- Country Name: The Netherlands
- Capital: Amsterdam
- Population: 17,000,059 (2016 estimate)
- Language: Dutch
- Time Zone: CET (UTC +1)
- Dialing Code: +31
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
This FAQ has been created as an introductory guide to immigration procedures for Netherlands. Since rules and requirements in every country are constantly changing and each case must be assessed on its own merits, for in-depth and up-to-date advice, please contact us.
Please note, we can only advise on matters relating to immigration and are unable support you with employment in a new region. We do however have a network of trusted partners that can support your move, so please visit Our Partners page for further information.
There are lots of opportunities for expats in the Netherlands, with a wide range of international and multinational companies with offices there. Highly skilled workers are in great demand and as a result there is a fast-track immigration process to mobilise employees, particularly engineers, those with technical skills or finance experience, IT specialists, and sales, marketing and customer service experts, as well as professionals and graduates working in health care, tax, interim managers and education.
The main industries in Holland are food processing, chemicals, gas and oil and its most important sectors are retail, property, transport, communications and the financial services
There are three main options for working long term in the Netherlands:
Highly Skilled Work Permit – for foreign nationals going to work and reside in the Netherlands and who meet certain criteria with more lenient criteria and faster processing times than standard work permit. The company must be registered with the Dutch immigration authorities
ICT Work Permit – for companies transferring employees to the Netherlands but whose local entities are NOT registered with the Dutch immigration authorities as recognised sponsors under the Knowledge Migrant Note that there are significant annual turnover requirements and processing times are much longer than for the HSMP
Van der Elst – for those already living and working in another EU state – A notification should be made to the Dutch Labour Authorities and a residence permit applied for stays of over 90 days. The work/residence permit for the other EU state must be valid for at least the proposed assignment in the Netherlands plus one additional month.
There are also a number of short term options for assignments under 90 days for senior or specialist business people, highly qualified employees and shortage positions:
Temporary Work Permit (Intra Company Transfer) (Under 90 Days)
Temporary Assignments (Meetings/Training/Software Implementation)
Temporary Work Permit (Highly Skilled Migrant) (Under 90 Days)
Processes and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants. We therefore recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
Note: For the fast track Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, the company should ensure that they have set up a Dutch bank account for payment of government fees to avoid adding unnecessarily to timescales
Requirements will vary according to type of work permit, country of application and relevant prefecture.
Applicants will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application which include, but are not limited to: your passport which must be valid for at least 12 months, your legalised birth certificate, your up-to-date CV, highest degree certificate, passport photographs, employment contract, assignment contract including salary and allowance details, medical/travel insurance, employment contract, assignment letter, legalised birth certificate of accompanying children, legalised marriage certificate of accompanying spouse.
Please note that all birth and marriage certificates should be translated (if not in English, Dutch or German) and legalised before the application is submitted. Newland Chase can assist with this.
Highly Skilled Work Permit – Takes typically 6-8 weeks until entry to Netherlands, and a further 1 day before the whole process is completed.
Intra Company Transfer – Takes typically 2 to 6 months until entry to Netherlands, and a further 1 week before the whole process is completed.
Highly Skilled Work Permit is issued for the duration of the contract or assignment letter and up to a maximum of five years.
Intra Company Transfer is issued for the duration of the assignment to a maximum of three years.
Van der Elst is issued for a maximum duration of 2 years.
Short term visas are issued for a maximum of 90 days and are only renewable in the case of the Temporary Work Permit (Intra Company Transfer) (Under 90 Days).
Nationals from specified countries can enter the Netherlands without a visa for tourism and business purposes, for up to 30 sometimes 90 days (depending on nationality). Check with your nearest Dutch Consulate before you travel to find out whether you need a visa.
It is strictly prohibited to carry out any work related activity on a Schengen visa or under the visa-waver agreement for non-EU nationals. Therefore, while there is nothing to stop you from looking for jobs, you would not be able to commence any form of employment until you have acquired the appropriate work authorisation.
If you have lawfully lived in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of 5 years and you have a valid residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of stay, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. Certain conditions will have to be met in order to be eligible for permanent residence:
You have sufficient and long-term means of support.
You do not constitute a risk to public order or national security.
You are sufficiently integrated in Dutch society and are able to read, write, speak and understand Dutch. You must prove this by taking a civic integration examination. If you successfully complete a civic integration course (at A2-level) or attain another diploma you will be eligible for an exemption.
It is important to ensure that the immigration part of the relocation process is started as early as possible and well in advance of your actual assignment date to the Netherlands.
Personal documents will need to be legalised and translated if not in English, translations may also need to be certified. Processing times can be lengthy so sufficient lead time should be allowed for this.
Requirements and procedures are subject to change, so please consult with a Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for current and detailed information.