Welcome to your new home. The Netherlands is a beautiful country, which despite of its small size has managed to fit in lots of must-see places. It is here, in the Dutch Lowlands, that you will meet some of the most open-minded and tolerant people.
Moving to a new country is often stressful and complicated. But don’t worry – you are not alone and there is plenty of information available. However this can often lead to more confusion. The amount of contradictions and different information I found was my personal nightmare when my family was moving from the UK to the lovely city of Arnhem, Gelderland province in The Netherlands.
The good news is that in Arnhem (FYI the “h” is silent) there is a group of active, passionate, loving and wonderful ladies who have a wealth of experiences to share and help guide you through making your home here – all the information you need with a friendly smile. So you are in the right place. Get in touch with Arnhem Together if you need any further help, or if you are looking for a playgroup for the kids or a networking event.
Upon your arrival in Arnhem the first thing you need to do if you are planning on staying for MORE THAN 4 MONTHS is to get an appointment to register in the municipality and get your BSN (burgerservicenummer – yes, the Dutch do like their long words). This will be your citizen service number and you will need it for everything – getting your salary, paying taxes, insurance, open bank account…everything. They issue you the number during your appointment – it doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes and is free of charge. If you will be living in Arnhem or the near-by area you need to make your appointment (afspraak) for first registration in the country in the Arnhem municipal court house (Arnhem Gemeente Stad House). You can follow this link to book your appointment: Afspraak ; The municipality you need to register at depends on which province you live in. For example, if you are living in Nijmegen you need to go here: Gementee Nijmegen
Or in gementee Rheden (eg. Velp) then you need to visit this site: Gementee Rheden
When you go to get your BSN you need to take your passport, birth certificate (translated and legalized), marriage certificate (divorce certificate) and proof of your new address – anything will do. You must all be present to get your BSN – you can book the appointment under one name, but specify how many people are going. If you are coming from a country outside the EU, please consult the website for all the required paperwork (Arnhem). You go to the Stad House for pretty much anything including registration needs, documents, legalization, replacing your driving license, etc.
Once you have your BSN I strongly suggest you to choose a bank and open an account. Most banks provide similar services for a small fee. The major ones are ING, RABO bank and AMRO. You may need to wait for a couple of days to get your new card in the mail. ING makes you a temporary debit card during your appointment. The debit cards here cannot be used to shop online from most overseas websites, just locally (the service is called iDEAL). Credit cards are the same as what you are used to. For your appointment bring your passport, BSN and proof of address.
With your address, BSN and bank account you can now register and choose an insurance provider, doctor (huisarts), dentist, day care, schools etc. For explanation of the health system please, see Health System.
The Netherlands has an excellent health care system. The health insurance is mandatory and is private. When you arrange it you can select a near-by doctor (huisarts), there usually are a few choices in each area and a dentist (tandarts). You can compare the insurance providers here: Click here
If you are moving with children you will receive a letter in the post a few days after you register in the municipality from the Consultatie Bureau (they follow the development of your child and arrange vaccinations). In the letter they will inform you which is your Consulatatie Bureau and your first appointment to meet you and your children.
A very handy tool in The Netherlands is what they call a ‘DIGid’. It is free of charge and all government websites are connected with it – you can see it as your digital identification that you can use for your official needs. By signing in with your DIGid you can apply easily for all entitlements and subsidies, submit your taxes, etc. Remember to keep your password safe. You can apply for yours here: Digid
This is it – you are settled! Now you just need to figure out how to order a coffee…”Ik wil een koffie graag”. Congratulations.
For information about the Health System, Education, Day cares, Housing, Car registration and taxes and other helpful tips, please check the other stories on our website.
Posted by Tsvety