10 things you need to arrange when you move to the Netherlands

When you move to the Netherlands, it is wise to prepare well in advance. For example, you must apply for a residence permit and of course you need housing. Even once you are in the Netherlands, there are a number of important things you need to arrange. In this article we list the most important information for people who come to the Netherlands for a longer period of time.

1. Arrange a residence permit

You need a residence permit to be allowed to live in the Netherlands as a foreigner. When you also start working in the Netherlands, you usually also need a work permit. For more information about this, visit the IND website (Immigration and Naturalisation Service).

2. Look for housing

Your employer may arrange housing when you come to live in the Netherlands. In certain cases your employer is obliged to do this. Contact your employer about this if you are unsure whether this is the case.

If not, you will have to look for accommodation yourself. You can contact the municipality where you want to live or you use networks such as Expat Housing Network.

3. Register with the municipality

When you have found a house and you plan to live in that particular place of residence for more than 4 months, you must register yourself (and any family members) with the municipality where you are going to live. You do this no later than 5 days after arrival in the Netherlands. Make an appointment for this with the municipality. When you register, the municipality takes care of:

  • A citizen service number (BSN) for contact with the government. For example for healthcare or taxes.
  • Registration in the Personal Records Database (BRP) in which all residents of the Netherlands (residents) are registered.

If you are going to live in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, you cannot register with the municipality. In that case, you can register as a non-resident in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).

4. Take out health insurance

Anyone who lives or works in the Netherlands must take out basic health insurance. You are then insured for care from the basic package, such as a general practitioner or hospital. Find more information about this at the ‘Zorgverzekeringslijn’ (Health Insurance telephone line) or read more about the Dutch health care system.

5. Register with a general practitioner and dentist

In the Netherlands it is not mandatory to register with a general practitioner or dentist, but it is sensible. As soon as you need care, you can go somewhere immediately and you do not have to look for a doctor who has a place for you at that time to accept you as a patient.

6. Pay taxes

You don't actually have to arrange anything for this, but it is good to know. As soon as you live in the Netherlands and you are registered with the municipality or the BRP, you will automatically receive a letter from the ‘Belastingdienst’ (tax authorities).

7. Request any benefits from the Belastingdienst

You may be entitled to one or more benefits. A benefit is a contribution to the costs you incur. Depending on your (joint) income, your supplementary allowance will be assessed. It is about:

  • Childcare allowance if you have children who attend daycare or out-of-school care.
  • Housing benefit if you live in a rented house.
  • Health care allowance if you have Dutch health insurance.
  • Child-related budget if you have children under the age of 18.

You can apply for any allowances via the website of the Belastingdienst.

8. Apply for a DigiD

In the Netherlands you can arrange things with the government with a digital identity (DigiD). For example, with the tax authorities. You can request this via digid.nl.

9. Enroll children in school

If you have children aged 4 or older, you must enroll them at a school. In the Netherlands, children from 4 to 12 years old go to primary school. And from the age of 12 they go to secondary school. In the Netherlands, children from the age of 5 are of compulsory school age.

10. Other things to arrange

In addition to the above, there may be a number of things that you need to arrange when you start living in the Netherlands. For example:

When you have arranged everything, you are ready to live carefree in the Netherlands. Are you still looking for a job for yourself or maybe your partner? Take a look at our vacancies. We wish you a pleasant stay in our beautiful country!

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