Working Holiday Programs and casual work

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WHP one year visa agreement

The Netherlands signed a Working Holiday Programs (herafter: WHP) with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Argentina, making it possible for young adult nationals of these countries to obtain a visa for 1 year to stay in the Netherlands to get to know the Dutch society and culture, and perform casual work. Dutch young adults can do the same in these countries.

The line between legal and illegal work is thin. However, the consequences of illegal work are large

WHP visas for Dutch young adults

However, Canada has been refusing to issue WHP visas for Dutch young adults, because in the Netherlands the foreign young adults are only allowed to  perform “casual work” 12 consecutive weeks with the same employer and considers this to be to strict. 

The Dutch Secretary of State has now announced it will withdraw the 12 consecutive weeks requirement, however it did not publish a new definition of allowable casual work activities yet.

See: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2019/04/24/kamerbrief-over-het-beleid-met-betrekking-tot-het-working-holiday-program-whp-en-incidenteel-werk-voor-jongeren

The line between legal and illegal work is thin.

Although the good news is that the work position for young adults who will come to The Netherlands on a WHP permit will improve, it will need to be monitored well which work activities will become allowed. The line between legal and illegal work is thin. However, the consequences of illegal work are large: companies can receive high fines and the young adult may become illegal and in the worst case scenario be expelled.

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