So You Want To Move To Holland

Move To Holland

A few people have asked me about the process of moving to Holland and what they might need to do with in the first few days of arriving. For this reason I am going to take a break from my usual style of writing and attempt explaining a few things which might be useful.

Most of the information I am going to give will be from personal experience so I would still suggest checking other sauces of information for more details. Most companies will also help new employees with moving to the country and give them information on the essential things they need to organize upon their arrival.

The Move:
It may not be necessary to bring everything with you when you move to Holland. There are a lot of stores in the country where you can buy everything that you might need for modern life. The question you have to ask yourself is will it cost more to transport all your belongings or buy new ones?

Stores like Hema and Blokker are good for essential kitchen, bathroom, cleaning and other house hold items. Media Markt is a place where you will find lots of electronic equipment you might need and there is no shortage of clothing stores either.

A lot of Dutch towns also have second-hand (‘tweedehands’) shops if you are looking for cheap furniture and other items.

Residence Permit:
If you are a non-EU citizen one of the first things you will need to do is apply for a Residence Permit so you can stay in the country. For EU citizens a passport is enough to allow them residency in the country. Although a Residence Permit is optional for EU citizens it can still prove useful as an extra form of identification when organizing other things.

EU citizens do not require work permits. However, they do need a Sofi number to register in the tax/financial and social system (non-EU citizens also need one). This is usually straight forward and can be done by taking your passport to a local tax office and asking for a Sofi number.

Finding a House:
Finding a reasonably priced place to live in Holland is not always easy if you are looking for accommodation in Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague or Rotterdam. However it is not impossible.

If you are looking for a place to rent you will normally be asked to pay a waarborg (deposit). This can be between one and three months rent. Some employers will help new staff find a place to live (maybe as a temporary situation) if the job is the reason for them moving to the country.

Opening a Bank Account:
If you are planning to stay in Holland it is advisable to get a Dutch bank account. There are several major banks in Holland such as Rabobank, PostBank, Abn-Amro and ING Bank.

Health Insurance:
You will require health insurance when living in Holland. There are a few companies that offer different packages (from basic to premium). Some employers also have health insurance (and pension) deals that employees can join.

You will also need to register with a general practitioner in your area. Most medical insurance companies will provide you with a list of general practitioners near your home.

Basic Translation:
If you do not know anyone who speaks Dutch but need something translated Babel Fish can come in handy. However, it is not the most accurate translator so you may wish to try other means as well.

16 responses to “So You Want To Move To Holland”

  1. Bonestorm says:

    Sounds complicated to me. :p I think I’ll stay where I am and continue to get my daily dose of Holland from you.

  2. Lisi says:

    Stu, just dropping by the say HI and I’ve wanted to say this for a while, your cartoon character is sooooooo cute

  3. seo says:

    I think your info raises much more questions than it gives right answers! I suggest you call me on the phone because it would take much too much of my time to put it all in writing. BTW, it is a good effort though, but the matter is extremely complicated!

  4. Invader_Stu says:

    Bonestorm – I think it gets even more complicated for Australians

    Seo – I was afraid of that (that some of my info would be too brief) so that’s why I added a lot of links. What kind of questions does it raise instead of answer?

  5. Invader_Stu says:

    Hi Lisi. I’m glade you like my cartoons. I love your photos on your blog :)

  6. Laura says:

    Hi Stuart

    I am new to this site but will certainly come back. Can’t wait to read more observations about the Dutch.

    The VERY first thing to do if you move to any other country is to learn some words in that language. ‘Thanks’ would be very nice as are the usual greetings. And saying it in English slightly louder because ‘the foreigners don’t understand me so they must be deaf’ doesn’t count.

  7. James says:

    If you are from the US, be sure you have your birth certificate apostillated. If you want more info, you can email me…go to my blog and there you will find my gmail address.

  8. matt says:

    are you renting a room out or something stu?

  9. Kay says:

    Moving to the Netherlands is NOT difficult and was one of the best moves I have made in my 20 years of life. Just learning dutch which takes the piss, but I will achieve that!

  10. Invader_Stu says:

    Laura – I agree. It’s best to know a few words and if you get it a bit wrong the effort is usually appreciated.

    James – I think Australians have to do a few extra things as well.

    Matt – I’m renting. I have been very lucky the both times I have had to look for a place to live. Both times friends of mine were looking for a new house mate.

  11. Tina Dealy says:

    Although, I think the company is taking care of the visa, work permits, and corporate housing for 2 months. I was wondering if you knew of a good real estate agent in the Rotterdam area,,,that might be good with expacts? And what does birth certificate apostillated mean? Thanks Again

  12. Tina Dealy says:

    By the way, you are very helpful.

  13. Invader_Stu says:

    Tina Dealy – I’m afraid I don’t know an real estate but you could try asking on the Expatica forum. There might be someone there who knows. I think birth certificate apostillated is a special stamp you can get on your birth certificate for official reasons but I don’t really know much about that either I’m sorry to say.

    Kay – I feel the same way. The move to Holland was really good for me but after five years I am still trying to learn Dutch.

  14. Tina Dealy says:

    Hey Stu, where you ever able to compile a list of things that I better bring to the Netherlands…also,,,don’t laugh, but my son has a Leopard Gecko,,,do you know anything about bringing pets over? These things live for 20 years and my son should have him well into high school, hee hee thanks Tina

  15. Invader_Stu says:

    A Leopard Gecko sounds like a cool pet to me. You could try this link for information about pets:

    When I moved to Holland it was with a suitcase of clothes, a few books and my playstation. I have got most of my other stuff while here (although I did get my parents to bring over my DVD player and DVDs on their first visit).

    It’s very important that you have all your documentation but on top of that you should bring what you think is essential. You’ll have no trouble finding places that sell all the stuff you might need. I would suggest trying to find out if the place the company is giving you for the two months has all the appliances you might need so you don’t end up stuck in an empty house when you first get here.

    If you are bringing electrical appliances across you might need to get plug adapters so they fit Dutch sockets.

    If you have anymore questions feel free to email me:

  16. Rose says:

    Informative post there Stu but I think I’ll stay in Canada. LOL

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