Moving to the Netherlands for a Tech Job: The Ultimate Guide

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The Netherlands is beckoning, and for good reason. 

NL has long been one of the most popular job relocation destinations in the world, especially for software developers and IT professionals who seek the companies and movements that operate and develop on the cutting edge of the industry. 

With its booming tech hubs that are hungry for talent, a vibrant startup scene (70 Dutch companies showed up at CES 2024), and fantastic work-life balance, it's no wonder developers worldwide are setting their sights on this dynamic country. Since you’re reading this, the chances are you’re turning your sights here too.

Statistics show that there are 26 vacancies for every job-seeking tech worker in the country, meaning there’s an abundance of opportunity for those willing to make the move. This is backed by the results of our recent Telegram survey, which revealed that a ton of international jobseekers have the Netherlands in their sights.

If you’re ready to start a new chapter of your life, consider this guide your ultimate road map. We'll cover everything you need to know to make your Dutch tech adventure a success!


What is the Dutch Tech Scene Like?

The Netherlands is Europe's most wired country with excellent digital infrastructure, an innovative and open economy, R&D incentives, and a strong governmental focus on advancement in technology, which attracts top companies and startups around the world. 

Tech giants, including the likes of IBM, Google, Cisco, Oracle, and more have housed main European offices in the Netherlands, ensuring NL’s status as one of the best countries in tech in Europe. For tech workers such as yourself, this means there’s a fantastic variety of workplaces and opportunities here, as long as you’re willing to make the move.

And it could be a fantastic move to make. On average, the Netherlands VC investment raises several billion a year, but growth is slower than you may be used to.


Netherlands VC Investment (source)

Growth tends to be slower because the Dutch operate within longer investment cycles, meaning growth has stagnated a little, as seen by the investment figures above. 

However, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of opportunity, and there are still plenty of tech vacancies and careers around. Think of it this way, VC investment may have dropped 25% in the Netherlands from 2022 to 2023, but this is far smaller than the global decrease of 37%, or Europe’s average of 36%.

To summarise, the Netherlands is a startup and tech paradise, a magnet for people looking to make their way into some of the largest tech companies on the planet, with plenty of chances to get onto the front line of leading tech innovations.

Whether you’re a software engineer, web developer, or anybody in tech, there’s no denying your skills are in high demand and the Netherlands is calling for you to call it home.


How to Find IT Jobs with Relocation Packages

With no shortage of tech jobs out there, this raises the question of how you can put yourself in front of these opportunities. How do you find the companies who are craving the top talent, no matter where you are in the world?

That’s right, the top companies are more than happy to invest in you if you fit what they’re looking for, many offering relocation packages to help you transition to this new time in your life with ease. A win-win for everyone involved.

Well, there are several options available for finding such opportunities, mostly in the form of scanning job boards, searching the individual companies you’d like to work for and checking their career’s page, or signing up to general job vacancy platforms.

Some of the most prominent, Netherlands-based options are listed below:

Unfortunately, at present, most of the job search websites have no filter for relocation packages, so you’ll need to be proactive in narrowing down your search. To kick-start your search, some of the top Dutch companies with relocation packages include:


Also, make sure to subscribe to our Telegram channel to always stay up to date on the latest available international job opportunities, relevant news, relocation stories, and more.


How to Obtain a Work Permit in the Netherlands

Foreigners who wish to work in the Netherlands, in most cases, need to apply for a work permit. 

Only workers who are from the European Economic Area or Switzerland are permitted to work without it. If you’re a non-EU citizen, you can apply either for a Highly skilled migrant residence permit or for the EU Blue Card.

To be eligible for the Highly skilled migrant residence permit, you must meet several conditions, such as working in a high-level position, having an employment contract with a Netherlands-based employer, and meeting the salary criteria (as of 2023):

Younger than 30

30 Years and Older


Important Note: For the latest salary thresholds, always refer to the official Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) website

What’s more, your employer should also be recognised as a sponsor by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). 

Here, you can check whether your target company is on the IND list or not. Depending on your nationality, your recognised sponsor (employer) may also need to apply for a long-stay entry visa (MVV) for you. You can read more about the Highly skilled migrant residence permit on the IND website.

To be eligible for the EU Blue Card, the following set of conditions should be met:

The EU Blue Card permits mobility within the European Union after 18 months of residence in the first member state and allows you to move to another EU member country for highly qualified employment. The Dutch highly skilled migrant permit is limited to the Netherlands. 

On the other hand, higher education is required only for the EU Blue Card, while this is not the case for the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit.

After five years of legal and continuous stay in the Netherlands, both the EU Blue Card holder and the highly skilled migrant, as well as their family members, may qualify for a permanent long-term residence permit. This permit allows you to stay in the Netherlands indefinitely and gives you more freedom in the labour market.


How to Move to the Netherlands from the US

Ready to trade skyscrapers for canals and buzzing tech hubs? Relocating from the US to the Netherlands takes planning, but the rewards are huge. 

Now, let’s start with some quick facts:


And how do you actually make the move itself? We can break this down into just five easy steps.


1. It's All About the Permit


2. First Days: Official Business


3. The Digital Keys


4. Behind the Wheel


5. The Long Game: Permanent Status


And if you need more info, check out these helpful resources:


Software Engineer Salaries in the Netherlands

Like in any other country, salary offers in the Netherlands depend on many factors, including the age of the company, its financial performance, your experience level, and your skill set. 

In general, software engineer salaries in the Netherlands range from €66,023 to €115,408 per year with bonuses, according to Levels

The most recent developer salary report by WeAreDevelopers states that, on average, aspiring developers in the Netherlands make around €64,000 per annum. Salaries of senior-level developers typically range between €50,000 and €80,000. 


Taxes in the Netherlands

When it comes to taxes in the Netherlands as an expat, the simple rule to remember is that you’ll pay the same amount of tax as everyone else, depending on your status (resident, non-resident, partial-resident). If you have a temporary resident visa, you’ll be taxed as a resident.

To make things easy, the Netherlands has tax agreements with 90 other countries, meaning there’s little chance of double taxation. While you’re in the Netherlands, you’ll pay tax to the Netherlands. 

Now, the taxes themselves.

There are three main types of taxes in the Netherlands: 


Income Tax

Income tax in the Netherlands is simple.

If you earn:

Everyone who works in the Netherlands has to submit a yearly tax return and pay this tax on their income. However, it does get a little more complicated than this because there are some other tax facts to consider, broken down into “boxes.”


Payroll Tax

Payroll tax is taken by the employer from an employee's salary and consists of tax on your salary, national insurance contributions for pensions, unemployment allowance, and other Dutch benefits and allowances. 

Those contributions, taken from the salary by the employer, save employees from the need to pay them later as income tax.  You can see those above!


VAT Sales Tax

VAT sales tax, known as BTW, is sales or revenue tax, which all businesses add to the price of their products and services. 

There are three levels of this tax; 0%, 9%, and 21%. 

The 9% tariff is added on food and drinks, agricultural products, medicines, and books, while 21% is charged on all other goods and services (from education and healthcare to financial and insurance services). For most products and services, the VAT will be included in the sales price, unless you’re told otherwise.


The 30% Tax Ruling

Now, this is one of the most interesting aspects of tax if you’re planning to move to the Netherlands, and it’s a highly attractive one at that.

Known as the 30% Tax Ruling, the Netherlands has a tax advantage for highly skilled migrants (tech workers like you) who have moved to the Netherlands for a specific employment role. If you’re eligible, the rule simply states that you won’t pay over 30% of your gross salary in tax to the state.

It also means you’re exempted from paying Box 2 and Box 3 taxes (except for shareholding and real estate tax). 

Although 30% is a maximum tax ruling, it can also be less depending on different factors. The 30% tax ruling is given only once in five years and can be applied only by one employer to one specific employee; therefore, if you change your workplace, a new employer will have to reapply for a tax ruling for you. In addition, your employer should give you a non-taxable allowance that fully pays for your children's international schooling. 

You can quickly estimate your approximate after-tax paycheck in the Netherlands by using this calculator.


Cost of Living in the Netherlands

The cost of living in the Netherlands can vary, depending on which part of the country you live in.

As a capital, Amsterdam can be quite an expensive place to live, while the Hague and Rotterdam offer a cheaper cost of living. 

Naturally, the prices in smaller cities, Eindhoven and Hoofddorp, are slightly lower. 

According to Numbeo, it costs a single person around €1,023.00 to live in Amsterdam before rent, including transportation and eating out, which is about 30% less than living in New York. The cost is around €3,894.00 for a family of four without rent.

Rotterdam costs around €900.90 for a single person, and the Hague around €879.30.  Keep in mind that those numbers are approximate and that the increase in price equals a high standard of living. 

Rental prices in non-urban areas are more affordable than the ones close to the city center.


Apartment rental prices in Amsterdam vs. Rotterdam (Numbeo):

House Type



Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre

1,857.00 €

1,414.29 €

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

1,520.45 €

1,120.24 €

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre

3,049.27 €

1,881.18 €

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre

2,310.26 €

1,619.71 €


Cost of Living Examples (Numbeo)




Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)



Milk (regular), (1 liter)



Monthly Travel Pass (Regular Price)



Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)




Apartment rental prices in Eindhoven vs. Hoofddorp (Numbeo):

House Type



Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre

1,500.00 €

1,407.17 €

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

850.00 €

1,092.77 €

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre

2,000.00 €

1,994.44 €

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre

1,600.00 €

1,662.50 €


Cost of Living Examples (Numbeo)




Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)

5.25 €

5.00 €

Milk (regular), (1 liter)

1.17 €

1.22 €

Monthly Travel Pass (Regular Price)

78.50 €

145.49 €

Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

38.61 €

44.51 €


While taxis are expensive in the Netherlands, public transport is efficient and can get you anywhere you want. Purchasing OV-chipkaart is a good investment as one ticket provides you with access to all means of transport. 

28% of all trips in Holland are done by bicycle, using over 35,000km of well-maintained cycle routes, especially in Amsterdam and the Hague, up to 70% of journeys are done by bicycle, which just goes to show this mode of transport worth considering. The infrastructure is built for it.

In fact, as of 2023, 76% of Dutch people will cycle for fun, which adds up to around 700 million bicycle trips occuring in the country every year. Safe to say it’s pretty popular.

Therefore, owning a car in the Netherlands is not necessary due to a well-developed public transportation system. 

Also, the Netherlands offers a broad choice of low-cost transportation that could take you anywhere you want in Europe, which is a great advantage.


Work-Life Balance in the Netherlands

According to the OECD's Better Life Index, the Netherlands ranks top in terms of work-life balance. 

Almost 0% of employees work very long working hours, the lowest rate in the OECD, which holds an average of 11%.

An average Dutch working week is 35 hours (down three hours since 2021), with the majority of full-time positions working between 36-40 hours a week. It’s estimated that only around 8% of Dutch people work over 40 hours a week.

With these stats, it becomes clear that overtime work is rather an exception to the rule in the Dutch employment market, with a healthy work-life balance being a priority for both employers and employees. 

The legal minimum number of vacation days is four times the amount of working days per week, which is 20-25 days per year in addition to 10 public holidays.

On top of this, the Dutch work-life balance culture is the best representative of Europe, which contrasts with the American culture of workaholism and chronic overwork with just 1-2 weeks of paid vacation per year. 

To put this into perspective, it takes up to 10 years of work to earn your way up to 4 weeks of paid holidays in the US. Therefore, the Netherlands attracts a lot of talent thanks to its healthy approach to work as well as its balanced working culture.



Although it’s always better to learn some language basics of the country you’re moving to fully integrate into it, the recent English Proficiency Index ranked the Netherlands first when comparing the English skills of 100 non-English-speaking countries. 

The EU's most recent report informs that 90% of the Dutch population speaks English, which is impressive. Dutch people easily switch to English if they see that someone doesn't understand what they’re saying.



The Dutch healthcare system has been ranked in the top 3 for a few years based on the Euro Health Consumer Index, which ranks systems based on waiting time, results, generosity, and 48 other indicators. The Netherlands ranked a staggering 883 points out of the maximum 1,000 points, second only to Switzerland with 893 points. Compare this with the UK’s 761 points (15th place), France (796 points), or Germany (785 points). 

Interestingly, the lowest is Albania with 544 points and Romania with 549 points.

Moreover, the Netherlands is the only country that has stayed in the top 3 consistently since 2005.

Purchasing private health insurance is compulsory for everyone, and basic insurance should be purchased within four months of arrival in the country. There are two forms of insurance in the Netherlands:

Children under 18 years old do not pay premiums for basic insurance and are insured automatically. In addition, temporary residents from the EEA are automatically covered if they hold a European Union Health Insurance Card.


How to register for healthcare in the Netherlands?

First, you have to register with a health insurance company for which you have to provide proof of residence in the country, an identification document, and a confirmation of your employment from your employer. 

After registration, your health insurance will be valid from the moment you pay a premium.



Moving with kids? Great news! Public schools in the Netherlands are free and many offer bilingual programs (especially at the secondary level). These programs teach 30-50% of classes in English, helping your child adapt even if they don't yet speak Dutch. Trust us, they soon will with the daily exposure.


When to Consider International Schools

If Dutch language skills are a major concern, a private international school might be the best fit. While more expensive (€12,000-€24,000 annually), some receive government subsidies, lowering costs to around €3,600-€6,000.

The Dutch School System


Higher Education: Research vs. Practice


Tuition Costs


Which City to Choose for Relocation?



Amsterdam is the harbour and heart of The Netherlands, known for its historical attractions, vast art collections, endless canals, and for the special flavour of its old parts, which have been preserved well. The spirit of openness and tolerance is combined with a tradition of innovation. 

Amsterdam is the connector of Europe, uniting various destinations with one of the biggest airports in the world, Schiphol airport. Moreover, it is also a significant economic centre with major companies like Tesla Motors, Nike, and IKEA, locating their offices here and offering a great variety of employment opportunities. 

With 90% of the Dutch population speaking English fluently in Amsterdam, you may be sure that you will understand and be understood here easily.


The Hague

The Hague is considered to be a political centre of the Netherlands since it is a seat of the Dutch government and as "The City of Peace and Justice" is a home base to 130 international organisations in the sphere of peaceful administration like Europol, Eurojust, the United Nations.

Therefore, the city attracted over 300 international companies, with Shell, AEGON, KPN being among the biggest. 

On the other hand, The Hague is the largest city by the sea in the Netherlands, and the greenest city in Europe, so natural beauties attract many migrants to stay in The Hague.



Rotterdam presents a fresh view of the Netherlands with youthful architecture and urban design, partly because it was completely rebuilt after World War II. It is also the largest port in Europe, which unites great opportunities in the shipping, trade, energy, and logistics sectors. 

Beyond the fact that Rotterdam is home to diverse street food markets and an advanced café culture, the city can boast with excellent transport system with great trams, buses, and metro connections. 

Moreover, the city has excellent rail links with the rest of Europe, and with Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport just an hour away, all destinations are in the palm of your hand.


 Move to the Netherlands

To sum up, the Netherlands is a unique relocation destination that offers a very beneficial environment for IT specialists with a 30% tax ruling, excellent work-life balance, and outstanding standard of living. If this article inspired you to consider the Netherlands as your work abroad spot, be sure to check out our list of available tech jobs in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. All of those roles come with relocation assistance!

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