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Working Holiday Visa Netherlands

Working Holiday Visa Netherlands

A special working holiday visa in Netherlands applies to citizens of selected states, such as Canada, South Korea, Australia or New Zealand.

Individuals who want to come to the country for a working holiday need to obtain a residence permit. The conditions vary according to the applicant’s nationality but several requirements like the age of the applicant are general.

This cultural exchange program targets adolescents as well as young adults (with clear specifications for the age of the applicant). Young entrepreneurs or workers often choose to immigrate to Netherlands because of the country’s pro-business regime and location in Europe but also because the Dutch have a modern approach to living and working.

What is the purpose of the working holiday visa in Netherlands?

The main goal of the working holiday program or scheme, as it is referred to, is to allow foreign nationals to explore the business and employment opportunities in the Netherlands and get accustomed to the Dutch society and culture.

Some of the countries for which the program applies are substantially different in terms of culture, such as Taiwan, for example as well as other Asian countries. getting accustomed to the Dutch culture as well as the company or business ethics can be an important step before deciding to immigrate to Netherlands. The one-year period can be a good opportunity for immersion and getting accustomed to the Dutch lifestyle.

It is important to note that the working holiday scheme is not designed specifically for work purposes and the applicant is allowed to take up employment while under this visa only incidentally in order to financially support his holiday.

The working holiday scheme is not suitable to work migrants, students, au pairs, or highly skilled migrants even if they are from the countries that can benefit from this scheme.

What nationalities are accepted in this program?

An agreement for a working holiday visa in Netherlands is in place with a limited number of foreign countries. These are the following:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Uruguay

The Immigration and Naturalization Service only issues up to 200 working holiday permit per year for Japanese nationals and 100 permits per year for South Korean ones. A limitation also applies to applicants from Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Uruguay where the number of applications for these regions is only 100 per year.

Applicants must have a passport issued by the authorities (in case of Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Uruguay) or have the nationality of the country (in case of Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand).

If you are from one of these countries and wish to receive personalized information, our Dutch immigration lawyer can assist you.

Please keep in mind that, as in the case of all visas for Netherlands, this is a two-step process. It starts with the application phase (subject to conditions based on nationality) and it is followed by the post-application phase once the applicant arrives in the country.

What are the general conditions for the working holiday visa in the Netherlands?

A number of general conditions apply to citizens from the nine countries mentioned above. These are the following: 

  • age: the applicant is between 18 and 30 years of age at the time of the application;
  • reason for travel: the purpose of arriving in the Netherland is for cultural exchange, getting accustomed to the society;
  • no children: the individual cannot be accompanied by dependent children during his or her stay;
  • return ticket: it is mandatory for citizens of all states to either have a return ticket or show that they have the financial means to purchase one;
  • health insurance: health insurance that is valid for the Netherlands is mandatory during the stay in the country;
  • no history: the applicant is required to not have had a previous residence permit for exchange in the Netherlands;
  • financial means: applicants are required to show that they have sufficient means to support themselves for the validity period of the working holiday visa in Netherlands;
  • others: having a valid passport as well as paying the application fee (once this is submitted) are also conditions; the application fee is 58 Euros.

It is important to note that the applicant cannot work in the Netherlands as a freelancer. This is subject to a different permit, the one for self-employed individuals.

The only type of work the holder of the visa is allowed to engage in is incidental one, meant to help with financial support. If the holder of the working holiday visa does decide to engage in this work, the employer is not required to apply for a working permit for him or her.

In the case of incidental work, the permit holder cannot perform activities for the same employer during the entire year. Moreover, he cannot have an employment contract with a duration of one year.

Dutch immigration lawyer from our team can help evaluate your case and give you more information on how these requirements apply to you.

Documents required for the working holiday visa in Netherlands

Applicants need to submit a set of documents together with the application form. All applications for a working holiday residence permit are submitted to the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country of origin or with the IND if the applicant is already in the country.

South Korean applicants can only perform this step with the Dutch embassy in Seoul.

Citizens of Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Uruguay are required to apply for a provisional residence permit with the Dutch representation in their country of origin.

Japanese and South Korean citizens will need to apply for pre-registration (a process that takes place by e-mail). Once this is approved, the holder of the valid pre-registration has 90 days to travel to the Netherlands and apply for the residence permit.

A confirmation letter is sent to by applicant if all the documents are in order and if the fee is paid. Our immigration lawyer in the Netherlands, can help you submit the documentation or provide you with further details if you want to make sure that your application complies with the requirements.

Once the applicant receives the residence permit he or she will need to register with the municipality and, in some cases, take a tuberculosis test. A translated and legalized birth certificate is needed for registration with the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP), administered by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

The residence permit issued under the working holiday visa in Netherlands is valid for one year and it cannot be extended.

Application steps for the Dutch working holiday visa

The exact steps for obtaining the working holiday visa depend on the nationality of the applicant. Below, our team highlights the steps for a Canadian citizen:

  • You can travel to the Netherlands visa-free for a period of no more than 90 days; this means that you can already be in the country when you apply for the working holiday visa;
  • You gather the required documents: passport copy, return ticket or bank statement showing that you can purchase the return ticket;
  • You apply for a residence permit at the Immigration and Naturalization Service; our team of Netherlands immigration experts will assist you during this stage;
  • After you apply, you pay for the application; the cost is €69,00, however, the fees can change and we recommend that you check these with our immigration experts;
  • You wait for the decision on your application; this is issued in no more than 90 days (the mandatory decision period);
  • When the decision is positive, you then collect the residence permit in person, from the IND (an appointment is required in order to collect the permit).

The decision period can be longer if the applicant does not submit all of the required documents. This is why we recommend working with one of our agents.

If the decision is a negative one, our team can help you object to it. In this case, you will also be informed if you can remain in the country for the duration of the objection or if you are required to leave.

You can reach out to us if you are an Australian, Japanese, South Korean, or Taiwanese citizen (or have another accepted nationality) and wish to apply for this type of visa.

Options after the end of the working holiday visa in Netherlands

Remaining in the Netherlands after the one-year period can be an option for foreign nationals of the accepted nationalities who are in the country with the working holiday program (WHP).

While the holder of the WHP visa cannot engage in long-term work during his or her stay, he can then decide to apply for a long-stay visa, having the advantage of having already been immersed in the Dutch culture and society – the goal of the working holiday program.

Because the working holiday residence permit cannot be extended after the one-year period, the foreign citizen will need to apply for another type of residence permit once this period has ended.

The most common way in which one can extend his or her stay is by applying for a residence permit for paid employment or as an independent entrepreneur.

Once again, the foreign national who has had the opportunity to immerse himself/herself in the Dutch culture and society for one year could find it easier to remain in the country based on employment.

When applying for a residence permit as an employee, the employer will also need to comply with certain requirements (such as not having violated the Dutch labor law and making sure that the employee has a valid residence permit and observes the terms of employment).

You can also remain in the Netherlands as a highly skilled employee.

Foreign nationals can also apply for a student residence permit, provided that they apply and are admitted to a higher education institution in the Netherlands during the one-year period.

An orientation year permit (also valid for one year) is available to those who wish to look for a job after graduation.

If you are interested in other types of visas, such as the DAFT visa applicable to US nationals, our team can provide you with adequate assistance during your application. Irrespective of the type of visa you apply for, there are several general requirements that apply to every applicant. Our experts will help you comply with these, as well as visa-specific ones. 

Living in the Netherlands

Arriving in the Netherlands by using the working holiday program can be a unique opportunity for getting acquainted with the Dutch culture and society, getting to know the people, and exploring (albeit in a limited manner) the employment opportunities in the country.

Our team of Netherlands immigration agents can give you more information about the program and the conditions for continuing to stay in the country once the one-year period is over.

After living in the country for five years with a valid residence permit, foreign nationals can apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands.

Our team can also assist you during this step, if this is your goal, and we can also give you more details about applying for citizenship by naturalization.

The total number of people living in the Netherlands who have a migration background was 17,282,163 in 2019, compared to 17,181,084 in 2018 and 16,900,726 in 2015. Other statistics issued by the Central agency on statistics (CBS) reveal the following:

  • the country’s population grew by 15.5 thousand inhabitants in the first quarter of 2020;
  • in 2019, there were 2,161,684 inhabitants who had first-generation migration background;
  • 1,924,454 had second-generation migration background.

Relocating the Netherlands is an attractive option for many foreigners. If you are interested in more details about a Netherlands immigration scheme you can contact us.

A working holiday visa will only give you a glimpse of Dutch society, culture, and opportunities. If you are interested in knowing more about employment, working and even starting a business in the Netherlands, our team is ready to answer your questions. We also answer to foreign nationals who have been living in the country for some time and are interested in Dutch citizenship.