Residence permit Cultural exchange

Last update: 29 May 2022

You need a residence permit for a cultural exchange to the Netherlands. Only an exchange organisation recognised by the IND can apply for you. Find out what the requirements are and how the exchange organisation can apply for the residence permit.

Requirements

These requirements apply to you and the host family:

  • You meet the general requirements that apply to everyone.
  • You are at least 18 and no more than 30 years old at the time of the application. Except when you are between the ages of 15 and 18 and it is stated in the exchange programme that this is allowed.
  • You previously did not have a residence permit for exchange purposes in the Netherlands.
  • You have enough money to pay for your stay in the Netherlands.
  • You have insurance that covers healthcare expenses in the Netherlands.
  • You are going to live with a host family that is registered in the Personal Records Database (in Dutch: Basis Registratie Personen (BRP)). You also have to register at the town hall in the municipality where you are living.
  • Your host family consists of 2 or more persons. These persons have the Dutch nationality or a valid residence permit for the Netherlands.
  • You have not previously worked for the host family, in the Netherlands or abroad.
  • You are going to temporarily live in the Netherlands for an exchange programme via a recognised exchange organisation  (recognised sponsor).
  • You are going to learn about the Dutch culture and society during your stay with the host family. And by doing activities of the exchange organisation and following an education.
  • You are not going to take care of people who need special care for which you must have a specific skill. For example nursing tasks.
  • You have not signed a contract with a host family, intermediary agency (Dutch or foreign) or exchange organisation in which it is stated that you must pay a financial penalty, if you do not comply with the contract.
  • You have not paid any fees to an intermediary agency (Dutch or foreign) or exchange organisation for a security deposit.

Volunteer via European Solidarity Corps 

If you want to do volunteer work in the Netherlands via the European Solidarity Corps, you must have a contract with a recognised exchange organisation . If you´ve previously had a residence permit for exchange purposes in the Netherlands, you may also apply for a residence permit for volunteer work via European Solidarity Corps.

 

Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for the residence permit:

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Application forms

The exchange organisation can submit this application online.

Written application forms

The exchange organisation can download a form if they prefer to fill in the application in writing and send it by post.

Written application forms

The exchange organisation can download a form if they prefer to fill in the application in writing and send it by post.

The residence permit

Find out what else you need to know about the residence permit:

TB test

Did you indicate at the time of the application that you will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment with the public health service (in Dutch: Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD). Do this within 3 months after you have received your residence permit. Take  with you to the appointment: 

Working with the residence permit

On the back of your residence permit it says: Work permit not required for specific work, other work not permitted (in Dutch: TWV niet vereist voor specifieke arbeid, andere arbeid niet toegestaan). TWV stands for tewerkstellingsvergunning which means work permit in Dutch. 


With the residence permit for cultural exchange purposes, you may only do volunteer work. This must be explained in the exchange programme. No work permit (TWV) is needed for volunteer work.

Legal obligations

You have an obligation to provide information. Other obligations apply to the host family and the exchange organisation. 

Read more about the obligations of the recognised sponsor and about the foreign national’s obligation to provide information.  

The IND checks whether you meet your obligations. If you do not, you may get an administrative fine

Validity of the residence permit

The residence permit for cultural exchange purposes is valid for a maximum of 1 year. 

The residence permit for volunteer work via European Solidarity Corps is valid for the period that you do volunteer work, with a maximum of 1 year. 

Other applications

You cannot extend the residence permit for cultural exchange. Has the residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Then have the residence permit replaced. Visit the web page residence permit damaged or change of personal details or residence permit lost or stolen.