Documents you should bring with you when moving to the Netherlands

Documents you should bring with you when moving to the Netherlands

If you’re moving to the Netherlands it might be difficult to decide what you should bring with you, especially if you are moving here temporarily to begin with. Not sure what to bring along and what to leave behind? Don't worry, we're here to help!

7 vital things you'll need for your relocation to the Netherlands

Once you have decided on what to pack in your suitcase, don’t forget to bring these important documents along with you - it will likely save you a bit of trouble if you have them to hand.

1. Your passport

It may seem like a simple thing - how could you forget such an important document? - but, if you are travelling using an ID card, you may not have your passport with you. Your passport is an important document to have, as you will need it when registering with the municipality if your residence permit is in it, as well as for various other procedures.

If you plan on travelling to another country from the Netherlands, you will need a passport to travel outside of the EEA. Within the EEA, an ID card issued by an EU country is a valid form of travel identification.

It’s important to note that those aged 13 or above should have a valid ID on them at all times. This is a requirement of residents of the Netherlands. A passport is a valid form of ID.

2. Birth certificate with apostille

To register, you will need a birth certificate. But not just any old birth certificate: one with an apostille. Having a birth certificate around is very handy; if you lose your form of ID, you still have some kind of documentation confirming who you are. If you don’t have an apostille on your certificate, you can usually get one at the embassy in your home country - so don’t forget to sort that out before you move.

3. Letter of university enrolment

To sort anything out related to studying in the Netherlands, you will often need your confirmation of enrolment as evidence. To give you an idea, think about setting up a bank account, for example. You may also need this document for insurance companies, health insurers, student associations and the like.

4. Certificates of education

Whether you are here to study or not, it is a good idea to bring your diplomas along with you. You never know, a prospective job may ask to see evidence of your educational background, or maybe you want to take a particular course and there are some prerequisites in terms of education level.

Whatever the reason, showing you have obtained certain educational diplomas will only come in handy - just don’t lose them! If you aren’t keen on the idea of bringing these documents to the Netherlands physically, make sure you scan the original and keep a copy on your computer - nowadays, evidence is usually sent digitally anyway.

5. Your work contract or CV

Another important piece of evidence you will need to have handy is your work contract (if you have one). It may not be the most important thing to bring, but it will come in handy if you have any questions about how many vacation days you get and could help if there are any misunderstandings with your employer.

If you are trying to buy a house or even move into rental housing, you may need to provide proof of income either via your work contract or a wage slip. So, in this case, having a work contract is extremely important.

If you are moving to the Netherlands without a job, make sure your CV is up-to-date and well-written. This will ensure that your job search can begin almost immediately.

6. Rental contract

If you have already found accommodation, and perhaps confirmed your income via your work contract, you will have a signed rental agreement. Bring this to the Netherlands, as you will need it to register at the municipality. And registering means you will get a citizen service number (BSN), which you then need to get health insurance, among other things.

7. Copy of your medical records and your EHIC

The Dutch healthcare system may be unfamiliar territory for many, but, put simply, to be able to see a healthcare professional, you will need Dutch health insurance - or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may suffice for a short period of time. If you don’t get Dutch health insurance, you will be fined and billed for the months you have not had it.

It may also be a good idea to bring a copy of your health records if you can, like vaccines you have received or surgeries you have had, especially if these records are non-transferable between countries. Often, such records are available at your GP in your home country.

Get ready for your new life in the Netherlands

Regardless of how long you're planning on staying in the Netherlands, there are a handful of things it's important to get sorted ahead of your move. Looking for more tips ahead of the big move? Check out our guide for newcomers, our ultimate checklist for moving to the Netherlands and our checklist for internationals students.

Do you have any other tips on what documents to bring? Let us know in the comments!

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Carrie Suhr 13:23 | 17 August 2018

Apparently you have to have divorce records and marriage certificates (from the marriage that was dissolved) also with apostille. I would love to know why this is important information and what business is it of the city I live in that I was married and divorced a million years ago.

iglockley 11:10 | 18 August 2018

And not just any birth (and marriage) certificate with an apostle. It has to have been issued within the past 3 months, which can be a challenge to obtain if you no longer live in the country where you were born. Then you have to separately get it (them) “apostled”. This can be a real challenge to do within the time limit, especially if you can’t be sure when exactly you need to submit them.