Survival Checklist for Internationals in The Netherlands
Before the fun of exploring begins, there are some essential tasks to take care of when you first land in the Netherlands.
Use this checklist alongside the information set out in Expat Survival Guide 2023 to help set up your new life in the Netherlands.
REPORT TO IMMIGRATION
You must register with the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP or Municipal Personal Records Database) at your local town hall within five days of arrival. If you need a residence permit, make an appointment with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service called IND quickly. Get ready for lots of paperwork and make sure your documents have all the right stamps.
Find out if you are eligible for the Dutch 30 percent ruling for taxes and use the services of the various expat centres to help you cut through the red tape.
OPEN A DUTCH BANK ACCOUNT
Opening a Dutch bank account will make your life easier. You’ll need your passport and/or residence permit, burgerservicenummer (BSN), proof of address, and evidence of income, such as an employment contract or payslip.
FIND A HOME
Our Housing section will help you decide whether to rent or buy, and offers tips on dealing with housing agencies and where to live in the Netherlands.
After finding your home, you’ll need to sort out a broadband connection and water, electricity and gas utilities. We list the major suppliers and several useful websites to help you get connected.
Should you send your child to a local or international school? What learning opportunities are available to expats? Get the lowdown on education (onderwijs) in the Netherlands in our Education section.
If you’ve got a work permit (or don’t need one), you’re ready to begin. Sign up with agencies that specialise in finding work for expats or start your search online. We offer job-hunting tips and information on Dutch labour law.
Did you know it is compulsory for residents to take out the Dutch health insurance basisverzekering? Our Health section guides you through the Dutch healthcare system, and explains what to do in an emergency and how to find a hospital, doctor or midwife.
Before you drive, find out about Dutch road regulations, if you need to exchange your driving licence, and how the Dutch public transport system works.
MEETING THE COMMUNITY
If you’re finding everything a little overwhelming, take heart: many others have been in the same position and made it through. Get out there, get active, and read about groups and clubs for meeting new people.
You can find more infomation about living in The Netherlands in Expat Survival Guide 2023!