What you need to arrange when moving to the Netherlands


If you are coming to live and work in the Netherlands, you will need to make sure you are well prepared. Allow us to give you a few tips to help you on your way.

  1. Get a residence permit

    If you are from an EU member state (or Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein) and you are moving to the Netherlands, you don’t need a residence permit.  If you are from a different country, you will need a residence permit and usually also a work permit. Your employer has to arrange the permits for you. 

  2. Find a place to live

    Most people who move to the Netherlands rent a property or a room. However, some people buy a property, taking out a mortgage to do so. If you are staying in the Netherlands for less than 6 months, this could affect the mortgage you want to take out. Find out what your options are. 

  3. Register with your local council

    If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you need to register with your local council. Make sure any family members who live with you do this too. You need to register within 5 days of moving to the Netherlands and it is free of charge. Be sure to take the following documents with you:

    • A valid passport or ID card

    • A tenancy agreement or purchase contract for your home in the Netherlands

    • Important documents from your home country, such as a marriage or birth certificate 

    • If you live in someone else’s home, you should also take with you a statement from that person confirming that you live with them and a copy of proof of their identity.

    You will then be registered in the municipal personal records database (BRP) and will be given a personal Dutch ID number (known as a BSN). You will need to specify this ID number along with other personal details when you register with a GP and open a bank account, for instance.

  4. Take out health insurance

    Health insurance is compulsory in the Netherlands and it covers you for all GP costs and some medicine and hospital costs. If you don’t have health insurance, you will have to pay all your medical bills yourself, and you will also be fined. 

    You can ask your employer if there is a group health insurance scheme you can join. This will give you a discount on your premium. If you work for a foreign employer, you can keep your health insurance cover from your home country.

  5. Request a DigiD

    In the Netherlands, you need a DigiD to log in to government and health insurer websites. The DigiD is a sort of digital passport that you can use to prove your identity online. You can use it for things like paying taxes or making a hospital appointment. Go to https://www.digid.nl/en to request your DigiD.

  6. Find out which taxes you need to pay

    When you live in the Netherlands, you need to pay income tax and social security premiums. As an expat, you may be eligible for a 30% tax facility. You may also need to pay other taxes, such as council tax to cover public facilities like roads, sewers and street lighting.

  7. Open a current account in just 5 minutes

    You can open a Dutch current account as soon as you’ve moved to the Netherlands. Very useful for receiving your salary and managing your Dutch banking. You can easily open the account using your mobile. Simply download the app, take a photo of your passport and enter the requested details. You’ll get your account number and access to online banking within 4 hours.

  8. Check your insurance

    There are various insurance policies you can take out in the Netherlands. While they aren't compulsory, it is certainly a good idea to have liability insurance and home contents insurance, for example. If you buy a property, you’ll also need home insurance.

    Don't have any insurances yet? Check out all options at ABN AMRO.

  9. Learn Dutch

    If you are an expat temporarily living in the Netherlands, you are not required to take the civic integration exam. Although most Dutch people speak English, it is a good idea for you to learn Dutch, as you will be able to communicate with people in shops and at schools more easily. There are various ways of learning Dutch. Use online resources to teach yourself or sign up for a course. Your employer can also arrange a Dutch course for you and can get a grant for this.


Other useful info

Anything else you need to arrange depends on how long you’re staying in the Netherlands and who will be staying with you. 

• Read our article about public transport in the Netherlands

• If you want to drive in the Netherlands, you will need a valid driving licence. You are also required to take out third-party liability insurance, which covers you for any damage you cause to others. Read more about driving in the Netherlands

• Once you’ve registered with the local council, you should register with a GP and dentist.

• If you have children, enrol them at a school. Children are allowed to go to school from the age of 4 years and are required to from the age of 5. More information is available at https://www.government.nl/topics/primary-education

The information on this page is a brief explanation. You can not derive any rights from this.

Moving to the Netherlands

If you're moving to the Netherlands, there are a lot of things you will have to do prior. Save yourself some time and get a personal checklist.

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Open a Dutch bank account

  • Apply in our Mobile Banking app
  • Digital identification
  • Get your account number within 4 hours