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Working Holiday Program (WHP)/ Working Holiday Scheme (WHS)

​Young people from a certain number of countries can come to the Netherlands for a maximum of 1 year to get to know the Dutch culture and society. 

The Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) is a cultural exchange programme. Adolescents between 18 and 30 years of age can apply for a residence permit to live in one of the participating countries/areas for a maximum of 1 year. The Netherlands currently has an agreement concerning WHP/WHS with the following countries/areas:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Uruguay

Main purpose WHP/WHS

The main purpose and basic principle of a WHP/WHS is to get acquainted with Dutch culture and society. This basic principle is stated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or a Nota Verbale between the two partner countries/areas. On the same basic principle, the partner country/area also allows Dutch adolescents access to their country/area.

The participating adolescent is not allowed to do work that is contrary to the main purpose of the WHP/WHS. Therefore, they are only allowed to incidentally work to financially support the holiday. In order to be able to carry out this incidental work, the employer does not need a TWV.  Regular work migrants, highly skilled migrants, students and au pairs can not make use of the WHP and WHS. They have to apply for a residence permit for that specific purpose of stay.

For more specific information on employment rights, please click 'Right to work' at the bottom of this page.

The participating adolescent may follow a short study or course.

Choose your nationality for more information on the conditions and how to apply: 

After the application

Registration with the municipality

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP)  in the municipality you are going to live.

To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated  birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.

Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.

Validity residence permit

​The residence permit under the Working Holiday Program or Working Holiday Scheme is valid for 1 year.

Right to work

With your residence permit for WHP/WHS, you are only allowed to carry out work of an incidental nature and only in order to support your holiday financially. This, because the main goal of your stay in the Netherlands is cultural exchange and not paid employment. If you work, your employer does not need a working permit ([TWV]) for you.

You are not allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed person. If you would like to do this, then you have to apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person.

In case you applied for your residence permit in the Netherlands, you can collect a residence endorsement sticker. For this, you have to schedule an appointment online. With the sticker, you are already allowed to carry out incidental work.


​A TWV is a work permit. The employer applies for a TWV with UWV (Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency). UWV examines among other things if there is no employee with the Dutch, EU/EEA or Swiss nationality that is qualified for the job.