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How To Move To the Netherlands Without a Job?

Did you know that the Netherlands ranks as the sixth-happiest nation, one-fifth of its citizens are foreign-born, and it is estimated that there are more bicycles in the Netherlands than people? Quite intriguing, huh? Additionally, it is very multicultural, which attracts foreigners. Even people without work find it appealing because of these features.

If you possess the desirable talents that prospective Dutch companies are seeking, you can relocate to the Netherlands without a job. If you are from another EU country, you do not need a visa to move to the Netherlands because it is a member of the EU. You will require a temporary visa if you are from a non-member state.

This article examines the process of moving to the Netherlands without a job and how to take advantage of the opportunities that are there there.

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Do you need a job to relocate to the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is a major draw for enthusiastic immigrants due to its abundance of options. You can relocate to the Netherlands without a job, but you must first assess important factors to guarantee a seamless transfer.

Some key aspects you ought to consider include:

  • Cost of living
  • Visa requirements
  • Opportunitinities in your area of specialization
  • Language barrier
  • The period it’ll take before you get a stable job
  • Government regulations on foreigners
  • Healthcare system
  • Cultural differences

You should also make a plan for how you'll make it through the time until you find a stable employment.

Since the Netherlands does not require a visa for entry, moving there without a job is simple if you are from the EU/EEA and Switzerland bloc. You must have a work offer or persuade the Dutch government of the importance of your stay if you are a citizen of the non-member country.

Without a job offer, your visa options for being accepted to the Netherlands include:

  • Apply for a student visa
  • Self-employment visa
  • Family-reunification visa
  • Working holiday visa
  • DAFT visa

Visa for Students

Permanent residency is not assured if you choose this path to enroll in school because the government anticipates that you will depart the nation after completing your education.

However, choosing this course will allow you to benefit from being an international student while also learning how the nation operates. To better comprehend the working conditions in the nation, you might even find a job and work while you learn.

Visa for self-employment or a startup

The Dutch government encourages the implementation of innovative ideas by talented individuals.

A year of preparation time is given to entrepreneurs who want to launch their businesses in Dutch as they set up their businesses.

You must demonstrate that the field you wish to research is novel and beneficial to the nation in order to be granted this visa. Furthermore, the government must assess you in accordance with:

  • Your background in the field you aim to enter 
  • Detailed business strategy
  • How will your project assist the nation?

Visa for a Work-Based Holiday

The Netherlands is open to granting a one-year working holiday visa to young individuals between the ages of 18 and 30.

By taking advantage of the offer, you can study and experience as a young person. Additionally, it aids in your future decision-making when deciding whether to go to the nation.

To qualify for this, you need to:

  • Fall within the age brackets of 18-30.
  • Come from the allowed nations, which include: Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and South Korea.
  • You must prove that you can sustain yourself financially for a few months.
  • Have a return ticket.
  • You aren’t allowed to sign a contract with an intermediary.

Argentina, Hong Kong, and South Korea are allowed to have 100 citizens under the program, while the other eligible countries don’t have a limit attached.

The two ways to apply for the program are through applying directly under the Immigration and Naturalisation Service in the Netherlands or through your country, although this takes longer before you get absorbed.

Family Reunification Visa

Getting a visa under this requires you to have a partner who is a Dutch citizen or a foreign national with a Dutch residence permit. Your partner will be obliged to take care of you financially.

You will need to obtain a verification against EU law as a citizen of a non-EU/EEA nation whose spouse is from the area in order to be eligible for a visa. For a permit to live and work in the Netherlands, this is necessary.

In addition, you have to provide:

  • A copy of your identity card or passport
  • Proof of a legal union through a marriage certificate
  • Your partner’s income statement to prove she/he is capable of taking care of you financially
  • Birth certificates of children involved
  • Your host needs to write a declaration accepting you as the partner
Once all these are verified, you’re eligible for a Dutch residence visa. The process, however, could take a while as verification is done.


The DAFT program allows unemployed Americans from the United States to move to the Netherlands.

Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) reduces limitations on travel for inhabitants of the two nations. For instance, the scheme makes it simple for American businesspeople or investors to obtain a residency permit.

As an American looking to shift under the program, you need to prove:

  • Your work experience
  • You can inject more than 4,500 EUR into the economy through your venture.
  • Have relevant skills enabling you to be self-employed
  • A clear business plan
Under the program, you must first acquire a temporary visa before applying for one under DAFT.

How to find a job in the Netherlands as a foreigner?

As a foreigner, you can take advantage of various options to reduce your learning curve and guarantee that you get your first job in the Netherlands sooner.

As a foreigner trying to find work in the Netherlands, be sure you are looking in the right places. A few of these are:

EURES (European Employment Services) 

European Commission-run and -managed website allows residents of member nations to look for employment in any nation included in the bloc. Consider logging into the portal and looking for employment in the Netherlands.

Job boards

You can frequently check a number of trustworthy websites for chances in the nation. The Stepstone and Monsterboard are two examples.


Agencies worldwide are trying to connect businesses and workers. The Undutchables and Unique are two reputable agencies in the Netherlands that help connect workers with openings throughout the European Union.

Is it difficult to find a job in the Netherlands?

Even if finding a job in the Netherlands is difficult, it becomes simpler if you have the necessary abilities, which are in high demand there.

The Netherlands is a tiny but densely populated nation with a total area of 41,534 km and a population of more than 17 million. Because of this, there is fierce competition for jobs.

Due to these reasons, the Dutch government has implemented strict immigration regulations, particularly for those without work.

Given the size of the nation's population, the job market in the Netherlands is weak. The nation also has a low unemployment rate; at the end of 2021, it was 4.2%, or 402,000 unemployed individuals.

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