Moving to Europe from Canada

Updated on Monday 26th July 2021

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Europe is home to a number of countries that are attractive to expats, both because of their living conditions and because of the business and employment opportunities. The United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany or the Netherlands are just some of the European countries chosen by expats looking for different opportunities.
 
Individuals interested in moving to Europe from Canada can reach out to our immigration lawyer in Netherlands for complete details about moving to this European country.
 
Moving to Europe will first mean choosing a country to relocate to and this is an important decision that has to do with not only the living and employment conditions but also the language and culture. The Netherlands is one of the European countries that are the most welcoming towards foreign nationals. Canadian immigrants can find various employment opportunities here in top business fields like IT, software or financial technology but they can also start their own business. Other European countries also offer attractive residence permits for investors and highly skilled migrants and Canadians can research thee opportunities they have in countries like Spain or Portugal for real estate investments or in Ireland for company formation that is subject to easy company formation and low taxes.
 
Expats from the United States, for example, are favored when immigrating to the Netherlands based on the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty. If you are an American citizen living and working in Canada and are planning on moving to the Netherlands, one of our agents can give you more details on this treaty.

We can also provide details to those who already live in the country and wish to know more about how to obtain Dutch citizenship.
 

What are the types of residency permits in the Netherlands?

 
Canadian individuals can move to the Netherlands on a long-term basis if they apply for a residence permit in Netherlands that will allow them to work, study or run a business here. It is common for Canadians to choose to become employed, and most can even qualify for the highly skilled migrant scheme. An alternative is to be prepared to open a company in the Netherlands that will satisfy certain conditions. This can be a preferred method to obtain residence for Canadian entrepreneurs who already have an established business. If this is the case, they can also explore the option for relocating the business or for opening a branch in the Netherlands. All of these business options should be taken into consideration by observing the Dutch rules for company formation and taxation. 
 
Below, our team of Netherlands immigration specialists highlights five ways in which residency permits may be granted:
  1. employment: working in the Netherlands is a suitable option for many Canadian immigrants; in this case, they first need to apply for a job in a Dutch city and then the employer handles the permit application. 
  2. highly skilled migrant: professionals working in Canada can transfer in the Netherlands as managers or specialists.
  3. study: Canadians can reside in the Netherlands during the time in which they study at a university and they can choose to live in the country after graduation.
  4. investment: the golden visa or the investor visa is awarded for those entrepreneurs who start a business or who make other types of investments in the country.
  5. joining a spouse: if a spouse or partner is already living in the Netherlands, the other can also apply for a residence permit in Netherlands; this application is subject to certain conditions.
 
Canadians who wish to become employees in the Netherlands should know that the employer is the one who applies for the residence permit for them. The employer needs to be recognized as a sponsor and one of our immigration lawyers in the Netherlands can give you more details on this procedure. 
 

What are the steps for moving to the Netherlands? 

 
Once an application is submitted with the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the common period for issuing a decision is 90 days. The applicant can be in the Netherlands around the estimated date and he can collect the residence permit in person from the IND, with prior online scheduling.  
 
Subsequent steps after obtaining the residence permit include the registration with the municipality as well as subscribing for health insurance. During the validity of the residence permit, the holder has a set of legal obligations, such as to engage in the work for which the permit was issued and to notify the municipality if he changes his residence. 
 
Foreign nationals who have lawfully lived in the Netherlands for at least five years can obtain Dutch citizenship through naturalization. 
 
Canadians interested in immigrating to Europe who are considering to move to a Dutch city can contact our Dutch immigration lawyers for more information about the procedure.