Job Scenario and Residency Process in the Netherlands

Category: Study Destinations
Posted on September 09, 2019

The Netherlands, often described as the “gateway to Europe,” is located in northwestern Europe, Germany borders it in the east, Belgium in the south, and the North Sea in the north-west. The Netherlands is known for a low lying and flat landscape with a large number of lakes, rivers and canals, tulip fields, windmills, and cycling routes. As per the Global Innovation Index (2018), the country was ranked as the second most innovative nation in the world. 

The students, who are planning to move abroad in search of good higher education and job prospect, can consider the Netherlands. Education in the country meets all international standards and is well-reputed worldwide. The Netherlands is a country where approximately 95% of locals know English. This factor makes a living, studying, and working in the Netherlands very convenient and comfortable for international students. With the renowned standard of education and comparatively low cost of living, studying in the Netherlands gives one real value for money. Scientific research at Dutch universities is highly valued at both the national and international level.

The Netherlands allows international students to work along with their studies, but there are specific rules that depend as per their nationality. The EU/EEA or Switzerland citizens can work freely without any restrictions. A Non-EU student requires a permit and can work up to 16 hours a week and during vacations can work full-time. The students are allowed to work and do an internship at the same time.

Job Scenarios in the Netherlands

A few things that one should keep in mind while searching for jobs in the country. These are – economy, job market, and the language of the country, along with the job searching skills and the strong resume.

The Netherlands has a developed economy and is a significant contributor to the European economy from many centuries. The Netherlands is ranked as the seventh-largest economy in Europe and the fifth-largest in the eurozone. With a good number of qualified local workforces and an unemployment rate at 3.9%, the job market in the Netherlands is very fierce. From a language perspective, it is not necessary to know the Dutch language as English is understood and spoken throughout the country. However, proper knowledge of the local language can increase the chances of securing an excellent job opportunity and will make a living in the country much more accessible.

Now let’s have a look at few sectors where one can look for the job opportunities.

·       Information Technology

The Netherlands is center for leading information and communications technology companies in Europe. 60% of all IT companies mentioned in Forbes (2000) in the have been established in the Netherlands. The country has the most extensive security cluster and is one of the most advanced markets of data centers in Europe. With world-class R&D facilities and logistics infrastructure, the Netherlands has been able to establish itself as a lucrative destination for IT business. Some of the companies are Microsoft, Cisco, Infosys, Huawei, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon, and Google.

·       Food Industry

The food industry is one of the crucial sectors of the Dutch economy, with more than 5,300 companies in the food industry. It is the qualified locals and location that the Netherlands has attracted several global food companies in the country, such as Coca-Cola, Cargill, Kraft Heinz, and Nutricia Research. The Netherlands is ranked as the second-largest exporter of food overall the world. 

·       Chemical

The chemical industry of the Netherlands is the most significant contributor to the economy. The Netherlands is one of the leading chemical exporting countries in the world. As a result of 25 leading chemical companies, 19 of them have found their home in the Netherlands. Some of the multi-national companies established in the country are BASF, AkzoNobel, Dow Chemical, SABIC, and Shell.

·       Aerospace

The aerospace sector is one of the flourishing industries in the country. The first-class logistics infrastructure, strategic location, and highly qualified professionals have given the country an ideal environment for aerospace operations, such as maintenance and repairs, manufacturing, training facilities, logistics, etc. Some of the major companies established in the country are Boeing, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Mitsubishi Aircraft, and CAE.

·       Machinery

The Netherlands is known worldwide as a leading nation in food processing machinery. About two-thirds of its production is exported, and of which, 60% of Dutch machinery is transported to the European countries. 

·       Energy

The Netherlands is well recognized as a leader in offshore, renewable, and smart energy. So to strengthen its strong position in the global energy industry, the Netherlands offers world-class R&D facilities and excellent incentive programs that support and motivate energy innovation. 

·       Tourism

The tourism sector is rapidly becoming an essential part of the Dutch economy. The government of the country is now aiming to boost this sector and attract more tourists in the country. Therefore, generating more and more income and jobs in the country. 

·       Hospitality

As the tourism sector of the country expanded, the hospitality sector also witnessed a boom. So to fulfill the demands created due to tourism in the country, the hospitality sector grew, as a result, creating several new job opportunities.

·       Medical Devices

The Netherlands is the most important center for the European medical device industry. The medical device manufacturing industry in the country is relatively small but is very advanced. They face a lot of competition from European and global manufacturers both at home and abroad. The Netherlands has been ranked at the fourth place, worldwide for its medical technology patent applications.

·       Healthcare

The Netherlands is renowned worldwide for its universal and excellent standard of healthcare and is frequently named as one of the best healthcare systems in the world. With an aging population and increasing demands, the country is facing a shortage of professionals in this field. So, one with required skills and suitable qualification can look for job opportunities in this sector.

·       Life sciences and Pharmaceuticals

There are more than 360 modern life sciences companies clustered in one area. It is due to several life sciences and medical technology companies, along with research organizations that major companies have established themselves in the Netherlands. Some of these major multinational companies are Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck (MSD), Amgen, Genmab, Astellas, and Medtronic. Further, the arrival of European Medical Agencies (EMA) in the country has given a boost to the pharmaceutical sector.  

·       Finance

It is one of the key player contributing to the economy of the country. It is the location of the country in Europe along with the modern legislation for financial oversight and highly qualified professionals, which make the Netherlands a favored place for the financial institutions. Amsterdam is the economic and business capital of the Netherlands and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX), is the world's oldest stock exchange. Some of the well-known biggest companies in the country are Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and Citibanks.

·       Retail

The Netherlands has a well-built and efficient retail sector. Most of the retail activity in the country revolves around food. Some of the famous companies established in retail areas are Albert Heijn (Ahold) is the most crucial supermarket banner Jumbo, Lidl, and Aldi. Apart from these, the non-food companies in the Netherlands are Blokker Group and Ikea. 

·       Logistics

The presence of world-class seaports, centrally located airports and a new extensive network of roads and highways that the country has become is a hub for foreign-owned logistics and distribution operations. Some of the significant multinationals like Coca-Cola, IBM, Huawei, and Tommy Hilfiger have chosen the Netherlands as their logistics and distribution gateway to Europe to supervise their supply chain or to grow their e-commerce business.

·       Sales and Marketing

It is the strategic location of the Netherlands, with access to the entire consumer market that several companies have established there marketing and sales operations in the country. Some of the major multinational companies in the country are IBM, Verizon, and UL.

·       Education

Though English is spoken and known throughout the Netherlands, yet there are still plenty of opportunities for English speaking teacher to teach in the Netherlands. One can teach in the international schools in the Netherlands that can be found throughout the nation with a concentration of schools in the Amsterdam and Den Hague areas. For securing a teaching job at any private institutions, one should have at least a college or university degree along with a TEFL certificate.

Where to look for vacancies

· Internet – sites like EURES, xpatjobs, unductubles, stepstones

· Newspapers and Magazines- such as Saturday editions of Algemeen Dagblad, NRC Handelsblad, De Telegraaf, and De Volkskrant

· Public and private employment agencies

· Personal contacts

Working Conditions

As per the Dutch law, employees are allowed to work a maximum of 9 hours a day and 45 hours a week (Monday to Friday), depending on the type of work. The employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of annual leaves; employers often allow five extra days, and employees receive regular pay during their holidays. Unfortunately, the national holidays are very few in the Netherlands. 

Now once you get a job in the Netherlands, the next thing that one might think is how to proceed further. So let’s discuss this. 

To study, live, and work anywhere in the world, one needs to have a visa and the residence permit.  

Please note for visa-related queries, please visit:

Permanent Residency for the Netherlands

A continuous stay for five years in the country is the basic requirements for getting the Permanent Residence. There are different rules for people depending on their nationality. The citizens of EU/ EEA and Switzerland are eligible for European permanent residence, as well as the family members, regardless of their nationality. Whereas citizens of Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland are also suitable for permanent residency. It depends on the specific criteria that they will be given either long-term resident-EC status or ‘regular’ Dutch permanent residency. The PR is granted for five years and can be renewed.

Eligibility for PR (EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens and family members)

· Five years stay in the country

· Married to EU/EEA/ Swiss citizen

· One who has retired should have worked for at least one year in the country before getting retired

· Declared unfit for work but was working in the country for at least two years.

· a cross border worker, who had stayed and worked in the country for at least three years before getting a job in any other EU state. He has a home in the country and returns home weekly.

Eligibility for PR (Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens)

· Five years of continuous stay in the country

· One has a valid residence permit

· Nicely integrated into Dutch society

The applications are submitted to and verified by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). As per the requirements set out in Directive 2003/109/EC, IND decides whether one qualifies for the EC Long Term resident or the regular Dutch PR.

Requirements (Non-EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens)

· Must have a temporary residence permit for at least past five years

· Must have a residence permit for the non-temporary purpose

· Should have means of subsistence 

· Should not be a threat to society

· Should be well-integrated into the Dutch society

· Proficiency in the the Dutch language.

Documents Required

· A valid passport

· Proof of income

· Character certificate

· Civic Integration Diploma certificate 

As per the World Happiness Report (2018), The Netherlands has been declared as the sixth happiest country in the world. Besides this, the Netherlands is the most liberal and tolerant nation.

Well, I hope this was informative enough. I hope it will help and guide you to carefully opt for the options where your skills and talent can flourish.

Wishing you lots of luck.


Saumya Gusain
Saumya Gusain

A history student with postgraduate in archaeology and heritage management, gave me a good experience in field of research and writing. Avid reader, loves to explore new places. Baking cakes and breads are my hobby. Mother of four year old who takes most of my time..

Payal Jha
September 10, 2019 - 06:06am
Payal Jha September 10, 2019 - 06:06am

Great....Good information. Thanks a lot.

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