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Working as a foreign physiotherapist in the Netherlands


I am a South African Physiotherapist (Afrikaans) that would like to work in Netherland for a year or two.
Would you please advise me on which procedures I need to follow to apply for jobs as well as become eligible to work in the Netherlands?
At the moment I have no knowledge about the procedures at all.

Thank you in advance.


As a physiotherapist you must be registered to be able to perform your job. The CIBG administers the registration of healthcare professionals (like physiotherapists, dentists, doctors etc.) in the so called BIG-register, doing so on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. They also issue a Declaration of Professional Competence to care providers wishing to practise in the Netherlands on the basis of a diploma awarded in another country.

You can find more info about the register on

You will also need a residence/work permit. For more info see the website of the Dutch immigration service:


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Comments (9)
Comment by saphysiogirl on Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 at 12:51 PM
Hi! I am also from SA and qualified here, but I have a Dutch passport. What regulations would apply to me to work in The Netherlands?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Oct 17th, 2016 at 12:42 PM
If you have a Dutch passport then you don‘t need a residence permit. But you must also be registered in the BIG register after you arrive in the Netherlands if you want to work as a healthcare professional.
Comment by Mech on Mon, Dec 19th, 2016 at 5:51 AM
Im a filipino licensed physiotherapist working in one of the biggest hospital in UAE. I just wanna know how i am going to apply a job in netherlands. I am interested to work and stay in amsterdam.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Dec 30th, 2016 at 3:15 PM
You need a job offer first and then your Dutch employer must apply for a work and residence permit. A permit can be difficult to get if there are already sufficient physiotherapists either in the Netherlands or in the EU.
Comment by lipi on Mon, May 15th, 2017 at 9:08 PM
hi, I am a certified physiotherapist with masters in physiotherapy , musculoskeletal branch. I am also a certified manual therapist and taping expert. I am interested to work in Amsterdam. could you tell me how to go about the same??
Comment by Priya Versm on Thu, Jun 1st, 2017 at 9:18 PM
Hi....I am a Indian Physiotherapist working in a hospital in Delhi....I just want to know how to apply for job in Amsterdam.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Jun 13th, 2017 at 1:22 PM
You first need to find an employer who wants to contract you. To be able to work in the Netherlands you must have a work permit. See the link to the IND or contact an immigration lawyer. If you are an EU national you don‘t need a work permit. After that you need to register with the BIG so that you are recognized as a professional physiotherapist.
Comment by sanila on Thu, Aug 31st, 2017 at 6:18 AM
Hi! I am an Indian physiotherapist. I am doing my masters and it will be completed on coming December. I want to work in the Netherlands. Can u tell me what is the procedure? Do I need experience and IELTS?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Sep 26th, 2017 at 12:49 PM
Expatax doesn‘t offer immigration services, so I advise you to contact an immigration lawyer who can help you in detail with the procedure.
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