Are you thinking of moving to The Netherlands? The Netherlands is one of the happiest countries in the world, offering a great quality of life for expats. One of the most common questions I get is “can I move to the Netherlands without a job?” or “where is the best place to live in The Netherlands as an expat?”
The Netherlands is a Western European country known for the highest concentration of museums in the world, being home to the world’s tallest people and being the world’s largest flower exporter! The country is small, in fact, South Africa is about 29 times bigger than the Netherlands. It is the lowest-lying country in Europe and everyone cycles everywhere!
Living in The Netherlands: Pros and Cons
There are many advantages and disadvantages of moving to The Netherlands. While English is widely spoken, Dutch is the official language, and depending on the visa you apply for, you might need to pass a Dutch language test.
|Good Quality of Education||High Income Taxes|
|Affordable Healthcare||Cold Weather|
|Outdoor and Cycling Culture||No Mountains|
|Job Opportunities||The housing market|
|Top 5 Happiest Countries in the world||Language Barrier|
There are many expat-friendly cities in The Netherlands. The country has 12 provinces and amazing towns and cities to live in. Depending on your budget and lifestyle, these are some options for cities to live in The Netherlands:
- Haarlem: Best for people who want to avoid larger cities, less crowded, more affordable, and less noise than Amsterdam.
- The Hague: The seat of government for the Netherlands. So in addition to the Queen, Ministries, and Dutch Parliament, it is home to foreign embassies and a host of international organizations (many UN) as well as international businesses. It’s reasonably affordable and close to the beach.
- Rotterdam: Europe’s biggest harbor, the second-largest city in The Netherlands, and one of the best places to live in Europe.
- Amsterdam: Capital city of The Netherlands, a popular tourist town known for its maze of canals and lax attitude towards weed.
- Utrecht: Good universities, a large number of people under 30, and an expat-friendly city.
Visas for Moving to The Netherlands
If you are an African who can contribute to the Dutch economy or to Dutch culture or science, you are more likely to be admitted to the Netherlands. This is laid down in the Modern Migration Policy Act. You might qualify for one of these visas:
- Entrepreneur Permit: for people who want to start their own business and must have personal experience with it and would add to the Dutch market. You can apply for a one-year residence permit to start an innovative business in the Netherlands. One condition is that you receive support from an experienced, reliable mentor (facilitator) in the Netherlands.
- Highly skilled migrant permits: for highly skilled workers that are needed. These people need to also be specialized, have a degree, passport, health insurance, and have work experience.
- Orientation Year: for people who have a Master’s or Ph.D. within the past three years, at a university in the top 150 worldwide. They can apply to find work in the Netherlands for a year.
- Single permit: for workers and trainees of over three months.
If you want to move from South Africa to the Netherlands, the first step is to contact IND (immigration and naturalizations dept) via email or give them a call: 088 043 04 30 to find out which visa you qualify for.
Nyachomba Kariuki on Moving to The Netherlands
Is The Netherlands a good place to move to? Kenyan Expat Mama, Nyachomba Kariuki joins us to chat more about moving to The Netherlands from Abu Dhabi with her family. The visa process, pros, and cons of living in The Netherlands, tips for Africans who want to immigrate.
Nyachoma is a former Climate Change Consultant and Monitoring and Evaluation Professional. Now she juggles running a business where she helps women to set achievable goals with intention through Mindful Planning and Being a stay-at-home Mom of two.
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