An Engineer’s Guide to Relocating to the Netherlands 

June 18, 2024


Are you an engineer considering a move to the Netherlands? This guide is here to help you every step of the way!  

From understanding the cost of living to sorting out visas and finding a place to stay, discover everything you need to know for a seamless transition and make your relocation as smooth as possible. 

Part One: Starting Your Search 

Research Cost of Living 

Before you start packing your bags, it’s a good idea to check out the cost of living in the Netherlands. You can use a cost of living calculator to compare what you’re currently spending with what you might need in Dutch cities. This will give you a better idea of the salary you should aim for to match the lifestyle you have in mind. 

Fred Flintstone counting up on an abacus. A joke to reference working out the cost of living related to relocating to the Netherlands.

Consider the 30% Ruling 

As a highly skilled worker moving to the Netherlands, you might qualify for the 30% ruling, a tax reduction benefit that lasts for the first five years of your work.  

Under the new guidelines, you receive the full 30% reduction for the first 20 months. After that, the reduction drops to 20% for the next 20 months and finally to 10% for the last 20 months of the five-year period. You can check how this might affect your income here.

Check Visa Requirements 

If you’re planning to move to the Netherlands for work, you’ll need an MVV (long-stay visa) to get started. You can pick this up from any country with a Dutch consulate where you’ve been legally staying for at least 90 days.  

Once you’re in the Netherlands, you’ll get your Highly Skilled Migrant Visa (HSMV). Both of these applications will be handled together with your future employer. The HSMV is a great option for highly skilled workers, but remember to check if you meet the minimum salary requirements, as they vary depending on your age.  

Prepare for Fixed Term Contracts 

Fixed-term contracts are common in the Netherlands, but don’t worry—they’re usually extended or renewed. It’s just a different way of doing things here! 

Know Your Holiday Allowance 

By law, Dutch employees are entitled to an 8% holiday allowance on top of their base salary. Sometimes job ads include this in the base salary, so be sure to clarify. 

Part Two: After Securing a Position 


If you need a visa, your employer will help with the application process. It might take around six weeks, and sometimes, you might need to collect it from the Dutch embassy in your home country. 

Travel Arrangements 

Once your start date and visa are confirmed, it’s time to book your travel!

Some employers might help out with relocation costs, so it’s worth asking. Make sure to check travel expenses properly before you decide on anything. 

Finding Accommodation 

Your company may offer temporary housing or help to find a place to live. If not, consider temporary solutions like Airbnb. Local contacts can also give you great tips on the best places to live. 

Setting Up Banking 

It’s essential to have a Dutch bank account to be able to rent an apartment or sort out other essentials. Check out what different banks have to offer in terms of options and perks to find the one that suits you best. 

Preparing for Onboarding 

Check whether your onboarding will be remote or in person. Get any materials you need from your new employer and prep by reading up on the company’s tech, processes, and rules. 

Part Three: Preparing to Move 

You’re almost there! As you prepare for your big move, a reminder of these tips:

Alexis Rose from Schitt's Creek attempting to close her suitcase to close it. GIF is a joke about having to pack to relocate to the Netherlands.

  • Double-check your visa and travel arrangements. 
  • Confirm your first accommodation and banking setup. 
  • Get ready for onboarding and familiarise yourself with your new job’s requirements. 

With these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth and enjoyable transition!  

You can find a checklist to keep track of your progress here, alternatively, get in touch & find out how we can help you. 

contact our team.