Working in The Netherlands as a US Citizen – Full Guide

More than 31,000 Americans call The Netherlands their home. The Netherlands has a high quality of life, a good work/life balance,  affordable healthcare and every other European city around the corner! Here you will find all you need to know about working in The Netherlands as a US citizen

Can a U.S. Citizen work in The Netherlands?

Yes, you can! You do need to have the right paperwork to do so.

As a US citizen you need a work permit to be eligible to live and work in The Netherlands. This is often a highly skilled migrant Visa. 

A company can arrange a work permit for you. The company must be a Recognized Sponsor. Meaning it’s able to sponsor your Visa. Here you can find a list of these recognized sponsors. 

If you’re self-employed you can apply for a residence permit to live and work in The Netherlands. The DAFT residence permit is issued for two years. The minimum required business investment is 4,500 euro. 

Can I get a job in The Netherlands if I only speak English?

Yes, it’s definitely possible to get a job in The Netherlands when you only speak English. You don’t need to speak Dutch to find a job in The Netherlands. 

There are many English speaking jobs in The Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a small country and it’s common for companies to have a workforce with talent from all over the world. 

Of course there are some jobs that will be difficult to obtain without speaking Dutch. Think about a lawyer that needs to know the Dutch law. Or you will find it difficult getting hired at a company that only deals with Dutch clients. 

If you’re job hunting, always look for vacancies in English. If you do need to speak Dutch for a job it will tell you ‘Dutch is required’ or the vacancy is already written in Dutch. 

One of the easiest ways to find work in The Netherlands is through your current employer. There are many companies that are founded in The United States with offices in The Netherlands: 

  • PVH (Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein) 
  • Nike 
  • Sonos
  • Google 
  • Netflix
  • IBM 
  • Salesforce 

Find the full list here.

You can explore the possibilities with your current employer to work for the Dutch office. Your employer can help you with the paperwork and the move to The Netherlands. 

Differences in working culture

The Dutch working culture is known for its great work/life balance. It’s one of the reasons why you find many international people here. In your free time you can explore The Netherlands. Any other country in Europe is just a short flight away! 

Working Hours 

Most companies in The Netherlands have working hours from 9:00 – 17:30. And this means 17:30! At this time people close their laptops and enjoy time outside of work. 


The minimum number of holidays you’re entitled to is 20. This excludes public holidays.  Most companies offer more than this. It’s common for companies to offer 25 holidays. This means 5 weeks of vacation! 

Job Security

It’s very hard for a company in The Netherlands to lay off employees. The Dutch system supports employees and if you’re fired you can get benefits such as a few months of unemployment salary. 

Differences in Salary

There is a big difference in salaries between The United States and salaries in The Netherlands. Especially in cities such as San Francisco and New York you find salaries that are not matched in The Netherlands. On the other hand, the cost of living in these cities is way higher than in any city in The Netherlands. 

Below you can find a comparison from Numbeo. Here you can see how the prices are higher than in Amsterdam, but the purchasing power is more or less the same. 

When it comes to salary think in terms of total compensation. Even if your base salary is lower than you’re used to in The United States, you can still have an attractive total compensation through a sign-on bonus, stock options and other benefits such as health insurance. 

The Netherlands does have high taxation. If you earn less than € 73,031 a year your tax rate is 36.93%. If you earn more than € 73,031 your tax rate is 49.50%. 


Working in The Netherlands as a US Citizen – Full Guide

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