How to Apply for a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa

A working holiday is a cultural exchange program or scheme (WHP or WHS) for young people aged 18 to 30 from certain countries. The main purpose is to get to know Dutch society and culture. Find out what the requirements are and how to apply for the residence permit. This article contains a complete guide to obtaining a visa to participate in a youth exchange program in the Netherlands.

How to Apply for a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa

A Netherlands working holiday visa allows young people to live and work in the Netherlands for up to one year. 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 the Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?

Young individuals from South Korea, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand can apply for a working holiday visa in the Netherlands. The Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) is open to individuals from certain nations who are 18 to 30 years old and who wish to reside and work in the Netherlands.

The Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) is a cultural exchange program between a number of countries and the Netherlands. It enables young people from the participating nations to spend up to a year living in the Netherlands. They can work during that year, learn about Dutch society and culture, and even take Dutch classes.

Requirements for the Netherlands Working Holiday Visa

The first requirement is that you must be a citizen of either South Korea, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, or New Zealand. Then, you must submit an application for a Dutch residency permit. All Dutch residence permit applications must meet a specified set of standards and restrictions. There are then other ones, depending on the category.

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.

The maximum number of candidates each year that Argentina, Hong Kong, and South Korea will allow into the exchange is 100. There is no cap on the number of candidates in Australia, Canada, or New Zealand.

How to Apply for the Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?

Depending on the nation you are applying from, there are different ways to apply for the WHP or WHS programs. You must have a Dutch residence permit for a working holiday program in order to work in the Netherlands with one of these programs. How to apply for one is as follows:

Applying from Australia, Canada, or New Zealand

If you are from Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, you can apply in two ways:

1. Apply directly to the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in the Netherlands

Since you do not require an entry visa, you may do this. You must submit the application form, which is available on the IND website, together with the necessary paperwork. The application form lists the necessary paperwork. Following application submission, the IND will send you a letter with instructions on how to pay the fees. A confirmation letter outlining the timeline for the decision-making process will also be sent. You will need to make an appointment with the IND within two weeks after you apply to provide your biometric information.

2. Apply from your country of residence

This process takes longer, though. The Dutch embassy or consulate in your country must receive the application before sending it on to the IND. The fees must be transferred internationally to IND's bank account. The IND will process your application after they have received the required paperwork and money. This process could take three months.

Applying from Hong Kong

You must submit your application in person at the Dutch General Consulate in Hong Kong. You must schedule an appointment online in advance. Both a residence permit and an MVV (permission for temporary stay) must be applied for at the same time.

The IND processes the application after it has been forwarded by the Consulate General. The Consulate General will get in touch with you following the processing of your application to inform you that you must come in person to pick up your MVV visa. The IND will then issue you a residency permission for a working holiday, therefore you will need to travel to the Netherlands and visit them.

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.

1. Pre-register at the Dutch Embassy in Seoul

You must send an email with your name, birthdate, and passport number to an embassy official in order to pre-register. (Since there are only a certain amount of South Korean applicants, the email you can pre-register to is only made public when there are openings.) Then, an email with a serial number and proof of pre-registration will be sent to you. (You will be added to a waiting list if there are no available seats.)

2. After receiving proof of registration

You have 90 days starting from the date on the email if you obtain the evidence of registration to depart for the Netherlands and submit an application for a residence visa. Print the email, then submit it with the other necessary paperwork to the IND in the Netherlands.

Keep in mind that you must have your birth certificate and family relationship certificate on hand while applying. They need to be legalized by a law and notary agency and translated into English. Apostille stamp from the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also required. Include them with the rest of your docs. The IND will send you a letter after you submit your application explaining how to pay the fees. Within two weeks of submitting the application, you must schedule a visit with an IND Desk to present your biometric data.

3. Applying from Argentina

Prior to submitting an application for the Dutch residence visa for a working holiday, Argentina citizens must have an MVV. In Buenos Aires, you can apply for the MVV at the Dutch embassy. The IND then receives the application from the embassy and notifies you through letter of how to pay the fees. The embassy will inform you further on the application process.

Working and Studying With a Netherlands Working Holiday Visa?

Your primary objective in participating in the WHP or WHS program is to become familiar with and learn about Dutch culture. As a result, you are unable to work regularly or enroll in studies full-time. You would either need a Dutch Work Visa or a Dutch Student Visa for those objectives.

Only a brief study or course may be pursued in the Netherlands while on a working holiday visa. Work is also permitted, and you are not need to have a work permit because it is incidental work that is simply done to support yourself. There are restrictions on how much work you can complete, though.

The working holiday visa allows the exchange participants to work for one employer for a maximum of 12 weeks in a row. They have to look for a new employer/workplace after that 12 weeks are up. Participants are not permitted to extend their workday in order to put in more time for one employer.

The main goal of your stay in the Netherlands is cultural exchange and not paid employment. With your residence permit for WHP/WHS, you are therefore only allowed to carry out work of an incidental nature in order to support your holiday financially.