It’s no surprise that the Netherlands has consistently attracted individuals looking to relocate. Boasting some of the world’s most picturesque cities, coupled with a vibrant culture, a flourishing economy, and an internationally acclaimed quality of life, the country is a magnet for those seeking a new home.
But, as a digital nomad, the overshadowing question arises: Could the Netherlands be the new ideal destination for your overseas move?
There is just one point of contention in this matter. The Netherlands does not currently offer a specific visa tailored to digital nomads. But fear not, as there are alternative avenues for aspiring nomads to explore.
What Is a Digital Nomad Visa?
If the idea of living abroad whilst maintaining your career is an enticing prospect, embracing the digital nomad lifestyle may be the solution you’ve been seeking.
A digital nomad is someone who earns a living online whilst residing outside of their country of permanent residence. This is, unsurprisingly, a lifestyle that is undoubtedly on the rise in recent years. Especially in a post-pandemic world where many have discovered the benefits of working from home (the infamous ‘WFH’ trend), the idea of doing this abroad has become increasingly alluring.
A digital nomad visa is what can facilitate this to happen. However, even in countries like the Netherlands, where such a visa isn’t currently offered, there are still alternative options for eager nomads to experience the charms of this beautiful nation.
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Why Pick the Netherlands as a Digital Nomad?
Don’t let the lack of a dedicated digital nomad visa dissuade you from embarking on life in the Netherlands. There are alternate options you may explore. These alternatives can provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the unique fusion of work and adventure in this dynamic country.
Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of the Netherlands can be found in the range of picturesque cities it offers. From Amsterdam to Rotterdam, Utrecht to The Hague, there seem to be endless vibrant and charming Dutch cities to explore as a digital nomad. In these cities, expect to immerse yourself in strolls along the canals, a plethora of museums to wander in, bike-friendly lanes to explore and an abundance of cafes and restaurants to indulge in.
Besides its renowned bike lanes, the Netherlands provides an extensive and efficient public transportation network, facilitating easy weekend getaways for nomads seeking a well-connected base.
And, from a practical standpoint, the Netherlands offers flexible coworking memberships so that any digital nomad can its numerous coworking spaces, such as Captial C and WeWork Weesperstraat.
English is also widely spoken in the Netherlands, helping nomads transfer their personal and professional lives there with ease. The Dutch internet is also one of the fastest in Europe, with an impressive average speed of around 80 Mbps.
However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of the cost of living in this country. While renting a room may be relatively affordable, securing a flat or studio of your own could prove to be a more expensive endeavour.
What Visa Options Are There in the Netherlands?
As mentioned, there is no digital nomad visa offered in the Netherlands. However, the country does offer an alternative option that nomads may use.
Digital nomads may register as independent workers in the country with what is known as a long-stay visa, or MVV Visa.
The Long-Stay Visa/MVV Visa
The Netherlands long-stay visa shares similarities with the typical digital nomad visa, allowing you to enter and reside in the country as a self-employed or freelance resident. Alternatively, foreign nationals also have the option of working for Dutch companies during their stay.
While the application process varies based on your nationality, all applicants must demonstrate the value their professional endeavour will add to the Dutch ecosystem. This most likely involves producing a well-developed business plan that will showcase that it is a financially viable and innovative initiative.
This will all be taken into account in the country’s three-part scoring system that will evaluate a hopeful nomad’s work and education experience, business plan, and the value of their endeavour to the Netherlands. This amounts to a total of 300 points, though applicants only need to obtain 90 points to pass.
Applicants must also undergo a civic integration exam to showcase proficiency in the Dutch language and society. Successful candidates must then apply for both the long-stay visa and residence permit through the Entry and Residence Procedure at the Dutch embassy, providing a valid passport, a completed tuberculosis test, and proof of sufficient income.
Upon embarking on their professional journey in the Netherlands, any digital nomad must be prepared to pay income tax on their income during their stay. The long-stay permit will be valid for two years, but for those enchanted by life in this beautiful country, one can apply for an extension before its expiration.