The Netherlands Quick Facts
The Netherlands is a stunning destination that has been catching the attention of many tourists and expats alike. It is a country full of museums, beautiful landscapes, and a buzzing food scene. While there is no specific digital nomad visa for The Netherlands there are ways that nomads can live and work in this European country.
Despite being a small nation in Europe, the Netherlands has left a big imprint on global history. Today this rich past has translated itself into a diverse culture, and a wide range of influences on one of Europe's richest economies on a per-capita basis.
Living in The Netherlands as a digital nomad
The Netherlands or as many know it, Holland, is one of the most advanced nations in Europe, and also enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. It is an active hub for technology, and the nation is also a melting pot for numerous cultures.
Much like New York, Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam have an incredible range of foods and all kinds of entertainment to choose from. The Netherlands also has an extremely well-built IT infrastructure, and high-speed internet connections are available in all major cities.
Holland has a great reputation for lifestyle, and the Dutch are constantly ranked as some of the happiest people in both Europe and the world. All this makes being a digital nomad in the Netherlands sound rather appealing, especially if you don’t mind a little cold in the wintertime.
Attractions and best places to visit
The best times to visit the Netherlands is from April to August. Spring is the season when all the tulips start blooming and summer is the best season for outdoor activities. A good season to visit is also mid-December to early January. Many towns have Christmas markets, parades, ice-skating, and many other seasonal activities.
Amsterdam is the city most people want to visit. As the capital of the country, this city is fascinating, exciting and full of life. Amsterdam is famous for its food culture, and there are plenty of foodie destinations to visit in the city. Additionally, the history and culture of Amsterdam is unmatched.
Amsterdam is known as the bike capital of the world. Getting around the city is super easy. Bike rentals are available everywhere and you can ride around the canals or through the streets of the city. Amsterdam also has many famous museums that are worth visiting. There’s The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank Museum, which are must-sees for everyone who visits.
Close to Amsterdam, there’s another town called Haarlem which is a charming historical center. The best way to explore Haarlem is by foot, and it has many landmarks that are worth visiting such as the Windmill de Adriaan and the river Spaarne. You can also visit the Gothic-style Saint Bavo Church, and the Byzantine-style Saint Bavo cathedral.
Rotterdam is another famous city many digital nomads love visiting. It’s Europe’s largest seaport with stunning architecture and a food scene that is just as varied and delicious as Amsterdam.
The Netherlands is more than charming towns and cities! In fact, if you head over to Scheveningen, you can visit the lovely beaches the country has to offer. There’s a famous pier with a Ferris wheel and bungee jump. You can also enjoy it’s many beach clubs and party spots.
Digital nomad hotspots
Amsterdam is the main hotspot for all digital nomads visiting the Netherlands. There’s a lot to explore in the city, but also there are many spots that are perfect for working remotely. You can find the right work/leisure balance.
Amsterdam is overflowing with cool cafés where you can work from. Plus, there’s also something going on in the city. Amsterdam has all the vibes you’re looking for and more. You’ll find food trucks, cool festivals, and an attractive atmosphere.
The downside is that it can get really crowded, just like any other big city. Especially during summer, when all the tourists are visiting. However, if you live outside the tourist center, you’ll find chill and calm places to visit.
Additionally, English is widely spoken in Amsterdam. Since it is such a frequented city, a lot of the locals talk English. You won’t have a problem communicating and getting around.
Cost of Living
One drawback of the Netherlands is that it can be very expensive, especially if you aren’t used to living in a big city. That said, if you’ve lived in other cities like London or Los Angeles, then you might not have as much sticker shock.
You can rent a room for €500. Renting a studio or apartment costs around €1,500-€2,000. However, keep in mind that in order to rent an apartment, you’ll need to pay a deposit first. The average is to pay 2 months’ rent as a deposit.
Street food costs €2 and up. A coffee costs €3. Dining at a restaurant costs around €20.
The best way to get around the city is by bicycle, but you can also use public transport. Public transport in Amsterdam is run by a company called GVB. You can purchase a 1-hour GVB ticket for €3.20, valid only for trams, metro, or buses. You can also get tickets valid from 1 to 7 days (€8.5-€37).
There’s also the OV-chip card, which is a smart card system that can be used for all public transport in the Netherlands. The plastic smart card costs $8 and you must keep a minimum balance of €20 for trains or €4 for other transport.
Digital nomad essentials
Amsterdam has great internet! In fact, the Dutch internet is one of the fastest in Europe. The internet speed is usually around 80Mbps.
Most cafes and restaurants offer free wifi, so you’ll have no problem finding somewhere to work. There are many cool cafes that are perfect for working while on a digital nomad visa for The Netherlands where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee, or something delicious to eat.
We recommend you visit these cafes:
- Scandinavian Embassy: a cute minimalistic place with good coffee and food.
- Café De School: it has everything! It is a bar, a restaurant, a nightclub, and more!
- Coffee & Coconuts: this is a cozy coffee shop that is bright and creative.
- Rum Baba: this place has the best coffee and pastries in all of Amsterdam!
Amsterdam also has many co-working spaces for you to choose from. We recommend you check these out:
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Digital Nomad Visa for The Netherlands Overview
There is no exact digital nomad visa for The Netherlands per se. However, there is an alternative that digital nomads can use. The Netherlands offers the opportunity for digital nomads to register as independent workers in the country, and live with a long-stay visa. This visa is called Netherlands long-stay or MVV Visa.
It is known as a self-employed residence permit, which is the equivalent of a digital nomad visa. This visa allows you to enter the Netherlands and reside there as a foreign professional.
The process to obtain this residence permit will vary based on what nation you hold citizenship in, although if you are from another EU nation, Switzerland, Turkey, or Japan, the process will be easier.
In addition to working for global clients, anyone who qualifies for the Netherlands’ self-employed residence permit can work for Dutch companies on a freelance basis, and in fact, if you have existing clients in the Netherlands, this may help you to obtain Dutch residency.
As a self-employed person in the Netherlands, you will be expected to pay taxes and keep up with any other local laws that regulate independent workers. As a legal resident of the Netherlands, you will also need to register with the local authorities and receive a TB test.
The self-employed residence permit is based on a scoring system that has three parts:
Personal experience: this includes education, previous work experience, and other entrepreneurship activities.
Business plan: a presentation of the product or service, the price, finances, etc.
The added value to the Netherlands: this includes innovation, creating new jobs, making investments, etc.
The three parts each amount to a total of 300 points. The application needs to obtain at least 90 points. For each of the three parts, the applicant needs to obtain a minimum of 30 points.
Current Travel Restrictions
All travel to Europe is subject to pandemic-related restrictions. Thankfully, restrictions have been loosening lately and they’re not as strict as they were when COVID-19 first started spreading.
As of March 23rd, travelers to the Netherlands no longer need to present proof of full vaccination, recovery, or a negative PCR result.
Most Coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. Health passes are no longer required at bars, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, or nightclubs. Plus, social distancing and face masks are no longer obligatory in most places. However, face masks are mandatory in public transport and airports.
Citizen Remote has a broad range of resources to assist with the exciting process of relocating to another country!
Who Can Apply for the
Digital Nomad Visa for The Netherlands
In short, anyone can apply to work in the Netherlands as a digital nomad, but citizens from specific nations will be in a better position to qualify for the self-employed residence permit.
For foreigners who wish to obtain a digital nomad visa for The Netherlands in order to work as a remote freelancer, independent entrepreneur or establish a startup in Holland, they need to apply for the self-employed residence permit.
In order to apply for the MVV Visa you must comply with the following:
Have one or more jobs or commissions that you’ll perform in the Netherlands as a freelancer (you will need to provide sufficient proof of relevant opportunities for work).
Register with the Chamber of Commerce
Meet the requirements to practice the profession (you will need to present any relevant licenses)
How To Apply For the
Digital Nomad Visa For the Netherlands
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is the authorized organization in charge of visa submission and issuance in the Netherlands. It offers extensive resources to anyone who wants to work in the Netherlands.
In order to apply for the digital nomad visa for The Netherlands aka the MVV, you must also apply for the residence permit. You must apply for the two of them at the same time.
Additionally, to apply to the MVV Visa, you have to apply through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV). There are two ways of applying:
Apply by yourself. If you’re submitting the application yourself, you’ll need to do it through the TEV at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country.
Apply through a sponsor. If you have a sponsor in the Netherlands, they can apply for you using the TEV. They’ll need to complete an application for, obtain all the required documents for you. They’ll also need to submit the application directly to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa in The Netherlands
A valid passport or other eligible travel documents
A signed antecedents certificate applied for all people from 12 years old or above, shows if you have any criminal record, or other legal encumbrances
Complete a tuberculosis test (TB) after arriving in the Netherlands
Specific conditions are given for people with the EU/EEA/Switzerland citizenship or who want to create a startup in the Netherlands. In general, it will be much easier for someone from the EU/EEA or Switzerland to qualify to live and work in Holland.
Anyone will have to meet these conditions for applying for a Dutch freelance visa. You need to have these additional documents when applying for a freelance or startup visa:
Proof of ongoing assignments in the Netherlands or an offer to contribute to the Dutch economy, which is calculated and evaluated through the 3-part scoring system explained above (which doesn’t apply for Turkish citizens or anyone who has long-term EC residency in other EU countries).
Accomplish the minimal sufficient income from your freelance work or business activities. Specifically, the compulsory amount from January to June of 2021 is 1,271.71 EUR for gross profit per month including holiday allowance for a self-employed applicant. (More details regarding income thresholds for different subjects are specified in the official website of the IND, and these levels do vary).
How much does it cost?
The costs of the visa varies depending on your country. All applicants should keep the following costs in mind:
- Variable application fee
- €386 if the applicant has a residence permit start-up
- The costs for investing a significant capital in a company (for those applying under the treaties applicable with the US or Japan)
- Other costs for the translation and legalization of the documents into Dutch, English, French, or German.
- €150 for civic integration exam
Find a full list of all the fees here.
Timeline for Applying for the Digital Nomad Visa for The Netherlands
Before starting the application for the digital nomad visa for The Netherlands, adults aged 18-65 will need to take a civic integration exam. This is a three-part exam which tests your knowledge of the Dutch language and society. The exam is easily accessible through a computer at the Dutch embassy or consulate you are applying ing. The cost of this exam is €150.
To find mandatory forms and start the registration, you can either submit the request at the Dutch embassy or through the Dutch representation in your own country, which will forward your documents to IND.
Once you have prepared a proper document set, you’ll need to have them legalized for being usable in the Netherlands and translated from other languages into one of the following ones, Dutch, English, German or French.
Don’t forget to check the validity of specific legalized documents, and which organizations are authorized for doing legible legalization and translation services. This is one aspect of the process where a lawyer would be very handy.
Then send copies of all your application single-sided printed on A4 paper to the IND or the Dutch representation and keep the original ones to verify later. Remember to write your V-number/client number/name and DOB on each copy.
Once you have submitted the application to the Dutch embassy, it’ll be recognized as the date of application, and IND will initialize the statutory decision period.
At this stage, IND will check throughout your submitted documents and send a rectification request in case some documents are missed or incorrect. You then need to send additional revisions by the date specified by IND.
After checking, IND will make a decision within 90 days. The decision will be sent to you, if you get a negative decision, you can submit for a review.
With a positive decision, you successfully obtain a valid MVV for 90 days. You have 3 months to collect the MVV at an official overseas office, then travel to the Netherlands.
After you have arrived in the Netherlands, your residence permit will be prepared in the next 2 weeks. You can arrange an appointment with the IND desk to collect your residence permit.
Just make sure your information is correct…and congratulations!
Once you’ve completed all the procedures you’ll get your permit. Your residence permit is valid for 2 years, and you’ll need to apply for an extension no later than 3 months before its expiration.