Working Holiday Visa Netherlands

Updated on Friday 22nd May 2020

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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 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.
A 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 with the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country or 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.
For 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.
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.
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.