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Formalities, taxation & insurances

There are many formalities involved in moving to another country. These vary depending on your nationality, family structure and work situation. Some planning will be involved based on these factors, so please consult your HR Manager, local office and your local Dutch Embassy if unsure. There are also several private and public organizations, such as Holland Expat Center South, which are here to provide you support during all stages of the process of both moving and settling into another country.

Visa and residence permit

If you wish to come to the Netherlands for more than 90 days, you have to apply for a Provisional Residence permit (mvv) and/or a residence permit at the Immigration & Naturalization Service (IND) in the Netherlands. An mvv is a visa that allows you entry to the Netherlands. You or your sponsor (i.e. the person or organization responsible for your coming to the Netherlands) apply for an mvv and a residence permit at the same time. This is called the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV procedure).

Not everyone needs an mvv to apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands. Citizens of the following countries are exempt from this requirement: EU/EEA member states, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the United Sates, South Korea and Vatican City. In addition, specific circumstances exist for which an mvv is not required. However, the residence permit is required for all non-EU citizens who wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 3 months.

Please have a look at the website of the IND for an overview of the exemptions and the various procedures (both with and without an mvv).

Work permit

EU citizens
People from another EU member state, the European Economic Area (except for Croatia) or Switzerland do not need a work permit to be able to work in the Netherlands.

Citizens of Croatia are not able to work in the Netherlands without an employer securing a ´tewerkstellingsvergunning´ (work permit) for their employee from the Dutch employment authorities (CWI).

Non-EU citizens
In general, all non-EU citizens are required to have a work permit if they want to work in the Netherlands. Work permits in the Netherlands are employer and job-specific and can only be applied for by the employer.

Once the work permit request is submitted, the application should usually take no more than five weeks to be processed. If a work permit is required, your visa and/or residence permit application will depend on the issuing of the work permit.

In recent years, the Netherlands has also established several residence statuses that allow people to enter, reside and work without the requirement of a work permit. Highly skilled migrants, for example, do not need a work permit, in this case a residence permit (and mvv if required) suffices. For more information on what applies to your specific situation, please check the residence permit details on the website of the IND

Registration at the municipality and BSN

All new inhabitants of the Netherlands need to make an appointment at the local Town Hall on arriving, to be registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP). This appointment should be made within five days after your arrival in the Netherlands. Please note that you will need a legalized and translated birth certificate from your country of origin to register with the municipal authority. More information about the procedure and contact details can be found on your municipality´s website.

If you have already received your residence permit from the IND, a ´Burgerservicenummer´ (BSN) or citizen service number will be issued to you. A BSN is required for: all communication with the government; registering for an insurance plan; opening a bank account; receiving your salary and applying for benefits. In case you have not yet applied or received your residence permit, you will get a ´proof of registration´ from your municipality and the IND will notify your municipality once your request has been issued to complete your registration. Upon completion, you will receive your BSN.

For more information about all procedures, please visit the websites of the IND or Holland Expat Center South (for highly skilled migrants, scientific researchers, and their families). There is also a special tool developed by EP-Nuffic, Pathfinder, which provides you with relevant information regarding rules and regulations involved with working in the Netherlands.