New information for EU citizens moving to the Netherlands

The Dutch Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment has released a new brochure for people living in the European Union who wish to live and work in the Netherlands.

The current rules state that people from an EU nation or Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland are able to work in the Netherlands without a resident permit or work permit.

Exceptions to this are citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, who do not need a residence permit but do need to have their employer apply for a work permit. This will apply until 1 January 2014. Also, Croatian citizens are currently only allowed to work with a work permit.

Useful information

The brochure is a thorough guide to everything someone needs to do when moving to the Netherlands and is available in English and 13 other EU languages.

It covers registering in your municipality, taking out health insurance and registering with the Department of Immigration and Naturalisation (IND).

It also offers information on obtaining your BSN (citizen service number) and SOFI (social security number). Note, however, that between the end of 2013 and mid-2014 people will be able to register as a non-resident in the personal records database.

They will have to re-register at one of the registration facilities set up in 18 municipalities and then will be issued with a BSN. The SOFI will then be abolished.

Working advice

The brochure also offers advice on how to find a job in the Netherlands.

It covers what to do if you are planning on working through a temporary employment agency with details on wages, tax and working hours.

It also offers direction on how to set up a business in the Netherlands and on going freelance (ZZP).

And, in case of bad luck, how to find out if you are eligible for the unemployment benefit and what you are entitled to should you fall ill.

The government also recommends EURES, a European organisation that has information on the Dutch labour market, vacancies, placing your CV and information on living and working conditions.

Living advice

There are also details on how to find a house in the Netherlands, along with information on municipal charges and what to do with your car.

For those people who have children, the brochure offers information and useful details on schooling, childcare and vaccinations.

It also has information on services the government offers to help you to learn Dutch, such as whom to contract for information on Dutch language courses, what multi-media self-starter language and culture packs are available and useful websites.

It has important information on what to do if you feel you are suffering from discrimination or exploitation.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

Read more



Leave a comment