The Essentials for Expats Relocating to The Netherlands: From Visas to Housing

Read more about the essentials for expats moving to The Netherlands. All important information for expats moving to The Hague.

Moving to a new country is an adventure filled with anticipation and excitement, but it also comes with its share of challenges and paperwork. The Netherlands, with its picturesque canals, vibrant cultural scene and welcoming communities, is a popular destination for expats from around the globe. If you’re considering making this diverse country your new home, our essential checklist will guide you through the key steps for a smooth transition.

Visa and Legal Requirements

1. Visa and Residence Permit: Determine the type of visa or permit you’ll need based on your purpose of stay (work, study, family reunification). The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) website offers comprehensive guidance. Start this process early, as it can take several weeks or even months.

Finding a Home

2. Housing in The Netherlands: The Dutch housing market can be competitive, especially in larger cities. Utilize online platforms, hire a relocation agent familiar with expat needs in The Netherlands. Consider temporary accommodations while you search for the perfect place.

Zeeheldenkwartier The Hague | expat relocation the hague
Setting Up Finances

3. Bank Account: Opening a local bank account is essential for managing your finances in The Netherlands. Many banks offer expat-friendly services, with English support and the ability to open an account with just your passport and residence permit.

4. Taxes and Social Security: Familiarize yourself with the Dutch tax system and social security benefits. Registering with the Tax and Customs Administration is a crucial step upon securing employment.

Healthcare System

5. Health Insurance: Register for health insurance within four months of your arrival. Health insurance is mandatory for all residents, including expats and is key to accessing the Dutch healthcare system. For more information about the Dutch Healthcare System, click here for our other post.

Cultural Integration

6. Learning Dutch: While many Dutch people speak excellent English, learning the local language can greatly enhance your integration and everyday experiences. Look into language courses offered by community colleges, language schools or online platforms.

7. Understanding Dutch Culture: Get to know Dutch culture and social norms. The Netherlands is known for its direct communication style, work-life balance, and deep-rooted traditions. Engaging with local communities and participating in cultural events can help you settle in more comfortably.

Practical Matters

8. Registration with the Municipality: Upon finding a permanent residence, register with your local municipality to obtain your BSN (Citizen Service Number), which is necessary for employment, healthcare and more. For a direct link to The Hague’s municipality and information regarding moving and immigration, click here.

9. Utilities and Connectivity: Set up essential services such as electricity, gas, water, internet and mobile phone. Comparing providers can help you find the best deals. Did you know that we can help you with this as part of our service?

10. Public Transportation: The Netherlands boasts an efficient public transportation system. An OV-chipkaart is indispensable for travel on trams, buses, and trains across the country. For more information about the Dutch public transportation, click here.

Relocating to The Netherlands is an exciting step that opens up a world of new opportunities and experiences. By following this essential checklist, you can navigate the relocation process with confidence, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable start to your new life in this beautiful country. Remember, preparation is key and seeking assistance from expat relocation services can provide invaluable support every step of the way.