How to Move to the Netherlands?

People from different countries often contact us and ask about how they could move to the Netherlands. Due to such a huge interest in that issue, we have decided to make a separate publication about the most common ways of migration to the Netherlands! 

Here we will not tell you why you need to move and why the Netherlands is the best country in the world. That you know yourself, right? But we will share the most common ways of moving to the Netherlands as well as some links where you can read more information.

This article is relevant for those who have the nationality of the country outside of the European Union.

Finding a Job

You can find a job and move here. Sounds easy, right? The only issue is the following – if you do not have EU nationality, you can only apply for a job that qualifies for the resident permit as a Highly Skilled Migrant. How does it work? Employers who want to invite employees from outside of the EU apply to the Migration Office to be included in the list of recognized sponsors for Highly Skilled Migrants – here you can see the list of these employers. Only these employers can invite employees who will receive the Highly Skilled Migrant residence permit. What happens if the company that is not on this list wants to offer you a job? Even if you receive a working contract from that company – you will not be able to receive a residency to live in the Netherlands. Only companies from the list can help you with that. Another important condition – they must pay a relatively high income. The numbers are changing every year but for 2021 they are the following: for people younger than 30 years it must be at least 3,484 euro per month; older than 30 year – 4,752 euro per month. So if you want to find a job and move to the Netherlands – you “just” need to apply for a job offered by one of the recognized sponsors with a salary higher than the minimum requirements. It is true to say that most employers still prefer for most of the jobs EU employees because inviting someone from outside of the EU requires more effort. However, in those cases when finding someone with the right competence within the EU becomes a difficult task – then companies are open for candidates from outside of the EU. In practice, most of those who come to the Netherlands as Highly Skilled Migrants are experienced IT specialists or experts in some other technical fields. If you study sociology, communication, journalism, law or one of those non-technical but very interesting studies – then finding a job and applying for the status of Highly Skilled Migrant, unfortunately, would be very difficult for you. 

Want to hear our advice? If you want to find a job in the Netherlands that will allow you to relocate here – study programming, get a few years of experience and start looking for a job. Yes, it will take a few years but believe us – it’s worth it! You will have a nice salary and live in the country with one of the best work-life balances! And let’s assume you have done that – here are some websites where you can look for a job:

  • LinkedIn – very common way to find a job! Check the “Jobs” section and apply, apply, apply! A good thing about Linkedin – you can find recruiters from different companies and text them to ask for more information about the vacancies.
  • Indeed and Monsterboard – there are lots of vacancies! Do not forget that vacancies with a lower salary are not qualified for a Highly Skilled Migrant residence permit. And before applying – check if the selected company is on the list of recognized sponsors.
  • Company’s Website – the best place to find the vacancy. You can check the list of recognized sponsors, find the companies where there might be vacancies for your profile and apply. To make your search easier – you can start with large Dutch companies – all of them will be on the list. For example, Shell, Heineken, Philips. Start with larger ones and then move to smaller ones. Good luck!

Partner (Family)

Some people consider it the easiest way of migration but some others would see it as the most difficult! If you have a partner – he or she can help you to receive a residence permit. As a partner, we mean a “love partner” not a business partner. Who can be a partner? Any person who legally lives in the Netherlands and has an income higher than a minimum requirement (about 1700 euro per month). You do not need to marry a person or register your relationships. That person has to confirm that you have a relationship and provide some papers – a working contract, confirmation of the salary etc. Also, the gender of the person does not matter – if you are a woman, your partner can be a man or woman, and also if you are a man – your partner can be also either man or woman. So, easy! Just a person who would like to act as a “sponsor” for your residency. But the question is – where can you find such a person. Here we can advise you of some popular dating websites:

  • Tinder – very international and very popular. If you use a paid version – you can configure in your setting that you are looking for people in the Netherlands and on your screen, you will see people who are registered on Tinder from the Netherlands
  • Paiq and Lexa– are popular dating websites.

Launching a Start-up 

If you have an idea of the start-up and would like to start it in the Netherlands – you can apply for a start-up visa and come to the Netherlands for 1 year (with the possibility of the prolongation) to work on your start-up. Important to know that during this year you will not have a working permit so you cannot find a job here start working. Your start-up visa will allow you only to work for your start-up. But what you can do – you can act on behalf of your start-up and sell the goods and services that you produce. So you can find customers for your start-up and earn money by offering the services of your start-up. An important condition – you have to have a mentor who will help you to submit the application for a start-up visa. You cannot apply for a start-up visa without a mentor. An experienced person or organization in a particular field can become your member. We – the Netherlands Education Group – also act as a mentor. Click here to read more if you want us to be your mentor.

Registering Business

If you already have a business you can apply for a self-employment visa. The main difference from a start-up visa – you must already have a good overview and confirmation about the future incomes. The procedure is quite complicated and applicants often are being refused as they fail to prove that the business is real and has proof of income. If you are interested in learning more about self-employment visa – check the information on the website of the Migration Office.


If you become a student of a Bachelor’s or Master’s program at the university in the Netherlands – you can receive a residence permit for the period of studies. Another good news here! After graduation, you will receive a residence permit for one year – orientation year – where you can stay in the Netherlands and look for a job. Within this year you can work at any company and receive any salary – the requirements for a Highly Skilled Migrant visa do not apply for the period of orientation year. The bad news is that study costs for non-EU citizens at Dutch universities are pretty high. But of course, there are scholarships. You can check the website of the university where you are applying to check the information about their scholarships. Also, you can check the website of Nuffic – the Dutch organization for internationalization of education – where they also post information about various scholarships.  

Becoming an Au-Pair

If you are between 18 and 31 and want to come to the Netherlands to take care of children and households – you might be interested in becoming an au pair. What is au pair? Saying it easy – it is an unprofessional nanny who comes from abroad, lives together with the family, takes care of children and some household tasks. If you want to know more – we will not be able to describe it better than a Migration Office. Please see the details here.

Here we covered the most common ways to migrate to the Netherlands. There are some other possibilities as well – the best way to see all of them is to check the website of Migration Service.

And if you have any questions or need assistance – you can always contact us!