What to know about moving to the Netherlands for your partner's job

What to know about moving to the Netherlands for your partner's job

Paid partnership

In this article, Mia van Dijk from BDO discusses some important considerations for the partners of people who are moving to the Netherlands for work.

When an employee starts working in the Netherlands, the employer usually takes care of things such as work permits, residence permits, applying the 30% ruling, health insurance, etc. But what needs to be arranged for the partner who is accompanying the employee to the Netherlands?

Residence permit

The partner of the employee may need a Dutch residence permit in order to reside in the Netherlands. In general, the partner needs a residence permit when they have the nationality of a non-EU country.

Under certain conditions, the application for a residence permit of the partner can be filed together with the application of the employee, so the employee and their partner can have the permit at the same time.

Once the partner has a residence permit, the permit will be valid if they meet the conditions. The permit also has a maximum duration of five years.

Social security and health insurance

In principle, everyone who lives in the Netherlands (or who is subject to Dutch wage tax) is covered by national insurance. Employees who are covered by the Dutch social security system are also covered for the Dutch employees' insurances.

If the employee remains covered for social security in their country of residence based on the European regulation or a bilateral treaty between the Netherlands and the country of residence, the partner may also remain covered by the social security system of that country. The employee should request an A1 certificate / Certificate of Coverage.

If the employee and their partner are not covered by the Dutch social security system, they are not obligated to have Dutch health insurance but will still have the health insurance in the country that they were residing in before coming to the Netherlands. In that case, the couple can apply for a so-called S1 certificate at the insurance company in that country and apply for a Treaty Policy (Verdragspolis) with CZ in the Netherlands. This allows them to have a Dutch health insurance card,without having to pay any contribution for this insurance.

Dutch income tax

In general, all residents of the Netherlands should prepare and file the annual Dutch personal income tax return. As a Dutch tax resident, the partner of the employee is taxed on their worldwide income. Next to employment income, the assets of indirect income will be subject to taxation in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, if the partner has no income at the time of arrival in the Netherlands, they should still file an income tax return. It may be valuable for potential deductions the partner has or if they are entitled to receive (a part of) general tax credit.

Employment in the Netherlands

If the employee's partner wishes to work for an employer in the Netherlands or start their own business, however, the points mentioned above will change. The partner will then have their own status. First, an employer will check the partner's residence permit to determine if they are allowed to work in the Netherlands.

This depends on the type of residence permit that they have. The backside of a person's residence permit should state whether the person is "free" (arbeid is vrij toegestaan).

If the residence permit does not allow the person to work, then an application for a separate work permit should be filed. Thereby, the partner may be covered by the Dutch social security system and, as a result, the partner should have (regular) Dutch health insurance instead of the Treaty policy. Furthermore, the partner should report their employment income in the Dutch personal income tax return. The partner's employer will withhold wage tax and social security contributions from the wage and remit this amount to the Dutch tax authorities (Belastingdienst).

30% ruling

The 30% ruling is a tax facility for employees who are recruited from outside the Netherlands. If the partner applies for a job while they are already a resident of the Netherlands, they probably can't make use of the 30% ruling in the Netherlands. In case the partner has applied for a job when they were not yet a resident of the Netherlands, they could qualify for the 30% ruling (if the other conditions are also met).

So, when a partner accompanies an employee to the Netherlands, there are several issues to keep in mind like the residence permit, social security schemes and their tax situation. When the partner starts working for a Dutch employer or starts their own business, the situation of the partner can change.

Do you need help arranging your residence permit or have questions about taxes as an expat in the Netherlands? The team from BDO is here to help you with their knowledge of Dutch financial matters. Contact them today at

Mia van Dijk


Mia van Dijk

Mia van Dijk is working at the Amstelveen office of BDO. After studying fiscal economics and tax law at the University of Groningen she specialized in the international income...

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