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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/territories:

  • 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/territories. 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: 

Steps in the application process

Argentina / Hong Kong / Taiwan / Uruguay

CONDITIONS

There are a number of conditions that apply to everyone. In addition to these conditions, the following conditions apply to you:

  • You have a passport issued by the authorities of Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Uruguay;
  • You are coming to the Netherlands for cultural exchange. The main goal is to get acquainted with Dutch culture and society;
  • You are aged between 18 and 31 at the time of submitting the application for residence;
  • You are not accompanied by dependent children;
  • You have not previously had a residence permit for exchange in the Netherlands;
  • You have a valid passport;
  • You have a return ticket or you can demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to purchase a ticket;
  • You have sufficient resources to support yourself financially during the initial period of residence in the Netherlands;
  • You have health insurance with medical coverage in the Netherlands;
  • You meet all other requirements, as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the participating countries/territory. This includes that, at the time of submitting the application for residence, you must have your main residence in the country/territory that issued your passport.

      
COSTS

This application costs € 58. You can pay after submitting your application (see step 3 in the application process).

 

STEPS IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Apply for a Regular Provisional Residence Permit (mvv)
You first have to apply for a Regular Provisional Residence Permit (mvv). This is a special visa that allows you to enter the Netherlands. You can apply for the mvv and residence permit by means of the Entrance and Residence procedure (TEV). Make an appointment with the Dutch representation in the country/territory that issued your passport:

Argentina: Dutch Embassy in Buenos Aires
Hong Kong: Dutch Consulate General in Hong Kong
Taiwan: Netherlands Office Taipei in Taipei
Uruguay: Dutch Embassy in Buenos Aires

Please note! The IND can grant a residence permit for a Working Holiday to up to 100 participants each year. This means that, in principle, the IND can only grant 100 mvv-tev applications. If you are awarded an mvv and you do not collect it in time or do not enter the Netherlands in time, your place will be given to another applicant.

2. Documents you need

During your appointment, the Dutch representation checks your application and takes your biometric data (fingerprints).


3. After your appointment
You will receive an information sheet from the Dutch representation. This explains how to pay for the fee. The information sheet also has the e-mail address (of the IND in the Netherlands) that you use to send the following additional information:

  • A signed antecedents certificate (Annex 1 to the document).
  • Passport: copy/scan of the page with your personal details.
  • A return ticket or reservation, or a bank statement that shows that you have enough money to book a ticket back to your country of origin. The bank statement or reservation must be in English or Spanish and be in your name.
  • Entry date: in the information sheet, you must indicate on which date you will travel in the Netherlands. The one-year residence permit starts from that date of entry. Your entry date may not be more than six months after your application date. You can adjust your entry date by notifying the IND about this before a decision has been made.
    Please note! If you do not indicate the entry date, the IND will use the date that the mvv is placed in your passport + 1 day as the start date of your residence permit.
  • The IND desk in the Netherlands where you would like to collect your residence permit.

4. Decision
The IND checks if you meet all the conditions for a residence permit. The IND must make a decision within 90 days of receiving your application. This is called the decision period. It is also mentioned in the acknowledgement of receipt. Within these 90 days, you are requested not to contact the IND for information about the status of your application, unless the IND contacts you.

  • Positive decision
    If the decision is positive, you will get an mvv and residence permit. The IND informs the Dutch representation about the decision. The next step is to have the mvv sticker placed in your passport at the Dutch representation in your country or territory (see step 5).
  • Negative decision
    If you do not meet the conditions, you will not receive an mvv or residence permit. You will receive a letter (the decision) from the Dutch representation stating why your application was rejected. You can apply for review of this decision.

 
5. Collect mvv sticker
After a positive decision by the IND, you hand in your passport to the Dutch representation where you applied for the mvv, to have the mvv sticker placed in your passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months on the day the representation places the mvv in it. It takes up to 15 days to place the mvv in your passport.

The mvv is valid for 90 days after the date of issue. This gives you a maximum of 90 days to travel into the Netherlands and collect your residence permit from the IND. The mvv sticker states how long it is valid and shows 2 dates:

  • Effective date: the mvv is valid from this date.
  • Expiry date: the mvv is no longer valid from this date.

The mvv allows you to travel within the Schengen area.

Please note! What if you cannot travel to the Netherlands within the 90 days? This period cannot be extended. After 90 days, the mvv is no longer valid. You will then have to apply for another mvv from the Dutch representation (see step 1).

6. Collecting your residence permit in the Netherlands
You travel with the mvv to the Netherlands. After arriving in the Netherlands, you will receive a letter from the IND notifying you when you can come and collect the residence permit. Make an appointment online to visit the IND desk stated in the letter. This is the same desk that you indicated in your mvv application. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. So make an appointment as soon as possible.

Check to see if the information on your residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If anything is incorrect, please immediately tell the IND staff member.

Japan / South Korea

CONDITIONS

There are a number of conditions that apply to everyone. In addition to these conditions, the following conditions apply to you:

  • You have the nationality of Japan or South Korea;
  • You are coming to the Netherlands for cultural exchange. The main goal is to get acquainted with Dutch culture and society;
  • You are aged between 18 and 31 at the time of submitting the application for residence;
  • You are not accompanied by dependent children;
  • You have not previously had a residence permit for exchange in the Netherlands;
  • You have a valid passport;
  • You have a return ticket or you can demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to purchase a ticket;
  • You have sufficient resources to support yourself financially during the initial period of residence in the Netherlands;
  • You have health insurance with medical coverage in the Netherlands;
  • You meet all other requirements, as stated in the Nota Verbale with Japan and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Korea. This includes that, at the time of submitting the application for residence, you must have your main residence in the country of your nationality.

       
COSTS

This application costs € 58. You pay for it after submitting your application (see step 3 in the application process).

 

STEPS IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Apply for pre-registration
Before you can apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands, you must first apply for pre-registration. Send an e-mail with your name, date of birth and passport number to the Dutch representation in the country of your nationality:

Please note! The IND can grant residence permits for a Working Holiday to up to 200 Japanese and 100 South Korean nationals each year. This means that the Dutch representation can in principle issue up to 200 pre-registrations to Japanese and 100 pre-registrations to South Korean nationals. Have all the places on the WHP been filled? Then you will be put on a waiting list. If you are awarded an mvv and you do not collect it in time, your place will be given to another applicant.

You will receive proof of pre-registration by e-mail. It includes a sequence number and your personal details. You have to print out the email with the pre-registration and bring it with you to the Netherlands. You will need this when you apply for a residence permit.

Validity of pre-registration
The pre-registration is valid for 90 days after the date of issue. It gives you a maximum of 90 days to travel to the Netherlands and apply for your residence permit from the IND.

Please note! What if you cannot travel into the Netherlands within the 90 days? This period cannot be extended. After 90 days, pre-registration is no longer valid and your application for a residence permit will no longer be processed. You will then have to apply again for pre-registration with the Dutch representation in Tokyo or Seoul. This is not possible in the Netherlands.

2. Application for residence permit and required documents
After arriving in the Netherlands, you apply for a residence permit from the IND. Send the application form by post to the IND. Send the following documents with your application:

  • Fully completed and signed application form
  • Your valid pre-registration number (see step 1)
  • Fully completed and signed antecedents certificate (see Appendix 1 of the application form)
  • Copy of your passport (must be valid for at least 6 months)
  • A return ticket or reservation, or a bank statement that shows that you have enough money to book a ticket back to your country of origin. The bank statement or reservation must be in English, French or German and be in your name.

How do you send documents to the IND?

  • Only send copies of your documents, single-sided and in A4 format. Keep the original documents yourself.
  • The copies must be complete and clearly legible.
  • Write your V-number or client number on each copy. If you do not know these numbers, will write your name and date of birth on each copy.
  • Do not send USB sticks, CDs or DVDs.


3. Receipt/application check and paying fees

After the IND has received your application, you will receive a letter: the acknowledgement of receipt. This states your V-number and explains how to pay for the fee. Are any documents missing or are documents incorrect/complete? Then the letter also states what you still have to provide. (This is called rectification of omission.) Send the requested documents to the IND before the date given.

After you receive the acknowledgement of receipt, make an appointment online within 2 weeks to come to an IND counter to have your biometric data (fingerprints) taken and for a residence endorsement sticker.

My IND and Berichtenbox
Follow your application on My IND. Have you also arranged to receive messages from the IND in your message box (Berichtenbox) on mijn.overheid.nl? And provided your email address? Then you will receive an email if there is a new message from the IND in your message box.

4. Decision
The IND checks if you meet all the conditions for a residence permit. The IND must make a decision within 90 days of receiving your application. This is called the decision period. It is also mentioned in the acknowledgement of receipt. Within these 90 days, you are requested not to contact the IND for information about the status of your application, unless the IND contacts you.

  • Positive decision
    The decision is positive. You will receive a letter from the IND stating that you will be granted a residence permit.
  • Negative decision
    If you do not meet the conditions, you will not be granted a residence permit. You will receive a letter (the decision) stating why your application was rejected. You can apply for review of this decision.


5. Collect your residence permit
You will receive a letter from the IND advising that you can come and collect your residence permit. Make an appointment online to visit the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. So make an appointment as soon as possible.

Check to see if the information on your residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If anything is incorrect, please immediately tell the IND staff member.

Australia / Canada / New Zealand

CONDITIONS

There are a number of conditions that apply to everyone. In addition to these conditions, the following conditions apply to you:

  • You have the nationality of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada or New Zealand;
  • You are coming to the Netherlands for cultural exchange. The main goal is to get acquainted with Dutch culture and society;
  • You are aged between 18 and 31 at the time of submitting the application for residence;
  • You are not accompanied by dependent children;
  • You have not previously had a residence permit for exchange in the Netherlands;
  • You have a valid passport;
  • You have a return ticket or you can demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to purchase a ticket;
  • You have sufficient resources to support yourself financially during the initial period of residence in the Netherlands;
  • You have health insurance with medical coverage in the Netherlands;
  • You meet all other requirements, as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the participating countries. This includes that, at the time of submitting the application for residence, you must have your main residence in the country of your nationality. This means that you can only apply for residence in the Netherlands during a short stay in your permit-exempt term.

COSTS
This application costs € 58. You pay for it after submitting your application (see step 2 in the application process).


STEPS IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Application for residence permit and necessary documents
There are two ways to do this:

Apply online
Submit your application online. Fill in the application and upload the requested documents. Find out more about uploading documents. Always carefully check your application. Submitting information or documents in an incorrect order and/or incomplete information can lead to delays in the processing of your application.
Please note! You may submit the online application no earlier than 90 days before your intended date of arrival in the Netherlands.

=> Submit application online

         
Written application

You can travel to the Netherlands without a visa during your permit-exempt term. After arriving in the Netherlands, you apply for a residence permit from the IND. Send the following documents with your application:

  • Fully completed and signed application form
  • Fully completed and signed antecedents certificate (see Appendix 1 of the application form)
  • Copy of your passport (must be valid for at least 6 months)
  • A return ticket or reservation, or a bank statement that shows that you have enough money to book a ticket back to your country of origin. The bank statement or reservation must be in English, French or German and be in your name.

How do you send documents to the IND?

  • Only send copies of your documents, single-sided and in A4 format. Keep the original documents yourself.
  • The copies must be complete and clearly legible.
  • Write your V-number or client number on each copy. If you do not know these numbers, will write your name and date of birth on each copy.
  • Do not send USB sticks, CDs or DVDs.


2. Receipt/application check and paying fees

After the IND has received your application, you will receive a letter: the acknowledgement of receipt. This states your V-number and explains how to pay for the fee. If you submitted your application online, you already paid the fee when you submitted your application. Are any documents missing or are documents incorrect/complete? Then the letter also states what you still have to provide. (This is called rectification of omission.) Send the requested documents to the IND before the date given.

After you receive the acknowledgement of receipt, make an appointment online within 2 weeks to come to an IND counter to have your biometric data (fingerprints) taken and for a residence endorsement sticker.

My IND and Berichtenbox
Follow your application on My IND. Have you also arranged to receive messages from the IND in your message box (Berichtenbox) on mijn.overheid.nl? And provided your email address? Then you will receive an email if there is a new message from the IND in your message box.

3. Decision

The IND checks if you meet all the conditions for a residence permit. The IND must make a decision within 90 days of receiving your application. This is called the decision period. It is also mentioned in the acknowledgement of receipt. Within these 90 days, you are requested not to contact the IND for information about the status of your application, unless the IND contacts you.

  • Positive decision
    The decision is positive. You will receive a letter from the IND stating that you will be granted a residence permit.
  • Negative decision
    If you do not meet the conditions, you will not be granted a residence permit. You will receive a letter (the decision) stating why your application was rejected. You can apply for review of this decision.


4. Collect your residence permit
You will receive a letter from the IND advising that you can come and collect your residence permit. Make an appointment online to visit the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. So make an appointment as soon as possible.

Check to see if the information on your residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If anything is incorrect, please immediately tell the IND staff member.

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.

TWV

​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.