Moving to the Netherlands from India
Are you an expat from India planning to move to the Netherlands soon? Then it’s a good idea to do some research about the Netherlands beforehand. India and the Netherlands differ from each other in many aspects, including culture, religion, and mentality. To get you started, we have written a useful blog especially for Indian expats. You can read about the history of the Netherlands, what to pay attention to when you move here, whether you need a visa, how to apply for a residence permit, what the cultural differences are and how you can, for example, integrate into the Netherlands.
What is the history of the Netherlands?
When you move to the Netherlands as an expat, it is of course nice to know a little bit about the history of the Netherlands. Therefore, we would like to give you a short but concise summary of the Dutch history. Did you know that the Netherlands became independent from Spain in 1581? The recognition of independence lasted until 1648. In that year the Treaty of Peace was signed in Münster. Only when this treaty was signed did the Thirty Years’ and Eighty Years’ War come to an end. After the independence of the Netherlands, the Seven United Provinces were established. This consisted of Holland, Zeeland, Groningen, Friesland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Gelderland. There was economic growth in the Netherlands until World War I and World War II occurred. In these wars, the Netherlands did not take sides.
However, with the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940, the Netherlands began to play a larger role in World War II. The Dutch royal family and government fled to England in World War II. The Netherlands was liberated by the Canadians in 1945. The United States offered help to the Netherlands after World War II to get the country back on its feet. The Netherlands emerged as a liberal country and the economy went through a nice growth. Holland is known for their trading history, arts and academic achievements.
If you are not from the Schengen area, there are certain conditions under which you can come to work in the Netherlands. It is important that you have a sponsor or employer in the Netherlands in advance, who will bring you to the Netherlands to work for them at their own request. Some groups of expats find it easier to come and work in the Netherlands. Think of the highly educated knowledge migrants, who for example come to do scientific research in the Netherlands. Artists, students, employees who are transferred to the Netherlands within an organization, cross-border service providers and non-European students who come to the Netherlands for an internship can get their papers in order more easily.
The easiest way is to first find a job in the Netherlands, so your Dutch employer can help you get the right papers. That way, your life as an expat in the Netherlands will be less complicated. There are all kinds of different permits in circulation, all with different purposes of stay. Together with your Dutch employer, you can find out which residence permit for employment you need to apply for from the IND.
Do you need a visa if you move from India to the Netherlands?
Are you planning to come to the Netherlands for a certain period of time and you do not have a European, Norwegian, Swiss, Liechtenstein or Icelandic nationality? Then you need a Schengen visa at least for a stay of less than 90 days in the Netherlands. The Schengen visa allows you to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days. These 90 days apply to a period of 180 days in a row. After the 180-day period, you must apply for a new Schengen visa. Do you not need a Schengen visa? Then you can check the website of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) to see how you can stay legally in the Netherlands.
How can you apply for a residence permit when you come to the Netherlands?
Before you can work in the Netherlands as an expat from India, it is important that you meet several conditions. First, it is important that you already have a job and an employer in the Netherlands before you arrive. An employment contract with your employer or a research institution must be presented. In addition, your Dutch employer must be known an IND recognized sponsor. The employer can ensure this by registering with the public register for recognised sponsors. Furthermore, the agreed salary must be in line with the market and you must earn enough money to live on in the Netherlands and you may not earn less than the statutory minimum wage.
The easy thing about a residence permit with work permit is that your Dutch employer can apply for this online for you.
What are the cultural differences?
In Europe and therefore in the Netherlands, you will experience a culture shock from India. The culture, architecture and way of life is very different from India. It is therefore a good idea to prepare well in advance for what you can expect from the Netherlands. What are the most important rules, what does the landscape look like? What basic phrases can you prepare so that you can make some progress with the Dutch language etc.? A good preparation is half the battle and ensures that you don’t end up in the unknown. Furthermore, the Netherlands has a multicultural society and is used to having many expat and non-Dutch people living there. The great thing is that in the Netherlands, you are often held in your own esteem. If you want to express your Indian culture and religion in the Netherlands, you are free to do so.
How can you best integrate as a newcomer?
Did you know that there are rules in the Netherlands which oblige some groups to integrate into the Netherlands? It depends on your nationality whether the obligation to integrate applies to you. In any case, you are not obliged to integrate if you come from a European country, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. Are you younger than 18 or older than the pensionable age in the Netherlands? If so, you are not obliged to register either. Have you lived in the Netherlands for 8 years or more while you were subject to compulsory education? In that case, you are not subject to the obligation to integrate either.
If you have Dutch diplomas, proof of education in Dutch, or certificates proving that you have attained a certain level in the Dutch language, you are not obliged to participate in a civic integration programme. Furthermore, expats or students who are staying in the Netherlands temporarily do not have to register. Do you not belong to one of the above-mentioned exceptions? Then you are subject to the obligation to integrate. You can register to follow a civic integration course. Would you rather do it yourself? Then you can also choose the self-study option. You are considered to be a local citizen if you pass the civic integration examination. Sometimes, you may also be required to pass a state examination in Dutch.
As an immigrant, you will have three years to complete and pass the integration process. When you come to the Netherlands as an immigrant, you will automatically receive a letter from DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) with more information on your integration process.