Complete guide to obtaining a visa to participate in a youth exchange program in the Netherlands
However, the Netherlands working holiday visa is not available to everyone. Only people from certain countries can apply for a Netherlands working holiday visa.
Who Can apply for a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?
The Netherlands working holiday visa is available to young people from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Korea.
People from those countries aged 18-30 can apply to live and work in the Netherlands through the Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS).
The WHP or WHS is a mutual cultural exchange program which allows youths from the participating countries to live in the Netherlands for up to one year. In that year, they can take up work and get to know Dutch society and culture and even have Dutch lessons.
What are the Rrequirements for a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?
First of all, you must be a national of either Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand or South Korea.
Next, you need to apply for a Dutch residence permit. There is a set of standard requirements and conditions which apply to all Dutch residence permit applications. Then, depending on the type, there are additional ones.
The requirements and conditions for a Netherlands working holiday visa within the WHP or WHS program are:
- You must be aged 18-30.
- You can reside in the country for a maximum of one year.
- You must have a return ticket. If not, you must show you have sufficient funds to buy one in the future – i.e. through bank statements.
- You cannot sign a contract with an intermediary agency or exchange organisation which states you must pay a fine if you do not abide by the contract.
- You cannot pay a deposit to an intermediary agency or exchange organisation, Dutch or otherwise.
- You must have enough funds to support yourself during your initial stay. Afterward, you can take up incidental labour.
Argentina, Hong Kong, and South Korea have a maximum number of 100 applicants they accept into the exchange each year. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand do not have any maximum number of applicants.
How to Apply for a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?
The way you can apply for the WHP or WHS program depends on the country you are applying from. In order to work in the Netherlands with the working holiday programs, you will need a Dutch residence permit for a working holiday program. This is how you can apply for one:
Applying from Australia, Canada, or New Zealand
If you are from Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, you can apply in two ways.
Apply directly to the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) in the Netherlands.
You can do this since you do not need an entry visa. You must submit the application form (which you can find on IND’s webpage) along with the required documents. The required documents are stated on the application form.
See the standard set of documents that may be required for a Netherlands visa application.
After you submit the application, the IND will send you a letter telling you how to pay the fees. They will also send a confirmation letter stating how long it will take to make a decision.
You will need to make an appointment with the IND within two weeks after you apply to provide your biometric information.
Apply from your country of residence.
However, this is a longer procedure. You must submit the application to the Dutch embassy/consulate in your country and they will forward it to the IND.
You will have to pay the fees via international transfer to IND’s bank account.
After the IND receives the documents and the fee payment, then they will process your application. This can take up to three months.
Applying from Hong Kong
You must apply in person at the Netherlands Consulate General in Hong Kong. You will need to make an online appointment beforehand.
You have to apply for an MVV (authorization for temporary stay) and residence permit at the same time.
The Consulate General then forwards the application to the IND who process it. After your application has been processed, the Consulate General will contact you to let you know you need to visit their desks to receive your MVV visa.
Then, you will have to travel to the Netherlands and visit the IND, who will provide you with your residence permit for a working holiday.
Applying from South Korea
You have to apply for the working holiday visa at the IND in the Netherlands.
However, prior to that, you must pre-register at the Dutch embassy in Seoul.
Pre-register at the Dutch Embassy in Seoul
In order to pre-register, you have to send an email containing your name, date of birth, and passport number to an embassy authority. (Because the number of applicants from South Korea is limited, the email you can pre-register to is published only when there are vacancies.)
Then, you will receive proof of pre-registration along with a serial number via email. (If there are no open seats, you will be put on a waiting list.)
After receiving proof of registration
If you receive the proof of registration, you have 90 days to travel to the Netherlands, starting from the date mentioned on the email, to apply for a residence permit. Print the email and hand it in to the IND in the Netherlands along with the other required documents.
Note that you need a birth certificate and family relations certificate with you when you apply. They have to be translated into English and legalized by a law and notary office. They also need to have an apostille stamp by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Attach these to your other documents.
After you submit the application, the IND will send you a letter informing you how to pay the fees. You have to make an appointment to an IND Desk to provide your biometric information within 2 weeks of submitting the application.
Applying from Argentina
Nationals of Argentina need an MVV before they can apply for the Dutch residence permit for a working holiday. You can apply for the MVV at the Dutch embassy in Buenos Aires. The embassy then sends the application to the IND, and they send you a letter on how you can pay the fees.
The embassy will inform you further on the application process.
Can I Work or Study With a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?
With the WHP or WHS program, you are coming for a cultural exchange and your main goal is to get familiar and learn about the Dutch culture. So, you cannot do regular work or follow full-time study courses.
For those purposes, you would need a Dutch Work Visa or a Dutch Student Visa.
A working holiday visa for the Netherlands only permits you to follow a short study/course.
Work is also permitted, and because it is incidental work used only to provide for yourself, you do not need a work permit. However, there are limits as to how much work you can put in.
With the working holiday visa, the participants in the exchange can work for one employer for a maximum of 12 consecutive weeks. After those 12 weeks are up, they must find a new employer/workplace. The participants are not allowed to stretch the work hours in order to work longer for one employer.