Netherlands Work Visa Types

Can Spouse Work on a Dependent Visa in the Netherlands?

Living abroad with a spouse can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, one common concern for couples relocating to the Netherlands is whether the spouse can work on a dependent visa. In this article, we will explore the regulations and opportunities regarding spousal employment in the Netherlands. From understanding the dependent visa requirements to exploring potential work options, we will provide you with valuable information to help you make informed decisions.

Understanding the Dependent Visa in the Netherlands

When relocating to the Netherlands, many expatriates hold a valid visa or permit that allows them to work and live in the country. In most cases, their spouses or partners are eligible for a dependent visa, which enables them to reside in the Netherlands. However, the regulations regarding spousal employment vary depending on the type of visa obtained.

Eligibility Criteria for Spousal Employment

To work on a dependent visa, the spouse must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria may include having a valid dependent visa, possessing the necessary qualifications or skills for the desired job, and demonstrating proficiency in the Dutch language. Additionally, the spouse’s employment should not negatively impact the Dutch labour market.

Work Opportunities for Spouses on a Dependent Visa

Spouses on a dependent visa in the Netherlands have various work opportunities available to them. They can seek employment in both the public and private sectors, depending on their qualifications and skills. The Dutch job market offers a range of industries and sectors where spouses can find suitable employment.

Applying for a Work Permit

In some cases, spouses on a dependent visa may need to apply for a separate work permit, also known as a TWV (tewerkstellingsvergunning), to legally work in the Netherlands. This permit is generally required for non-EU citizens. The application process involves providing necessary documentation and demonstrating that the employment does not adversely affect the local job market.

Exploring Self-Employment Options

Another avenue for spouses on a dependent visa is self-employment. Setting up a business or working as a freelancer can offer flexibility and independence. However, specific regulations and requirements must be met, such as registering with the Chamber of Commerce and fulfilling tax obligations.

Networking and Job Search Tips

When searching for employment opportunities, networking plays a vital role. Building connections through professional networking platforms, attending industry events, and joining local communities can help spouses on a dependent visa to access job openings and gain insights into the Dutch job market. Additionally, utilising job search websites and agencies can expand the chances of finding suitable employment.

Balancing Work and Personal Life

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for spouses on a dependent visa. The Netherlands is known for its emphasis on work-life balance, and employees generally enjoy flexible working hours and generous parental leave. Finding the right balance between work commitments and personal life ensures a fulfilling and harmonious experience for both partners.

Accessing Social Benefits

Spouses on a dependent visa may also be entitled to certain social benefits in the Netherlands. These benefits include healthcare coverage, child benefits, and pensions. Understanding the eligibility criteria and application processes for these benefits is essential to access the support available.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in the Dutch language is often a requirement for employment in the Netherlands. While English is widely spoken, having a good command of Dutch significantly increases job prospects. Learning the language through language courses or online resources can enhance the spouse’s chances of securing employment.


Can a spouse work on a dependent visa in the Netherlands?

Yes, a spouse can work on a dependent visa in the Netherlands, provided they meet the eligibility criteria and obtain any required work permits.

Is there a limit on the number of working hours for a spouse on a dependent visa?

There is generally no limit on the number of working hours for a spouse on a dependent visa in the Netherlands.

What are the language requirements for employment?

While English is widely spoken, having a good command of the Dutch language is beneficial for employment opportunities.

Can a spouse start their own business on a dependent visa?

Yes, a spouse on a dependent visa can start their own business or work as a freelancer in the Netherlands, subject to fulfilling specific requirements.

What social benefits are available for spouses on a dependent visa?

Spouses on a dependent visa may be eligible for healthcare coverage, child benefits, and pensions, among other social benefits.

In conclusion, spouses on a dependent visa in the Netherlands have the opportunity to work and contribute to the Dutch economy. Understanding the regulations, eligibility criteria, and work options available is crucial for a successful job search. By leveraging networking opportunities, exploring self-employment options, and fulfilling any necessary requirements, spouses can make the most of their time in the Netherlands. Remember to maintain a healthy work-life balance and access the social benefits for which you may be eligible. 

Do you need a Dutch Spouse visa?

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