Work and travel in the Netherlands: International Experience Canada

Fun facts about the Netherlands

  • The Dutch are ranked among the top 5 coffee-consumers in the world, averaging 3.2 cups a day
  • The Netherlands has the tallest people in the world
  • The Netherlands is home to more bicycles than people (18 million bicycles)

What the Netherlands offers

Did you know that Holland and the Netherlands are actually not the same? The Kingdom of The Netherlands has 12 provinces, only two of which, South and North-Holland, make up Holland. The Netherlands is extremely flat with a quarter of its surface below sea level. It offers a unique set of landscapes, including rivers, canals, polders and dunes. Smaller than Nova Scotia, the Netherlands is a very densely populated country with a temperate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. You can easily immerse yourself in the Netherlands by biking pretty much anywhere. Visiting Amsterdam’s elegant canals, world-class museums and vibrant nightlife are a must. Other cities such as Rotterdam and Utrecht each have their own, unique attractions and are also worth exploring.

The Dutch economy is stable, healthy and very active in global trade. The business structure in the Netherlands is characterized as being flat in terms of hierarchy levels which helps to foster productivity among teams in the workplace.

The Netherlands has two official languages, Dutch and Frisian. However, the average Dutch citizen speaks more than 3 languages and over 90 percent of the population is fluent in English.

Work and travel in the Netherlands as a Canadian youth

Who can apply?

To work in the Netherlands through the Netherlands-Canada Youth Mobility Agreement, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen
  • be 18-30 years old (inclusive) for the Working Holiday program
  • be 18-30 years old (inclusive) for the Young Workers Exchange program
  • live in Canada when applying, and
  • have a valid Canadian passport

Other requirements may apply. Check Netherlands website for more details on the Working Holiday program or the Young Workers Exchange program.

What type of work visa do I need?

If you’re applying for the Young Workers Exchange program, you need to apply for a Single Permit. The main purpose of your stay must be to gain work experience. You must be a post-secondary student or have graduated less than 12 months ago.

If you’re applying for the Working Holiday program, you need to apply for a residence permit. The main purpose of your stay must be to get to know Dutch society and culture.

Do I need a formal job or internship offer?

Yes, you need a job offer (pre-arranged contract of employment) or formal internship offer if you apply to the Young Workers Exchange program.

No, you don’t need one if you apply for the Working Holiday program.

How long can I stay and work?

Working Holiday Program

You can stay and work for 12 months but you can only work for the same employer for a maximum of 12 weeks. After that, you can work for a different employer for another 12 weeks.

Young Workers Program

You can stay and work for 12 months.

You can participate in both programs once.

How do I apply?

Working Holiday Program

You can apply to a Dutch embassy or consulate in Canada. You can also apply to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) if you are already in the Netherlands.

Young Workers Program

You can apply to a Dutch embassy or consulate in Canada or your employer can apply directly to the IND.

Plan your trip

The best way to make sure your trip is the experience of a lifetime is to plan. Review our travel checklist to find out what you should know or do before travelling to, and working in a foreign country.

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