So you have reached Netherlands and you are wondering about all the essential things you need to do in your first week? Here is our quick guide on immediate steps you need to take upon arrival to the Netherlands.
Here is the list of 8 things you should know and do in your first week :
1. Collect your Resident Permit
You wish to continue living in the Netherlands, then Resident Permit is the most imporant card. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals are free to come and live/work in the country. Everyone else needs a Resident Permit.
Visit IND(Immigration and Naturalisation Service) office within 2 weeks of arrival. You have to arrange an appointment online at ind.nl
At your appointment, fingerprints will be taken and resident permit will be processed.
2. Find a place to live
The next one is to find a cosy place in the heart of The Netherlands. If you have already arranged a place before arriving to Netherlands, you can strike this step. If not, you can search the rental properties on the popular websites : funda.nl or pararius.nl
You can also visit our next blog to find out more about this topic.
Tip : If you are hiring an agent for finding you a rental property, agent can claim a fees of upto Eur 250. It is not legal to ask for a fee more than this amount.
3. Register yourself to Gemeente
Ah, wondering what is Khe-meen-te? Do not worry about pronunciation. Gemeente is the dutch word for municipality or town hall. If you are relocating from abroad to Netherlands, you must register to the town hall as a resident. This is mandatory to get the BSN number(Burger Service Nummer). BSN is required for all the communications with the city and national government.
You must contact Gemeente within 5 days of arrival to schedule an appointment. For appointment, call the city’s gemeente office. The appointment will be taken place at city office. You must have a residential address where you can register(refer point 2). You need following documents for registration :
– A valid proof of identity (Preferably a passport)
– Original and notarized copy of birth certificate(may or may not be needed. Check with Gemeente when booking an appointment)
– A document showing you have the right to live at your address. This could be either a rental contract, a letter of permission from the house owner with a copy of their ID or an official letter from a housing corporation.
You can also refer to the link below for more information.
4. Get a BSN Number
BSN number is Burger service nummer or citizen service number. It is a unique number for everyone who has dealings with Dutch government. You can and must use the citizen service number increasingly often, in dealings with your municipality, the hospital, schools, your employer or benefits agencies etc.
Once you register yourself at Gemeente, you will get the BSN number on the spot.
5. Open a Bank account
Thinking which bank should I open the account. Open a bank account with one of the leading banks of Netherlands : ABN AMRO, ING or Rabobank. Here is my tip :
– If you need a bank account to be opened with in a day, go for ING.
– If you have enough time for the bank account and enough money with your credit card to spend, you can go for ABN AMRO Bank. ABN usually takes a week to open a bank account.
You will need a BSN number, your passport/ID, proof of address such as a rental contract and proof of income – employment contract to open the account. Book an appointment via call and visit a convenient local branch to make your application.
Tip : If you plan to travel a lot, apply for a credit card as well. A lot of travel sites only accept payment from credit card.
6. Apply for a Health Insurance
If you are coming on work permit, usually your employer have applied for an insurance in advance. If not, you can also apply for the insurance in consulation with your employer or on your own. Allianz and CZ are two of insurance provider companies. Allianz for international travels, an insurance opted by a lot of employers.
The health insurance company will require an address proof, your BSN number and a bank account for direct debit payments.
You will receive a Dutch health insurance card shortly by post afterwards which will have your name, date of birth, BSN number and policy number.
Tip : CZ is the widely used health insurance in Netherlands. If you can, apply for CZ.
7. Register yourself at Huisarts
What the hell is huisarts? General Practitioners(GPs) or family doctors are called huisarts. Most GP’s will only register you as their patient, if you live in the service area of their practice. That is because your GP must be able to reach your home address within 15 minutes in emergencies. As soon as you know where you will be living, you need to register with a GP practice. You may find a suitable practice by asking other internationals or by using websites like Zorgkaart or Kiesuwhuisarts.
You will need a proff of identity, BSN number and health insurance card to register. Always call to book an appointment for huisart.
If you call the GP’s office to make an appointment, the GP’s assistant, will ask questions in order to:
– determine the urgency of your situation (and, in some cases, check if more immediate action is required)
– to check whom you would need to see (a GP or a practice assistant)
However you can call emergency number 112 but it is not adviced to call emergency for minor problems.
Tip : Also Register yourself with a pharmacy near to where you live. Your doctor’s office will then know where to send prescriptions. Huisarts are usually open during the weekdays and closed on weekends or holidays.
8. Travel Card
For local travel, you will need an OV-chipkaart. The OV-chipkaart is the payment method for public transport in the Netherlands. If you carry an OV-chipkaart with you, you no longer need to think about strip tickets or metro tickets. You load credit onto the card in Euro or add a travel product, such as a single journey, a monthly pass for commuting or a season ticket.
There are two different cards: a personal OV-chipkaart and an anonymous OV-chipkaart.
Personal OV-chipkaart : If you often travel by public transport, the personal OV-chipkaart is convenient. You can add several travel products at the same time as well as using passes and age discounts.
Anonymous OV-Chipkaart : The anonymous card is not linked to an individual. So it is not possible to add passes to the card. The anonymous card can be used by more than one person, though not at the same time. This is very convenient for a family
You can apply the OV-chikaart online at the below link :
9. Grocery Shopping
AH(Albert Heijn), Jumbo, Dirk, Lidl are popular grocery shops within Netherlands. You will find atleast one with in or closer to your area. The payment can be made with cash or Dutch debit card.