Relocating your employees to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is an interesting country to establish your organization and employees, thanks to the large port of Rotterdam and the international orientation of the country. When you want to move your employees to the Netherlands to work there, you have to deal with a lot of administration. This can be quite complex, and it is important that it is handled correctly to avoid fines. In this article we will tell you the most important aspects that you should take into account when relocating employees to the Netherlands.

Immigration requirements

The Netherlands is a member state of the European Union and therefore employees with the nationality of one of the EEA countries (or Switzerland) are allowed to work in the Netherlands. They do not require a work permit. Employees from other countries are allowed to work in The Netherlands but they have to comply to certain conditions and rules.

A1 certificate

The most common documentation that will be needed, is an A1 certificate, also known as a certificate of coverage. This certificate states in which country the worker’s social insurance premiums are paid. If you’re an employer based outside of the Netherlands and you intend to have an employee work for you temporarily in the Netherlands, you or your employee usually is covered by your home country’s social insurance system. In that case, you don’t have to pay social insurance contributions, but you do need an A1 certificate as proof.

Work permit

If your employees are from outside the EEA and Switzerland, they must require a work permit. There are two types of work permits in the Netherlands:

  • TWV: the employment permit in case your employee will be staying in the Netherlands for less than 90 days. This work permit is issued by the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) and can only be applied for by the employer.
  • GVVA: the single permit for a combined residence and work visa is needed if an employee relocates to the Netherlands for more than 3 months. This permit is issued by the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Services).

The requirements to meet a work permit are very strict. Make sure you start the application process in a timely manner and request the documents on time. It can take up to a few weeks before all documentation is completed.

What about the employee’s spouse and children?

If your employee has a registered partner, spouse or a long-term relationship, this person may also apply for a partner visa in the Netherlands. The partner visa or permit usually has the same length as the expat’s permit.

Relocation management

Housing and schooling

Finding accommodation in the Netherlands can be quite a challenge. There is a major housing shortage, especially in the low and middle segment. This applies to both rental and owner-occupied properties. In the case of an expat, a rental home will be the most logical option, as they often stay in the country for a short or limited time. A rental contract is often entered into for a minimum period of 1 year, after which the contract can be terminated monthly.

If an expat also brings children, it is important to look for a suitable school. The school system in the Netherlands may differ from the school system in their own country. It is therefore important to research which level corresponds and how the children can integrate into Dutch school life in the easiest way. A primary or secondary school is present in most villages or towns. But a university or college is not present in every city, and it can happen that a child has to travel a (great) distance for this. Make sure you have a good conversation with your employee about their preferences in prior to their emigration.

Other points of attention

Depending on the country of origin, rules and regulations for workers in the Netherlands may differ. Some of them are also important when one of your employees starts working in this country. For example, employees are legally entitled to a minimum of 20 paid vacation days with an employment contract of 40 hours per week. There is also a minimum wage for employees aged 21 and over. A travel allowance is not mandatory but is very common for companies in the Netherlands.


Costs of relocating employees to the Netherlands

Relocating employees to the Netherlands can be pricy, depending on your situation. The costs of relocating an employee to the Netherlands consists of:

Visa costs

The average visa application for the above-mentioned visas will cost around $500 for the application itself. However, costs will rise when you hire a lawyer or expert to assist you with the complicated processes.

Shipment costs

A large part of the relocation costs is also involved in moving the household goods of the assignee. Depending on the type of furniture and the quantity, the transport costs can vary from €1000 to €7,500. Some of the things you should take in account:

  • The type of move modality that is being used (for international moves a sea or air shipment is needed, whereas a sea shipment is much cheaper than air shipment)
  • The total volume that needs to be transported
  • The distance between the origin and destination
  • The destination port (customs duties will vary)
  • Time of the year (peak-season vs. low-season)

Costs will also depend on the type of products that need to be moved. For example, transporting and importing a car or vehicle can be quite expensive. You should consider extra costs for these types of items.


If you want to support an employee during the relocation process, you can also hire packers so that the employee does not have to pack everything himself. The costs of this differ per company but are on average between €150 and €500.


When moving, many personal and valuable items are taken along. Of course, you want to be sure that they are properly insured, should something happen to the items.

Normally, prices differ between 0,6% and 4% of the total value of the goods. An average three-bedroom house or apartment has a value of €50.000, which means the insurance costs are somewhere between €300 and €2000.

Flight tickets

Not only do your employee’s belongings have to be moved, but the employee and his family also have to arrive at their destination. In the case of an international relocation, airline tickets must be purchased. You can discuss with the employee whether you will partially or fully reimburse these costs.

Cost of living in the Netherlands

The cost of living in the Netherlands is high. In particular, the costs for housing and groceries have risen sharply in recent years. Especially if you want to live in the west of the country, also known as the Randstad, or in one of the other large cities, you will have to deal with much higher housing costs than in smaller towns and villages around here.

Relocation management for your company

As you can read, there is a lot to consider when moving an employee abroad. Especially when it comes to laws and regulations that must be complied with, you want it to be processed correctly. A professional relocator can help you with this. Our experts at Voerman have years of experience in moving expats to various destinations worldwide. We are happy to assist you with our move management and relocation management services.

Read more about our relocation management services or request a quote.

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