Getting settled with the Netherlands Point of Entry

A guide for international employees and employers

The secret is out – the Netherlands is a great place to work and live! The wonderful work-life balance, international environment, and great location has individuals from all over the world considering a life in the Netherlands. But where do you start? And what do you need to arrange to make sure that you, or your international employee, can begin Dutch life on the right foot?

We got together with our friends over at the Netherlands Point of Entry recently to discuss these very topics and learn more about what they do to help internationals settle in to their new home in the Netherlands.

What is the Netherlands Point of Entry?

The Netherlands Point of Entry is the first stop for international talent looking to set up shop in the Netherlands. They connect internationals with authorized facilitators who can help with the ins and outs of setting up a business or finding work, and offer personalized guidance throughout the transition process. As an executive body of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Netherlands Point of Entry rolls out the orange carpet to ensure that new workers and businesses can hit the ground running. They have extensive knowledge about all the pesky details you need to know about when immigrating from abroad and starting a career and life in the Netherlands, so they can offer tailored advice about everything from work permits to financial requirements. Their skilled team also takes the time to guide internationals through the various, and sometimes confusing, processes needed to get everything set up and ready to go.

A great new resource

This desire to provide a smooth transition and great guidance for those new to the Netherlands recently led to the creation of a wonderful resource. Drum roll please….introducing the Welcome to NL Relocation App! This app was designed to assist international newcomers (i.e. highly skilled migrants, academia, diplomats, etc.) relocating to the Netherlands for work, or as accompanying spouses, by providing an easy-to-use support and guide for all practical matters before, during, and after the big move. The best part is that the Netherlands Point of Entry worked together with the Dutch Welcome Centers in all the regions of the country to make sure to provide the most updated and relevant information, such as insights into relevant local organizations and contact information to easily connect with organisations in that specific region. These International Welcome Centers have helped thousands of internationals over the years, and what you can find in the app complements the services provided by these expert organizations perfectly, and makes the plethora of knowledge and experience that they have available to internationals in just a few clicks. Plus, offering something that we know newcomers love - a clear step-by-step guide on all matters that need to be arranged along with all the information needed to make that happen.

What can you expect as an international?

As most Undutchies know, embarking on a journey to a new country entails numerous tasks. Keeping an overview of everything that needs to be done and using Google translate or ChatGPT to sort through official Dutch websites can create a lot of frustration (believe us, we know). The Welcome to NL Relocation App is a great resource for internationals to take away some of this preparation anxiety and just follow the ready-made comprehensive guide that will lead you through every step of the process, from pre-departure arrangements, including essential immigration and travel documentation, to seamless settling-in procedures upon arrival in the Netherlands.

Every international’s journey consists of three main phases (and therefore, the app does too):

  • Before moving: It is important to know about immigration formalities, necessary travel documents, housing, whether or not you can bring your pet along, and other start-up details before you make the journey to the Netherlands.
  • Upon arrival: The formalities don’t stop when you step out of the plane. Arranging things such as your BSN, transportation, a bank account, and other daily life necessities will be number one on the priority list upon arrival.
  • Settling in: After the most important formalities are out of the way the real integration begins. You don’t want to forget about details like figuring out your driver’s license, arranging medical care, and finding ways to make new friends, so make sure not to skip this step.

As you go through the phases in the app you will find a great clickable checklist that helps you stay organized throughout the process, and information sheets to help you easily find and contact relevant organizations.

What all of us organizations that work with internationals know is that there is much more to relocating than just the initial logistics. Everyone wants to feel at home and getting established in a new community is a big part of a successful move. We hear from a lot of internationals that this process can take quite some time, especially because they do not know where to find the resources to pick up old hobbies and meet new friends. That is why the Welcome Centers and the Netherlands Point of Entry made sure to include this in the app as well. With specific suggestions you can quickly connect with regional institutions that are ready to support you along your journey. The app is also personalized to your situation and tailored to cater to your unique needs, such as including daycare options and international schooling information if you have children, or work permit information if you are coming from outside the EU.

The best part of this great new resource is the people behind the app. There are regional international welcome centers standing ready to extend further assistance and answer specific questions. Whether it's guidance or support, the Welcome to NL Relocation App and network of regional centers’ goal is to ensure that every international’s transition to the Netherlands is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Helping your international employees

For Dutch organizations, universities, and companies, the Welcome to NL Relocation App can also serve as a valuable tool to support the onboarding process for newcomers. This resource and the Welcome Centers that focus on helping internationals can facilitate the resolution of personal matters that employees may encounter while transitioning to a new country, allowing you as a company to focus on integrating new employees into their new roles and teams.

You can also help connect your employees with this tool and the local organizations to offer extra support during their ‘onboarding’ in the Netherlands. Quality of life is an important factor to keep in mind when helping any new employee integrate into the company, and this is especially applicable for those who have come from abroad and are still getting used to the way things work in a new country. Pointing employees in the right direction and making sure that they get the personalized support and advice they need on topics such as housing, healthcare, taxes, and other practical worries, will help them to feel more comfortable and to a faster integration process. This is not only good for the employee, but also creates a better atmosphere in your teams as well as a higher chance of talent retention as your employees will feel supported both on and off the job.


As we hear from internationals every day, establishing yourself in a new country is exciting and worthwhile, but can be a confusing hassle as well. It is great when there are helpful people and resources to simplify this process along the way. Luckily, there are a lot of organizations in the Netherlands that are ready and willing to help, you just need to find them. Hopefully with the help of this article, our partner page, and the Netherlands Point of Entry you are now well on your way to connecting with those organizations who will make settling into the Netherlands a whole lot easier.

Author note:

This article was written in collaboration with the Netherlands Point of Entry. The Welcome to NL Relocation App has been commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and is developed in collaboration with the International Welcome Centers in the Netherlands - The Hague International Center, Leiden International Centre, IN Amsterdam, Holland Expat Center South, International Welcome Center North, International Welcome Center Utrecht Region, Rotterdam Expat Centre, Expat Centre Maastricht Region, and Expat Center Zeeland (all content in the app is customed by the region to ensure the most relevant content for the region where the internationals will settle)

Signing up is simple and free on After filling out the form, users receive a personalized link to download the Relocation App via email. For inquiries about the Relocation App or to learn more about the Netherlands Point of Entry, please contact [email protected].

Image courtesy of Jan Bijl - Utrecht Marketing


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