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Excerpted from the Netherlands Career Guide


The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member of the Schengen Convention whose purpose is to eliminate controls at common borders and promote free movement of people within the Schengen area. The countries covered under the Schengen Agreement include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

A Schengen Visa holder can travel to any or all member countries using one single visa, thus avoiding the hassle and expense of obtaining individual visas for each country. This is particularly beneficial for persons who wish to visit several European countries on the same trip. The Schengen Visa is issued to citizens of countries who are required to obtain a visa before entering Schengen countries. If a traveler intends to visit more than one of the Schengen Visa countries, he or she must apply for the visa with the country where he or she intends to spend the most time. If a traveler does not have a main country to visit, he or she must apply for the visa with the country he or she plans to enter first.

Student Visas

An applicant may study in the Netherlands for up to 90 days without a visa if he/she is a citizen of certain visa waiver countries. If he/she is not a citizen of a visa waiver country or wants to study in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, the applicant must obtain a residence permit authorizing his/her studies. In order to qualify for a residence permit to study in the Netherlands, an applicant must be enrolled or provisionally enrolled in a full-time program recognized by the Dutch government.

The student will need a residence permit, but not an entry visa, if:

  • He/she is going to stay in the Netherlands for the purpose of study at the bachelor's or master's level (either degree seeking or as an exchange/study abroad student) for a period NOT exceeding 90 days

Business Visa

Citizens of visa waiver countries (see Visa Exemptions section) do not need visas to engage in any business function except paid employment. A short-term visa must be obtained if the traveler is not a citizen of a visa waiver country.

The following documents are generally required for a short-term visa for business purposes:

  • Completed visa application form
  • Passport or official travel document (Validity exceeding the intended stay by at least three months, two blank visa pages and issued no more than ten years ago)
  • Permanent Resident Card or other proof of legal status in the country of application (visa and supporting forms and/or proof of entry) (...more)

Work Permits

Since 2011, non-EU family members of a citizen of the European Union who, on the grounds of EU law, reside in a different member state (which may or may not border the Netherlands) may only perform work in the Netherlands if the employer has a valid work permit. An employer receives permission for an applicant (foreign employee) to work in the Netherlands and carries his work permit. Thus, the applicant’s permission to work in the Netherlands is tied to the specific employer who provides sponsorship.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Netherlands Guide.

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