Netherlands Immigration Policy

The Netherlands relies on a “comprehensive approach” to migration. 

It contends that those who truly need protection must be protected.

Netherlands migration


It seeks to improve the reception and protection for refugees and displaced persons in the regions. 

The Netherlands’ approach: First, the Netherlands is seeking to achieve a better division of responsibility between countries of origin, transit, and destination in terms of the reception of refugees. This means ensuring that countries that are presently doing too little contribute more, for instance in the form of emergency aid or resettlement programmes. Second, it is important to increase refugees’ self-reliance. To achieve this, priority is being given to investments in education, and to measures that can boost employment for refugees and their host communities. Third, special attention must be paid to the most vulnerable refugees.

It encourages integration and participation of migrants in the Ducth society.

Migrants are required to partake in compulsory civic integration programmes such as language training. “Language acquisition is key in this regard: having a good command of the Dutch language is an absolute prerequisite for full participation in Dutch society,” states the Dutch Ministry of Justice.

Programmes: (Civic integration form)

Compulsory integration and learning Dutch: the integration programmes begin outside of the country in the migrants’ home country.

Compulsory integration in the Netherlands: Migrants settled in the Netherlands must take a civic integration exam. After the exam, the migrant will take training courses to have a better chance of finding work. 

They must know how to find work, how to make a hospital appointment, what kinds of schools are available (if they have children).

Bodies responsible for migration in the Netherlands

Ministry of Justice and Security (Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND): It assess applications from foreign nationals who live in the Netherlands wish to become Dutch citizens.

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

The Government provides protection only to those who truly need it and ensures that migration into our country is attuned to the needs and capacity of Dutch society.

Note: Those with mental or physical disability are not required to take the civic integration exam.

Those obliged to integrate are entitled to a government loan.

Netherlands labor code and migration/asylum

Migrant employment seekers in the Netherlands must obtain a work permit. However, exemptions are made for those working for international organizations such as the International Court and the European Space Agency where the organisation will take care of all necessary paperwork, and the citizens of the European Union nations (except Bulgaria and Romania). 

Highly skilled migrants may also be exempted.

Note:  People with a nationality of any country in the European Economic Area (EEA) do not need a work permit.