The Hague is known as an important city in the Netherlands and the EU, full of great possibilities in international law. Before you move to The Hague, which is the largest city in the Netherlands, you should read this article!
If you move to The Hague, you will live in the political centre of the Netherlands and the EU. Various international organizations such as Europol, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court are located in this city.
Even if Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, The Hague is the city where the government and the Dutch monarch are located in. When you move to The Hague, you will be impressed by the city’s historical atmosphere. It is also known for its great transport connections to other Dutch cities, as well as its vicinity to the sea.
Since January 2015, the region around The Hague is a part of The Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area, which is part of a megalopolis that includes all major cities in the Netherlands. This economic cooperation makes this area even more attractive to international business. There are currently about 2.2 million residents from 175 countries living in this metropolitan region.
Facts and Data
The Hague has been named the legal capital of the world by former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Due to the international organizations and businesses having offices and headquarters in this city.
These companies offer many jobs, which additionally attracts new residents. There are for example the head offices of Shell, Siemens or Nationale Nederlanden.
The Hague served as the capital of the Netherlands from 1588 until 1806: after the French Revolution, the Netherlands provisionally became a French satellite state in Napoleon’s empire, and Amsterdam the capital and remains so to this day. However, after leaving the Netherlands by the French, the government returned to The Hague.
The Hague: Visas and Permits for Immigrants
Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland are excluded from obtaining an entry visa and are free to travel to the Netherlands whenever they wish. However, citizens of other countries still need to apply for a visa before travelling to the Schengen area.
Remember: even if you don’t need a visa to enter the country, you will still need to register locally.
These, who want to stay more than 90 days in the Netherlands and come from countries outside the EU or EEA need a provisional residence permit (MVV). Only citizens from Australia, Canada, USA, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand do not need the MVV but can apply for residence within three months upon arrival to the country.
If you apply for a permanent residence permit, remember that you will probably have to take the Dutch Civic Integration Exam. You should therefore learn about Dutch history and culture and learn some fundamental language skills. However, this doesn’t apply to people who only want a temporary permit.
Whether you will need a work permit to work in the Netherlands depends on the reason why you are moving there. Some people only need one permission (GVVA) to live and work in the Netherlands. Others will also need to apply additionally for a work permit (TWV).
Highly Skilled Migrants
So-called Highly Skilled Migrants belong to the first category and their visa application and residence permit automatically include the work permit. As highly skilled migrants are usually considered people who:
- Have an employment agreement with a company from the Netherlands.
- Their new employer is officially a visa sponsor.
- Meet the minimum income demands: under the age of 30, a monthly gross income of more than 3, 170 EUR. Candidates over 30 have to earn at least 4,324 ER a month (data from 2017).
- Have a salary, which is following the local market conditions.
If you meet the requirements, your employer will be your sponsor and will start the application process.
To this category belong these people who:
- Earn enough money to be self-sufficient. Their gross income is at least as high as the minimum wage. In 2017, it was 1,565.40 EUR a month (excluding the obligatory 8% holiday allowance).
- Their future company is officially registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
Those who belong to this category often need only a single permit. They have to apply for this document through the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service). Subsequently, the Dutch Employees Insurance Agency (UWV) will decide on granting the work permit.
If you can’t apply for a single permit for any reason, your future employer has to apply individually for a work permit first. Then the UWV will grant or deny the application, depending on the Dutch labour market conditions.
The EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is a new type of visa, which is dedicated to highly skilled workers from other countries than the EU or EEA. It aims to make it easier for foreigners to live in the EU.
However, applicants need to complete higher education courses of at least three years and have an employment agreement for at least 65,655.36 EUR in gross income (data from 2017).
It is easier for the EU Blue Card holders and their families to move to another EU country after the first 18 months. After legally living in the EU on an EU Blue Card for five years (at least two of them in the Netherlands), immigrants can apply for a permanent residence permit.
The Blue Card can be issued for maximally four years but can be renewed if someone still has an employment contract with a Dutch company and meets the salary guidelines.
Every immigrant, regardless of their nationality, has to register their stay (if it should be longer than three months) to a relevant municipal administration. This involves citizens from EU or EEA countries. The registration requirements may differ depending on the purpose of the stay. Usually, the following documents should be submitted upon registration:
- a valid ID/passport
- a lately issued birth certificate or marriage certificate
- proof of legal residence (for example a valid residence permit)
- proof of residence (for example a sales or rental contract of your apartment)
Important: documents issued in a different language may have to be officially translated.
In The Hague, highly skilled migrants often can have this procedure arranged by their employer. In this case, they should talk to their employer’s HR department to get more information.
Transport in The Hague
The Hague has 12 tram lines and 8 bus routes, which connect different districts of the city. Besides, the RandstadRail offers a subway connection to Rotterdam, it’s an excellent choice for those who do not want to or can’t travel by car. For journeys outside of The Hague, the best option is taking the train.
Similar to Amsterdam, The Hague is popular among cyclists. It is not a huge metropolis, so you can reach many destinations by bike, and it’s often an easier and faster way than by car because many main streets have bike paths.