Action plan

The municipalities of the Amsterdam Area, together with universities, community players and healthcare organisations, are working to establish Amsterdam as the ideal homebase for international talent. This action plan aims to shape and improve services in the city, fulfilling clear and simple goals that combine to guarantee the highest quality of life.

Fulfilling the strategy’s goals

To reach the goals laid out in the Open Amsterdam strategy, Amsterdam must:

Our motivation

Cities worldwide constantly vie to attract international companies. In this persistent state of competition, the presence of talent is a crucial factor: innovation is only possible if you have the people to drive it forwards. That’s why companies not only look at the existing workforce when considering future business locations, but also the strength of the potential workforce.

A bright future

We want to create welcoming conditions that enable businesses to attract talent to Amsterdam, and we want talent to stay. International students, graduates, employees, entrepreneurs and creatives: these are the internationals that we hope will call Amsterdam their future home. People from all over the world choose Amsterdam; most of them are young, highly educated, are middle-income earners and come to the city of their own accord. Others are students coming for their studies, not only growing into a future career but also deciding which city will provide them with the most rewarding quality of life. And then there is the group of ‘stereotypical’, traditional expats who spend a year or two in a new city before moving on. Naturally, all these internationals have high demands when it comes to the place where they choose to settle. Amsterdam must be able to match or surpass these expectations.

Making the most of our unfair advantages

Amsterdam’s appeal is unmistakable. We are known throughout the world as a beautiful, small but cosmopolitan city and our appeal is continually evolving. Iconic historical sights such as canals, 17th-century grandeur, bikes and windmills are being joined today by futuristic architectural developments, world-renowned brands associated with Amsterdam, homegrown startups making a global splash and a renewal of Amsterdams traditional entrepreneurial spirit, infused with fresh 21st-century perspectives. However, we are currently on a journey and the elements of the citys modern-day appeal can only be amplified by improving various factors, helping to establish Amsterdam as the ideal homebase for internationals.

The municipalities of the Amsterdam Area, in collaboration with its universities, colleges, research institutes, schools, community players and other key organisations, recognise this fact and are committed to establishing the region as a true go-to place for internationals – a place where they want to move to, and a place where they want to stay. This action plan aims to achieve this.

Three themes

Three themes are central to the programme for creating a welcoming climate for international talent and businesses: Education, Work and Quality of life. These themes have been determined by analysing current obstacles (through extensive scientific research, exchange with the community itself, business consulting relating to conditions for corporate locations and looking into the challenges cities face when welcoming international talent). More information about the three themes can be found on the individual pages.


  • Families and schools: provide high-quality international schools (primary and secondary) and transitional courses, and simplify access to them, accommodating international children more easily
  • International students, researchers and universities: improve the visibility of all that Amsterdam has to offer to international students and position Amsterdam as an attractive international student destination


  • Labour market access and entrepreneurship: create an ideal business climate for entrepreneurs and startups; intensify connections with regional businesses; make the labour market more transparent for internationals
  • Career progression: provide improved information about the Orientation Year scheme and job openings, better serving graduates, potential new arrivals and the partners of international employees and entrepreneurs. 

Quality of life

  • Simplify access to the Dutch healthcare system: improve the availability of English-language information and commence a health pilot to better address the needs of internationals
  • Settle in simply: improve transparency and access to (information on) housing and tenancy rights, supporting incoming international talent in settling down and feeling at home quickly and easily
  • Connect: introduce talent to the city’s key cultural institutions through the Amsterdam Salon initiative