A small country with a big attitude, where climate change is a challenge that creates opportunities and jobs rather than a threat and the motto ‘live and let live’ goes for everyone. 

Dutch are known for being tolerant, open minded and thinking outside the box. The capital city Amsterdam is home to over 200 nationalities and its no surprise that people from all over the world find a home here as the country is the fourth happiest place on earth to live and has the thirteenth highest per capita income world wide. 

Another characteristic of this small country is its progressiveness and the Dutch can be counted on to take the first steps in a new direction. It was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage and ‘Max Havelaar’ was the first fair trade label in the world. Rotterdam has the largest seaport in Europe and facilitates a lot of trade with other countries. The Netherlands was also one of the six founding countries of the EU. 

Staying fit and enjoying the clean environment is no challenge as many Dutch people commute to work by bike. There are more bicycles than people and with 15,000 kilometers of bike lanes it is a safe, quick and healthy way to travel. 

Netherlands Residency

The Netherlands is part of the EU so people with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in the Netherlands.

Here are some of the ways to live in the Netherlands if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:

Work or business related visas

  • If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an "EU Blue Card".   The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit.  This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you.   If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities.  This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
  • If you want to work in paid employment, your employer must apply for a ‘single permit’, which combines the residence and work permit (GVVA). This permit clearly states for which employer you are allowed to work and in what specific position. 

Netherlands Independent Entrepreneur Visa

To qualify you’ll need a comprehensive business plan that proves your business will add value to the Dutch economy or, if you are a freelancer, that you have Dutch clients.  You’ll also need to show a net profit of € 1,192.96 per month that needs to be independent and long-term.  You also need to score adequately on a points system. The points system is based on your experience, education, entrepreneurship, income amongst other things. 

US, Japanese and Turkish citizens can take advantage of treaties between their countries and the Netherlands and in some cases, do not need to meet the points threshold. You’ll still need to meet the general requirements. 

Through investment

If you invest €1,250,000 in a Dutch company, you can apply for a investor residence permit in Netherlands.  Your investment must add value to the Dutch economy.  This is assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). 

Startup Visa

The founder/s of a startup can be eligible for a Startup visa if they meet the following conditions:

  • Collaboration with a reliable and experienced facilitator.
  • The product or the service is innovative.
  • The start-up entrepreneur has a (step-by-step) plan in order to move from idea to business.
  • The start-up entrepreneur and the facilitator are both registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce.
  • There are sufficient financial means (resources) to be able to reside and live in the Netherlands.

Through your Family

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of the Netherlands, you are probably eligible for residency.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.

Working Holiday visa

  • If you are a citizen of Canada, Australia, Argentina, South Korea or New Zealand between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible for a 1 year working holiday visa.

GDP Per Capita
$46,054  (Rank: 22)
Disposable Income
$2,938  (Rank: 20)
Life Expectancy
81.90  (Rank: 14)
Education Index
89.00%  (Rank: 6)
Corruption Index
83%  (Rank: 8)
Murders Per Year
179  (Rank: 89)
Crime Index
29.89  (Rank: 25)
Environmental Protection
77.75%  (Rank: 11)
Gender Equality
75.60%  (Rank: 16)
Annual Tourists
13,925,000  (Rank: 21)


Constitutional monarchy





Population Density

505 per square km

Note: Netherlands may not allow its citizens to hold dual citizenship. For more information check out this overview.

Netherlands Citizenship

Here are some ways to get citizenship in the Netherlands:

  • If your mother was a citizen of the Netherlands when you were born after 31 December 1984, you are probably also a citizen the Netherlands.
  • If your father was a citizen of the Netherlands when you were born, you are probably also a citizen the Netherlands.  If your parents were not married at the time of your birth, your father needs to have acknowledged you before the age of 7.

Quality of Life

Rank: 8

Cost of Living

Rank: 24


Rank: 25

Average Temp.


Rank: 154

Resources & Links

The passport for the Netherlands allows you to travel to 160 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 11.

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