South African looking to relocate to the Netherlands

Hi there!

I am looking to relocate to the Netherlands with my fiance. He is a Dutch citizen.

I am wondering what is the easiest and best route and has anyone had experience doing this before?
I am a teacher and was thinking this might be an easy was to enter.

Is there anyone company/lawyers who you can recommend helping with the process to make it a smooth one?

Any help and advice would be appreciated so much!


Hi Geraldine and welcome to the Forum.

At the top of this page is the link to our Handy Tools section; if you select that, you'll get access to our Expat Guides, which contains articles you may find useful in planning your journey.

To answer some of the specifics you've raised:

Fiancee.  Has no legal status in terms of immigration into the EU, so you need to get there using your own skills.  It follows that should your status change to marriage /legal partner, that things will be a lot easier.

Teacher.  This profession has legal protection in the EU and you need to ensure that your qualification is recognised there.

Lawyer.  If you have money to spend on lawyers, then fine, but providing you can tick all the boxes to get a visa and job in the Netherlands, you can probably do it yourself.

Once you've read our guides, if you have any further specific questions, please come back to us.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team


Thank you, Yes I am a qualified teacher with experience so would actually like to get a job teaching there first as well.

I will definitely go look at the forum and different topics more.

Is there perhaps a well-known ESL teaching program that you can recommend or agency that can help in the sense of finding a teaching job in the Netherlands?

Thank you so much!

I'm not a teacher, so perhaps not the best person to express an opinion on teaching.  I do know (because all my kids went to public schools in Holland), that English is taught from Elementary school onwards and so is part of the curriculum; you'll need to speak Dutch fluently to teach English to Dutch kids (and also to get through the MVV integration language exams).

The first thing you need to do is to validate your diploma; the Dutch government use an organisation called NUFFIC that will help you through this process; this link will take you to their website.  Once your diploma is validated, you can start looking for work.


've a talk with someone at the Dutch consulate

and lot of answer to your questions can be found :

read also … lands.aspx
"...My partner got his residence permit for the Netherlands this year. We are definitely satisfied with the way this is arranged in the Netherlands. Everyone at the IND was friendly, and it was completely clear to us what the conditions were for his application. My partner is from South Africa and it was not always easy to get the necessary documents from that country.

We have, for example, waited a long time to get the declaration of unmarried status. Or the Apostille that we needed, and a document also went missing. The IND kept telling us, that without these documents they could not help us. Understandably, but still a difficult situation for us. As, in the meantime, I got pregnant. And, my partner, still without a residence permit, could each time only be in the Netherlands for a maximum period of 90 days. And then he had to remain in South Africa again for 90 days...." unquote

Good luck,
Kind regards,