Procedure Working as Doctor in the Netherlands

We have created a summary for the procedure that Doctors, with a degree from outside the EU, have to complete before they can work in the Netherlands. Mind you: this is a short version; the full procedure is explained in detail in the Dutch language on this website.

LEARN DUTCH is the most important advise that we can give!


Procedure for being able to work in the Netherlands as a doctor:

  1. Get a visa from a Dutch embassy for the Netherlands. It should be a long time stay visa; on a tourist Visa you can not work!
  2. Learn the Dutch Language. You should master the language on at least the NT2-B2 level but 'real life' shows that you will need a level of C1 or C2.
  3. Apply for the BIG registration. You will need to prepare for the following exams:
  4. The AKV exam (General Knowledge and Skills).
  5. The BI exam (Prove that your medical knowledge is up to the Dutch standards).
  6. Based on you Diploma (where you acquired it) and the results of the exams mentioned above, in most cases you will have to do internship in a Dutch University Hospital.
    Note: If your results are too poor (according to exam committee) you can not work as a doctor in the Netherlands and it stops here.
  7. After completing all steps above you can be registered to work in the Netherlands.
  8. Find a job; you have to compete with colleagues from abroad and the students from the Netherlands.

How long will the procedure take

The procedure described above will take at least 3 to 4 years but it can take much longer depending on your (language) skills.

What will it cost me

The costs of applying for the procedure above are considerable. You will have to invest at least €3000 for exam and training fees but €5000 is probably a more realistic figure! In some cases however it can go over €50.000!


The information above is to give an INDICATION of the procedure and it might change in the future. No rights can be claimed on the content of this page.

Interesting government websites regarding this matter

If you want to be sure: go to the official websites of the Dutch government.