Working Holiday Programme with Hong Kong

The Netherlands and Hong Kong have agreed on a Working Holiday Programme with the aim to provide wider opportunities to young people to appreciate the culture and way of life in each other’s jurisdiction, so as to enhance mutual understanding and deepen ties.

Announcement related to Working Holiday Programme (WHP) applications: The appointment system of the WHP application for the current year has been re-opened, please make your appointment by following the links below.

The scheme makes it possible for Hong Kong passport holders, between the age of 18 and 30, to spend their holidays in the Netherlands for a maximum period of twelve months, and engage in incidental employment during their holidays. It is only possible to work for the same employer for any consecutive period of 12 weeks.

The Working Holiday Programme will be effective from 1 January, 2019. Starting at that date, applications can be submitted to the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Hong Kong. The quota is set at 100 participants per annum. Qualified applications will be approved on a first-come-first-served basis by Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) of the Netherlands. Read more about the criteria and procedure below.


  • You intend primarily to holiday in the Netherlands, as the case may be, for a specific period;
  • You are aged between 18 and 30 inclusive years at the time of application;
  • You are not accompanied by dependent children;
  • You have not previously had a residence permit for exchange in the Netherlands;
  • You have a valid passport and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket;
  • You have enough funds for your maintenance during the period of initial stay in The Netherlands; and
  • You have a medical and comprehensive hospitalization insurance to remain in force throughout your stay in the Netherlands.

Application Procedure

In order to participate in the Working Holiday Programme, you need a Dutch Residence Permit.

The first step is to apply for an “Authorization for Temporary Stay” (MVV) and residence permit. You apply for the MVV and residence permit at the same time. Application must be done in person at the Netherlands Consulate General in Hong Kong. The IND decides on the application, which may take up to 90 days.

As from 1 January, 2019, the Consulate General in Hong Kong will start accepting WHP applications. Prior online appointment is required. The following documents should be submitted:

  • Completed and signed MVV application form;
  • A completed and signed information sheet: ‘Information for application for a Working Holiday’ / Please note, that this sheet is currently also valid for Hong Kong applicants, despite the fact that Hong Kong is as yet not mentioned as one of the WHP partner areas
  • Your passport, at least valid for 18 months on day of application
  • Your Hong Kong Identity Card;
  • Two passport photographs, which must meet the Dutch requirements for passport photos.
  • A copy of the holder page of passport and copies of the pages with travel stamps/visas
  • Return travel ticket or proof of sufficient financial means to purchase such a ticket.

After approval of the MVV and residence permit by the IND of the Netherlands you will be contacted by the Consulate General that you are requested to visit the Consulate General to affix the visa in your passport. Please be notified that you MUST affix your visa in your passport before you enter the Netherlands. Please do NOT enter the Netherlands without the visa.

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you have to report at the IND in the Netherlands. The IND will issue the residence permit to remain in the Netherlands for a maximum period of twelve months, with multiple entries, starting from the date the MVV becomes valid. 

More information on the Working Holiday Programme can be found here.

And on the FAQ page.

Questions on already submitted applications can be sent to the e-mail address of the IND.  

Health Insurance

Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard health insurance to cover the cost of, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication.

Birth Certificate

During your stay in the Netherlands you are required to submit a legalized birth certificate, for example as part of the registration in a municipality. Find more information on how to legalize a Hong Kong birth certificate for use in the Netherlands.