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11 Important Things to Know Before Moving to the Netherlands

Lekkeresluis Brug, Brouwersgracht, Amsterdam

Moving to a foreign country is like walking into the unknown, even when familiar with the locale. Moving to the Netherlands may represent a considerable culture shock if your home country does things differently, or the process might feel like you’re simply moving across the country rather than to an entirely new country.

You’ll need to accomplish some important tasks before you arrive in the Netherlands and accept the keys to your new home. I’ve learned the hard way with a few key things that I learned throughout the process.

After living in the Netherlands for over two years, I’m here to help you make the big move to the Netherlands so you can level-set expectations and embrace your home in whatever Dutch city you plan to live in.

Do you need to learn Dutch? What is necessary to ensure you are properly insured?? Should you pursue becoming a Dutch citizen? Can a Dutch employer hire you when you arrive?

Let’s dig into the answers to these questions, which should help make moving to the Netherlands a smooth, rewarding, and exciting experience.

At a Glance: What Do I Need Before Moving to the Netherlands?

Lekkeresluis Brug, Brouwersgracht, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

To move to the Netherlands, you’ll need a Dutch bank account, an iDEAL account to pay for things, a valid residence permit, a job (or a job sponsor), a place to live, a health insurance plan, and a bicycle.

Only the last item is negotiable, but you’ll also need to make arrangements to get a Netherlands citizen service number (BSN) and register with the Dutch authorities to get listed in the Personal Records Database (BRP) to ensure you are eligible to apply for the housing benefit, healthcare benefit, and childcare benefit, should your income qualify you to receive them.

The most important facets of moving to the Netherlands are the legal documents and accounts you must set up before and after your move. All the cultural, culinary, and recreational things you need to know about becoming Dutch will follow these official requirements.

Now, let’s discuss these items more in-depth so you can create a step-by-step plan for your move to the Netherlands.

1. Health Insurance is Compulsory

Centraal Station Metro Stop in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Everyone in the Netherlands must have a health insurance policy through the country’s compulsory health insurance program. The cost is less than 160 Euros a month, and the Dutch healthcare system is considered one of the best in the world.

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