States of the European Union (see 'Voor werkgevers' (‘For employers’; in Dutch)).
Ukrainian doctors must meet other conditions if they want to work independently in the Dutch healthcare system, without being supervised by a BIG-registered doctor. These conditions are listed on the government website: Work and income for Ukrainian refugees | Reception of Ukrainian refugees
If you trained as a doctor or medical specialist in Ukraine, or if you have Ukrainian nationality but trained in another country, and you want to have your degree(s) recognised in the Netherlands, you can submit an application for recognition to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
If you have Ukrainian nationality and a Ukrainian medical degree, you will have to go through the Verklaring van Vakbekwaamheid procedure (‘Declaration of Professional Competence’ ( with the BIG Register. To get your medical degree recognised, you will have to sit a number of tests: Dutch language skills, English reading skills, ICT skills, knowledge of the Dutch health care system (AKV test) and a Professional Skills (BI) assessment. The recognition procedure for a medical degree takes several months. The BIG Register organises regular information meetings about the AKV test.
If you also hold a specialist diploma, mention this on your BIG Register application form. The Medical Specialists Registration Committee (RGS) of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) will receive an automatic message from the BIG Register. The RGS will then make sure the procedure for recognition as a specialised doctor gets underway. This procedure will start as soon as you have obtained recognition as a basic doctor. You can find more information about the recognition of specialist qualifications at: Recognition & registration
If there are differences between your Ukrainian specialist training and the training provided in the Netherlands, it may be necessary for you to complete a work placement in a Dutch teaching hospital to help you adapt. The Medical Specialists Registration Committee will let you know whether such a work placement is necessary, what the work placement must involve and how long it must be.
It is possible to work in the Dutch health care system under supervision, if the recognition of your medical or specialist training is not yet finalised and you are not yet permitted to work independently as a basic doctor or specialised doctor. Your work will be monitored by a supervisor. A supervisor is a doctor or specialist who is entitled to practise medicine in the Netherlands in complete independence. You may perform medical procedures on the instructions of your supervisor. Certain procedures may only be performed subject to conditions. These are known as ‘reserved procedures’. They include surgical and obstetric procedures and administering injections and anaesthetics. The reserved procedures are listed in the BIG Act, along with a description of who may perform such procedures independently or under supervision. If you are going to be working under supervision, discuss this matter with your supervisor. See this website: I am not yet allowed to practise independently. What does working under supervision mean for me?
The Association of Foreign Graduate Physicians (VGBA) provides help and support to doctors who obtained their medical degree or specialist licence outside of the Netherlands. See the VBGA website.