Privileged expats in the Netherlands

Privileged expats in the Netherlands

Privileged expats are those internationals that have been employed at consulates, embassies or other international organisations in the Netherlands and afforded diplomatic status. Privileged expats are not considered foreigners under the Dutch Immigration Law (Vreemdelingenwet).

Special "privileged" status

As a rule, all representatives of other countries and staff of international organisations (including their families) enjoy a special "privileged" status. Privileged persons (Geprivilegieerden) are not obliged to register with the Municipal Personal Records Database (Gemeentelijke Basis Administratie - GBA)*. Nevertheless, they are strongly encouraged to since numerous governemental organisations and bodies may make use of the GBA database.

Moreover, privileged expats do not have to get registered with the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service)** since they are registered in the Probas (Protocollaire basisadministratie) system of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, their families have to appear in person (regardless of age) and bring the following official documents:

  • Valid proof of identity (not driving licence)
  • Valid residence document (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Rental contract or a purchase deed***
  • Certified copy of one’s birth certificate and if applicable, marriage or divorce certificates.

For document legalisation click here or call 070 348 5901.

Finally, privileged expats will automatically receive their Sofi number from the municipality. If a Sofi number has already been issued, the municipality should be informed immediately for avoiding double-entries. 

Useful links & notes about privileged expats in the Netherlands

Download the Protocol Guide for Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for detailed information about visa, residence permit and permanent residence status, social security, immunity, fiscal privileged and more.


* GBA / Municipal Personal Records Database (Gemeentelijke Basis Administratie) is a database containing personal information (names, address, marital status, child births, deaths etc.) about those residing in the Netherlands. GBA is administered by the Registration Office (Dienst Burgerzaken) and shared by many official organisations such as the Dutch police, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the Dutch Tax Office (Belastingdienst), the Ministry of Justice and many others. Registration in the Netherlands upon arrival and residence permits for non-privileged expats are recorded in GBA.

** Privileged expats do not need to make an appointment at the Immigration Office. In case they need to arrange a meeting, they should dial 14070 and clearly state their privileged status.

*** One may also present a copy of the owner / main occupant’s valid proof of identity.

Read also