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Things to Know Before Moving to the Netherlands



The success of expatriation in the Netherlands is undeniable, especially among Europeans, mainly in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

The country is indeed very attractive thanks to its solid economy, its exemplary level of security, and its renowned quality of life. But before leaving, there are a few things you should know.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Moving to the Netherlands

Among the most often reported advantages of moving to the Netherlands, one finds first a very pleasant quality of life, whether for students or families with children.

With its parks, canals, and soft traffic in the heart of the cities, the Netherlands offers a generally very appreciated environment.

Another positive point: a dynamic job market for qualified profiles, and favorable working conditions.

Many large international companies are present in the country’s major cities, and the unemployment rate is lower than the European average.

As for salaries in the Netherlands, they are rather interesting, and working hours are generally flexible and adaptable.

But not everything is idyllic. Housing, in particular, is one of the most dreaded issues when choosing to expatriate to the Netherlands.

The number of offers on the market is limited and insufficient compared to the attractiveness of the country, especially in the big cities.

It is, therefore, necessary to react very quickly when accommodation is available, and the rents, especially in the big cities, are accordingly high.

Language can also be a hindrance to integration during an expatriation to the Netherlands.

Contrary to popular belief, even if it is possible to communicate in English in the Netherlands, it is very difficult to consider settling down and integrating over the long term without basic knowledge of Dutch, even in the major cities.

This is especially true in the job market, as almost all job offers are published exclusively in the local language. While English is required for many positions, and French is an asset, Dutch is still required for most positions.

Procedures for Moving to the Netherlands

As in all other countries of the European Union, expatriation to the Netherlands is very simple for European citizens from an administrative point of view.

A valid passport or identity card is all that is required to enter the country, settle down, travel, and work there freely, without any permit being required.

The only requirement, in case of a stay of more than 3 months, is to register at the town hall of one’s residence in order to obtain an identification number for public services, or burgerservicenummer (BSN).

This number will be indispensable for many procedures throughout the expatriation to the Netherlands: applying for benefits, opening a bank account, etc.

This procedure must be completed within 5 days of arrival in the country, and must be repeated each time you change your place of residence.

Europeans no longer have to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, but this may still be required by certain parties. In this case, it is sufficient to provide a letter of explanation on the status of European residents and their obligations.

For non-European citizens, it is mandatory to apply for a residence permit, as well as obtain a visa: working visa, student visa, or any other type.

Taking out Health Insurance is Mandatory When Moving to the Netherlands

Since 2006, all persons residing in the Netherlands (except for seconded workers and students) are obliged to take out basic health insurance, or Basisverzekering (ZVW law), which is managed by private Dutch insurance companies.

The choice of insurer is free but must be made within 4 months after moving to the Netherlands, and must offer a minimum coverage redefined each year by the authorities.

You should expect to pay about 100 euros per month for a basic package. There are penalties for not subscribing.

Reimbursement rates are not 100%, and vary according to the contract. There are two types:

  • The restitution policy, where the insured is free to consult the practitioner of his choice
  • The natura policy, which only allows the consultation of practitioners approved by the insurer.

It is possible to complete the guarantees and level of reimbursement of one’s basic insurance by subscribing to complementary insurance, with a Dutch insurer, or in the form of international health insurance.

This second solution is interesting because it is particularly flexible and follows the insured throughout the world, including during his stays in his country of origin.

In any case, to easily find the most suitable contract, it is possible to use a free online insurance comparator.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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