Arrival and Registration

Welcome Abroad!

You arrived in the Netherlands. What are you expected to do next? If your stay is beyond a short visit of up to four months, you will need to register with the civil registry at your local municipality. Irrespective of your nationality, Dutch or otherwise, everyone living in The Netherlands is required to register his or her new home address. 

Civil Registry (Basisregistratie Personen)

Register your new home address with the civil registry (Basisregistrate Personen or short BRP) of your local municipality. The Dutch civil registry (BRP) serves as a national registry for a number of governmental services and population statistics. 

It is important that you register as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands as a number of services will become available to you only after you register, such as receiving your Dutch tax number (social security number or BSN), needed by your employer and the bank if you want to open a Dutch bank account. 

Social security number (BSN)

After you registered your new home address at your local municipality, you receive within two weeks a letter from the Dutch tax office (belastingdienst) at your new home address with your Dutch social security number (BSN).

How to register with the civil registry?

In most places in the Netherlands you will need to set-up an appointment to register your new address as the municipality would like to see you and your family in person. It also serves as an excellent opportunity to get to learn your new residence town of the city better. 

To register your new home address, you will need to bring with you the following information:

  • A valid passport or ID card (a driver's license is not accepted as ID)
  • Your residence permit (if applicable, either a sticker in your passport, a plastic ID card or letter from IND)
  • Your rental contract or home ownership deed
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Your marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership or divorce certificate

Upon booking your appointment you may receive additional requests for information. Please note that official documents need to be stated in Dutch, English, French or German. For other languages (especially non-latin languages) may require a translation script from a certified translator. Some documents, such as your birth certificate, may also require proof of authenticity (legalisatie) such as an apostille, which you will need to get before leaving your home country.

Expat Desk for International Arrivals

Places with a relatively large international community often run an expat desk catering specifically to new international arrivals. These expat desks can help you in English and provide a number of services at once (ons-stop shop), such as immigration, registration and tax identification (BSN).  You can also receive information about a selected number of private business partners who can provide specialist services to you. 

Expat Service DeskCity Region
Holland Expat Center SouthEindhoven
Rotterdam Expat CentreRotterdam
International Welcome Center NorthGroningen
The Hague International Centre
Den Haag
Expat Centre MaastrichtMaastricht
Expat Center East NetherlandsHengelo
Expat Desk NijmegenNijmegen

Renting in The Netherlands

If you are renting a room, apartment or house you have to register the address as your new home address. Therefore, check that it is allowed to register at the address of your rented home. Your rent should cover for the local municipal taxes as these typically are paid for by your landlord. If registering at the new rental home is not allowed by the landlord, usually to avoid increases in local taxes, you may avoid the place to avoid complications in your residency status.

Living in the Netherlands Unregistered

Remaining unregistered or registering at the wrong address is not permitted. Municipalities, such as Amsterdam, introduced fines of up to 325 euros for failing to register at the correct address. If you are registered at the wrong address, notify the municipality timely.

Registering for a tax number (BSN)

For a stay in the Netherlands shorter than four months, you are not required to be registered. However, if you need a Dutch social security number (tax number or BSN) for work or study, you can and should also register.

Employees of International Organizations, Diplomatic Missions, and Consular Posts

If you are an employee with a privilege residential status, such as employees of international organizations, diplomatic missions, and consular posts, you may be exempted from some local regulations or your local regulations may apply differently for you. Your first point of contact is the Protocol Desk of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please refer to below protocol guide for more information or contact us for more information. 

Protocol guide for international organizations

This Protocol Guide is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of our efforts to be a transparent and good host to our distinguished guests. It contains practical information based on the Dutch authorities and interpretation of the rules for privileged persons.

Download Protocol Guide International Organisations (January 2020)

Protocol guide for diplomatic missions and consular posts

This Protocol Guide is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of our efforts to be a transparent and good host to our distinguished guests. It contains practical information based on the Dutch authorities and interpretation of the rules for privileged persons.

Download Protocol Guide Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts (January 2020)

Residence Permit and Identification

Citizens from EU/EEA member states, do not need a residence permit in order to be allowed to work in the Netherlands. Once you have been in the Netherlands for more than 3 months, you should register with the IND. For more information consult the IND website . On this website, you will find a residence wizard through which you can find out about the rules for residency in the Netherlands for yourself and any family members.

Even if not directly needed, a residence permit can come in handy: sometimes employers ask for it before they enter into a contract with you, banks also ask for it when you open a bank account and other official institutions ask for this document as well. You can apply for a residence permit at the IND office nearest to where you are residing. As of 1 January, 2005, everyone aged 14 or older must be able to submit valid identification documents to prove his or her identity. If you are a national of one of the EU member states or of the European Economic Area, you can identify yourself with a passport or an EU/EEA aliens document.

If you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania you are required to apply for a residence permit (proof of lawful residence).

Blue Umbrella for Dutch tax matters

Living and working in the Netherlands for a time? We can help you with your Dutch taxes, so you don't have to deal with the Belastingdienst yourself. Whether you're employed or have a small business, we'll make your life easier and save you money.