The Netherlands is small? Far from it. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of the Netherlands and the countries Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba, as well as Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (the Caribbean Netherlands), the special municipalities of the Netherlands. So if you want to live and work in the Netherlands, you’re in for an exciting mix of cultures. However, for our tips regarding entering the country and so on, we refer to the Netherlands only, not the Dutch Caribbean.
Entering the Netherlands
Citizens of European countries need only their personal ID to enter the Netherlands. If you would like to stay in the country for longer than four months, though, you should first take care of registering with the corresponding registry office in your place of residence. Do that five days after your arrival at the latest. When registering, you will receive a citizen service number, which you will need for several public authorities.
Working in the Netherlands
The unemployment rate in the Netherlands is 3.2% (as of June 2019). Workers are especially in demand in the following sectors:
- Hotel industry
- Food service industry
- Health care
It is definitely an advantage to have knowledge of the Dutch language.
The maximum number of hours worked per week is 45, so at most nine hours a day. The real working time is usually less than that, between 36 and 40 hours a week. Full-time employees have at least 20 days of vacation. Oftentimes, however, they receive much more vacation than that.
The Netherlands has a minimum wage. However, it is not a matter of a minimum hourly wage, but rather full-time positions of 36 to 40 hours should generally pay at least 1,551.60 EUR a month. Depending on the size of the income, 37 to 52% is deducted from the salary.
It is difficult to find an inexpensive place to live in the large cities of the country. Cities like Amsterdam and The Hague are very popular, and therefore, there is a shortage of living space. You need to be prepared for expensive rents here. If possible, fall back on the surrounding areas to save money. You will most easily find an apartment or other real estate using a relator.
Cost of living
The cost of living in the Netherlands is above the average for the euro area. It is about 112.1% of the EU average. The prices for food have conformed somewhat in the meantime; however, restaurants, cars or leisure activities are expensive.