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Relocation isn't just a question of finding a house or school. It's all about creating an enjoyable life in a brand new culture for employees and their families.

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WELCOME TO THE NETHERLANDS! Moving abroad is an exhilarating, life-changing experience. That is, once the practical aspects are settled. It first can be a daunting process while you try building a new life in an unknown language and culture. Where do you begin? The Expat Survival Guide assists your first essential steps: finding a home and job, organising permits, setting up finances and healthcare, and enrolling in education. It offers practical information on getting started in the Netherlands and directs you to the people, companies and institutions that can help you along the way. As the growing pangs subside, complements this guide with relevant news in English, weekly features from experienced expats, and essential lifestyle information for getting out and about in the Netherlands. You’ll find plenty of support with our housing and job search tools, ask-the-expert service, free classifieds, A–Z listings, events, expat dating, and a thriving online community. Our goal is to provide all the information you need to settle with ease into your new Dutch lifestyle. ENJOY living in The Netherlands! "i am not a tourist" Team LIVING. WORKING. STUDYING This guide is published by "i am not a tourist" Fairs and Events in cooperation with






RELOCATION: What kind of residence permit? Expat centers; Relocation service providers.

11  SPECIAL NEEDS 14  FAMILIES: Family reunification permits; Au pairs; Childcare; Child benefits and allowances; Family activities. 18  HOUSING: Renting; Buying; Popular expat locations: Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Maastricht, The Hague, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Utrecht. 36  FINANCE: Bank accounts; Tax; Insurance; Financial and tax advisors. 45  TRANSPORT: Driving; Public transport. 50  EDUCATION: Primary, secondary and higher education; International schools. 61  EMPLOYMENT: Work permits; Employment law; Working culture; Finding a job. 74  HEALTHCARE: Health insurance; Healthcare system; Having a baby; Health services. 81  SETTING UP HOME: Utilities: gas, water, electricity; Communications: telephone mobile, internet. TV; Post offices; Emergency numbers. 85  PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 86  LISTING 96  ADVERTISERS INDEX

I Am Not A Tourist BV - Saturnusstraat 60 - unit 89 2516 AH The Hague- Netherlands Editorial: Audrey Sikes Lay Out & Design Benjamin Langman Photos: © Marketing: Marjanneke Grobben Publisher Tom Bey Advertising sales Distribution:

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publisher. Requests for permission should be addressed to I Am Not A Tourist BV, Saturnusstraat 60 - unit 89, 2516 AH The Hague, The Netherlands. I Am Not A Tourist BV makes great effort to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this guide. However, we do not take responsibility for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, which result from its use, and make no warranty of claims as to the quality or competence of businesses or professionals mentioned. Users are advised to take care when selecting professional services and to use common sense when adjusting to new life in a new country.




The Netherlands consistently ranks among the top places in the world to live and work.

It may be a small country in size, but certainly not in impact. The Netherlands is famed for its liberal social policies, maritime trading traditions, battles to hold back the sea, robust multiculturalism and leading technological communications, making Dutch lifestyle a mosaic of cultural intrigue. Living standards consistently rank high in the 2016 OECD’s Better Life Index, and the Netherlands has the third best work-life balance and high levels of employment and household wealth. Dutch children, likewise, are ranked as the happiest in the developed world, topping two surveys conducted by UNICEF.


To newcomers, Dutch society might seem open and informal, but some complex social rules are at play. Ostentatious behaviour is frowned upon, egalitarianism is valued and Dutch people ‘like to be as normal as possible’ according to Martijn de Rooij, author of The Dutch I Presume? The Dutch saying ‘doe maar gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg’ (just act normal, that’s crazy enough) is an anthem against eccentricity. No Dutch city outside Amsterdam has yet reached a million inhabitants and each retains a unique character and architectural style. The capital is something else entirely, and in terms of atmosphere and attitude,

Amsterdam and the Netherlands could be two different countries. International residents tread a well-worn path to the ‘Lowlands’. Out of a population of some 16.8 million people, more than three and a half million have a foreign background ( This multiethnic characteristic of the country’s population has historic roots stretching back several hundred years, though most rapid changes in population demographics have come about in the last 40 years. Foreign policy has impacted domestic politics in recent years, and influenced two government collapses in the space of around



• Population: 16,8 million • Density: 503/km2 (the highest in the European Union in 2016) • Monarchy: The House of Oranje-Nassau has governed the Netherlands since 1815. King Willem-Alexandar, born 1967, was crowned in 2013, along with his Argentinean wife Maxima, who serves as the queen consort. • Landscape: A fifth of the Netherlands is reclaimed from the sea (polders) and about a quarter of the country is below sea level. There are 20 national parks and a few modest hills, with the country’s highest point reaching 322 metres in Limburg. • Agricultural facts: Tiny Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products, including mostly cereals (wheat in particular), feed crops (such as fodder maize) and potatoes. The Dutch cow is a revered milk machine, producing 35 litres a day. • Media and culture: The Netherlands has the highest museum density in the world with nearly 1,000 institutions. The television program Big Brother is a Dutch invention and Paul Verhoeven is known internationally for his direction of RoboCop and Total Recall. • Design: Dutch icons of style are nurtured in the revered Design Academy Eindhoven and the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, attracting large ratios of international students. Dutch design is admired for its minimalist, quirky and often humorous qualities.

two years. The Dutch government’s traditional reliance on a coalition of two or more parties has earned it the nickname ‘the land of compromise’. The Netherlands strengthened its stance on austerity with large gains achieved by pro-European parties, the central-right liberal VVD and the social-democratic labour party PvdA. The next elections for the lower chamber of parliament are scheduled for March 2017. With Mark Rutte continuing as prime minister, a coalition with Diederik Samson’s PvdA gives the current Dutch government a comfortable majority, although further opposition support is needed to pass any laws in the Senate.

Change followed from politics to royals, with Queen Beatrix abdicating after a 33-year reign. Now the Netherlands’ biggest nation-wide party celebrates King’s Day on April 27 for the current King WillemAlexander’s birthday, the ubiquitous oranjegekte (orange madness) still takes over, where people wear orange shirts, hats, dresses and wigs to celebrate while enjoying the annual free market (vrijmarkt), as it’s the one time when people can set up shop without a trading licence.

are generally receptive, curious, cultured, and friendly. English is widely spoken – a survey by Education First ranked the Netherlands as second in the world for English proficiency as a second language – but this can be a drawback for those learning Dutch. With many international companies headquartered in the Netherlands, there are plenty of employment opportunities.

Culture and quality living combined make the Netherlands an attractive place for expats, who are an intrinsic part of the country’s knowledgebased economy. The Dutch people



SURVIVAL CHECKLIST Before the fun of exploring begins, there are some essential tasks to take care of when you first land in the Netherlands.

Use this checklist alongside the information set out in this Expat Survival Guide to help set up your new life in the Netherlands. More information is provided on REPORT TO IMMIGRATION You must register with the BRP at your local town hall within five days of arrival. If you need a residence permit, make an appointment with the IND quickly. Get ready for lots of paperwork and make sure your documents have all the right stamps.. EXPAT BENEFITS Find out if you are eligible for the Dutch 30 percent ruling for taxes and use the services of the various expat centres to help you cut through the red tape. OPEN A DUTCH BANK ACCOUNT Opening a Dutch bank account will make your life easier. You’ll need your passport and/or residence permit, burgerservicenummer (BSN), proof of address, and evidence of income, such as an employment contract or payslip. FIND A HOME Our Housing section will help you decide whether to rent or buy, and offers tips on dealing with housing agencies and where to live in the Netherlands. HOME BASICS After finding your home, you’ll need to sort out a broadband connection and water, electricity and gas utilities. We list the major suppliers and several useful websites to help you get connected.


EDUCATION Should you send your child to a local or international school? What learning opportunities are available to expats? Get the lowdown on education (onderwijs) in the Netherlands in our Education section. JOB HUNTING If you’ve got a work permit (or don’t need one), you’re ready to begin. Sign up with agencies that specialise in finding work for expats or start your search online. We offer job-hunting tips and information on Dutch labour law. HEALTH Did you know it is compulsory for residents to take out the Dutch health insurance basisverzekering? Our Health section guides you through the Dutch healthcare system, and explains what to do in an emergency and how to find a hospital, doctor or midwife. GETTING AROUND Before you drive, find out about Dutch road regulations, if you need to exchange your driving licence, and how the Dutch public transport system works. MEETING THE COMMUNITY If you’re finding everything a little overwhelming, take heart: many others have been in the same position and made it through. Get out there, get active, and read about groups and clubs for meeting new people.


Settling in, simply. We’re here to make it easier for internationals like yourself to work and register in the Amsterdam Area. Qualifying companies can start the paperwork before arrival and a single visit to the Expatcenter will complete the process. What’s more, our website has loads of valuable information on a wide range of topics including education, taxes, healthcare and housing. The cities of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere, Diemen, Haarlem, Haarlemmermeer, Hilversum and Velsen are working with the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) to bring you the Expatcenter services. To learn more please visit:


The Netherlands is a bureaucratic country and proud of it. Regulations and procedures for expats and their families can seem daunting at first, but being prepared will make the process easier and faster. First of all, ensure that your documents are in order before you approach the two main bodies involved in registration and immigration: the BRP, where you must register your details into the Dutch system, and the IND, which implements immigration policy and makes decisions on residence permits. Check that your passport is valid for the period of your stay and that marriage and birth certificates are translated into Dutch, English, French, or German and sufficiently ‘legalised’. This is generally done with the addition of an Apostille — an extra stamp on the original document required to certify foreign papers— which you obtain from the competent authority in your own country. See the Apostille section of

COMPULSORY REGISTRATION IN THE BRP: EVERYONE Formally named the GBA, the Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen in Dutch, or BRP) contains the details of everyone who lives in the Netherlands. Anyone who intends to stay in the Netherlands for more than four months (including EU/EEA/Swiss nationals) must register their details in the BRP within five days of arrival. Registration with the BRP triggers the start of other processes and proof of registration is essential for many more formalities. The information you provide is also shared between other public authorities, for example the tax and welfare offices, to help the government perform its public tasks and reduce duplicate registrations. The details you give when you register (such as your address and the size of family) determine charges for water and refuse collection, prompt the local health department






to contact you regarding checkups for your children, and determines eligibility to register for social housing. The burgerservicenummer (BSN) (which replaced the old fiscal SOFI-number) is also initiated here and you’ll need it to open a bank account, work, and claim benefits or healthcare. Once you have completed this process, you can get a printout of your details (uittreksel), which proves your residence and rights, such as being able to vote in local and European elections. Documents required include a passport (valid for a minimum period of the length of your stay), rental contract (in your name), employment contract (if applicable), and birth and marriage certificates of all family members (see above for legal format). Registration is free. You should register at your local municipality; highly skilled migrants and employees of IND ‘recognised sponsors’, however, can register at a specialised expat centre (for a fee). To register, you need to make an appointment, and all members of your family (regardless of age) must be present at the first interview. Once you’re registered, contact the IND to make an appointment regarding your residence permit (if required).

You don’t have to repeat this process every time you move house; you can generally just visit a local office (stadsdeelkantoor) to update your details, which you are legally obliged to do. You also need to de-register with the BRP when you leave the Netherlands, and give back your residence permit to the IND. IND (IMMIGRATION AND NATURALISATION) The Immigratie-en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) implements immigration policy including applications for residence permits, Dutch citizenship, visas, and asylum requests. The official policy line is ‘strict but fair’ and efforts have been made to speed up the processes involved. The website has extensive information in English, a Residence Wizard for specific circumstances, and downloadable brochures and forms. You need to make an appointment and visit an IND desk personally to be interviewed or have a sticker put in your passport. To collect a permit you also need to visit an IND desk in person. If you receive a letter stating the permit is ready, you can visit the IND desk without an appointment. Renewal forms are automatically sent to you. Office locations can be found on the IND website (www.ind. nl) or call +31 (0)88 043 0430 (call charges apply).


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A residence permit is related to the purpose of your stay.



in a single application, known as



the Entry and Residence Procedure

Your country of origin, purpose

For EU/EEA/Swiss nationals your

(TEV). Sponsors in the Netherlands,

for coming to the Netherlands

passport or ID is now evidence

such as an employee or family

(work, study, joining a spouse or

enough of your right to live and work

member, can apply for the permit

relative), income, age, and period of

in the Netherlands, but you will need

on your behalf before you arrive.

residency are some key factors in

to register at your local municipality,


determining what kind of residence

get a social number (BSN), and take


permit (verblijfsvergunning) you need

out Dutch health insurance. Any

This is an authorisation for temporary

or are eligible for. There are many

non-EU/EEA/Swiss family members,

stay that applies to migrants

variations, with individual prices,

however, must apply for a certificate

intending to stay longer than three

so reuniting family can add up.

of lawful residence and show proof

months (90 days), and can only be

Other requirements include proof of

of their relationship to you (eg.

applied for while you are outside

sufficient financial support and no

birth or marriage certificate). Croats

The Netherlands. An examination

criminal record or pending cases.

can also apply for this certificate if

covering Dutch language and society

needed – but it is not compulsory.

(Civic Integration Examination

After five years of residency, all

Abroad]) is part of the procedure but

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and

is not generally required for those

family members (who have lived

coming for employment or studies (see

with them) are eligible to apply for

below). See for

‘permanent residence for EU citizens’.

more details on the test. The MVV is

stay (for example, the length of


a sticker (valid for six months) placed

your study programme or work

‘Third country’ nationals need a

contract, or that of your partner),

residence permit to stay for more

otherwise one year is common.

than three months, and may also


After five years of legal, continuous

require a temporary permit to enter

When applying for a residence permit,

residence in the Netherlands, you

the Netherlands (MVV, see below).

there is no MVV requirement for

can apply for a permanent residence

As of June 2013, both the MVV and

nationals from EU/EEA/Switzerland

permit or consider citizenship.

residence permit can be applied for

(and their family members), Australia,

A temporary residence permit is issued initially for a set period up to a maximum of five years, and can be renewed. Residence permits are usually valid for the same length as your purpose of


in your passport and its costs vary according to the purpose of your stay.



Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, US

Dutch language, culture and society is required. The

and Vatican City. Citizens with a ‘long-term residence

main exemption is for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their

permit EC’ issued by another European Community (EC)

families. For information, check

state are also exempt, as are those who have held a Blue Card for 18 months in another EC state plus their relatives.


More exemptions are listed in the application form.



This scheme is initiated by an employer authorised

Foreigners requiring an MVV are obliged to take an

to admit highly skilled migrant applicants — the IND

integration exam before applying for their permit. There

has a list of companies on their site — and it applies to

are, however, many exemptions listed on www.ind.

jobs with a gross salary of over EUR 3,108 for under

nl. Knowledge migrants and those coming for work,

30 years old, EUR 4,240 for 30 years of age or older,

study, or exchange are exempt while on temporary

or EUR 2,228 after orientation year for graduates/

permits, as are under-18s and those who have reached

highly educated persons. These salary bands don’t

pension age. Official self-study packs are sold by The IND links to an online registration form to book your exam. The exam is

apply to medical specialist training, teaching and academic positions, which are also included under

undertaken at a Dutch embassy or consulate in your

this scheme. Sponsors of highly skilled migrants apply

country (if none, at the nearest Dutch mission).

for a residence permit (and MVV if necessary) on the

The inburgering (civic integration) legislation also obliges

worker’s behalf before they arrive. The employee can

foreigners who wish to apply for a continued or permanent

begin work once they pick up their residence permit on

residency permit to speak the language by passing an

arrival, or if it’s not ready, have obtained the ‘residence

integration exam in the Netherlands. Knowledge of the

endorsement sticker’ (verblijfsaantekening) from the IND.





GRADUATES/HIGHLY EDUCATED Foreign students who have completed a HBO/WO (higher education), Master’s or PhD in the Netherlands can file an application with the IND to remain for one year to look for a job. This also applies to Master’s and PhD students from abroad who obtained a degree in the last three years from a university listed in the top 200 of the most recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, or Academic Ranking of World Universities. During this year graduates do not need a separate work permit for employment. This visa is non-extendable, so the graduate must apply for a new residency permit if they find appropriate work, or register as self-employed in order to stay. RESIDENCY COSTS (SEPTEMBER 2016) These rates are a base only, and are subject to individual circumstances and frequent change. Refer to for details. • Join a family member/partner: EUR 233 (EUR 50 children) • Work in paid employment/highly skilled migrant (with/without MVV): EUR 881 • Study/scientific research: EUR 311

• Working holiday schemes: EUR 50 • Au pairs/exchange/graduated persons’ orientation year: EUR 622 INDEPENDENT PERMITS A non-EU national who has a residence permit based on a relationship (a Dutch partner, for example) can apply for a permit in their own right (continued residence permit) after five years of holding a Dutch permit, or less in certain situations on which the IND can advise. CHANGING PERMITS Most residence permits can be extended, although some are restricted, for example, working holiday, au pair and graduates’ orientation permits. If you switch permits (eg. residency based on a study/work permit to residency as a highly skilled migrant), you must apply for a new permit with the IND, with supporting documentation. Workers can change jobs without requiring a new residency permit, however, the IND must be notified and a new work permit obtained. IDENTIFICATION All residents over the age of 14 must carry an ID that shows their residence status (for EU/EEA nationals, a passport).


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A wide array of organisations assist people with special needs in the Netherlands.

• The Netherlands has legislation protecting the rights of people with a physical, mental, emotional, or sensory impairment that ensures equal access to social, economic and transport systems and encourages full participation in society. TRANSPORT Old Dutch cities with narrow, uneven streets and bikes parked everywhere are not brilliant terrain for those in wheelchairs, but access is improving. Help is available getting to/through Schiphol airport ( and railways (, and there’s a bureau for disabled travellers (call 030 235 7822 or register online) to request journey assistance. Your gemeente site will give local information, often in

English, for the location of disabled parking places and other access issues, or look up zorg en welzijn and gehandicapten.

The school of their choice – special or mainstream – will receive funding to cater for their needs, and the school will arrange assistance as required.


Parents can also opt for a special school, whether a speciaal basisonderwijs (SBO) for learning and behavourial support or a speciaal onderwijs (so) for specific special needs. The language of instruction is Dutch, but children from a nonDutch background can sometimes be taught in their mother tongue to help them settle in. You will find SEN teachers at international

Wherever possible, children are encouraged to attend mainstream primary schools under the ‘Going to school together’ policy. A new Inclusive Education Act (Wet Passend Onderwijs) came into effect in 2014, which requires all schools to provide equal learning opportunities for every child.




schools (public and private) where the language of instruction will be (mostly) English but you may have to fund the assistant. Contact the school directly in the first instance. For higher education, ‘education and disability’ is an expert centre ( FUNDING Many services (such as transport) are supported by government funding but there is also financial support for individual families, such as additional child benefit, healthcare and carer allowances, and adaptations to home or transport. Search the government welfare site to see if you qualify for a carer’s allowance (TOG) or a personal budget (PGB) to cover support costs. GOING OUT A combination of wheelchair accessible activities and accommodation can be found at www.accessibletravelnl. com, and restaurants from several sites (for example, Good sources for sporty types include Stichting Resa ( or www. Amsterdam has a dedicated site detailing accessible buildings:


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HOLIDAY Some campsites such as De Ruimte ( cater especially for children with special needs. Find out about accessible nature reserves and recreation areas at Staatsbosbeheer ( For farther travels, organised group trips are available at Accessible Travel Netherlands (www.accessibletravelnl. com) is a local tour operator specialising in holidays for anyone with special access needs. ASSISTANCE ORGANISATIONS (LINKS MOSTLY IN DUTCH) • ANGO: General Dutch Disability Organisation +31 (0)33 465 4343 • MEE: Support and help for living with a disability +31 (0)900 999 88 88 | • Ieder(in): Network for the chronically ill and disabled (Formally known as CG-RaaD) +31 (0)30 720 0000 | • Accessibility Foundation: Accessible internet for all +31 (0)30 239 82 70 | • Valys: Regional assisted transport +31 (0)900 9630 | • Handilinks: A useful portal with lots of related links • Dutch Autism Network: • Down Syndrome Foundation (SDS): • Deaf/blind support: • Children/teenagers support:; EXPAT CENTRES • Expatcenter Amsterdam area | World Trade Center Amsterdam F Tower, 2nd floor | Strawinskylaan 39, 1077 XW Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 254 7999 | | • Holland Expat Center South | Vestdijk 27A, 5611 CA Eindhoven +31 (0)40 238 6777 | | INFORMATION CENTRES



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‘Meeting the expat community in the Netherlands’

GET YOUR FREE TICKET AT WWW.EXPATFAIR.NL Join the biggest event for expats living, working, studying or setting up a business in the Netherlands. During this one-day event, you will find all the information you need regarding housing, education, clubs, finance, taxes, healthcare and more. Visit more than 100 exhibitors and experts, attend one of 60 presentations, enjoy live entertainment and meet 3,000 fellow expats.


Ranked top in the world for children’s well-being by UNICEF, the Netherlands is great for families. • Immigration policies have been reformed in recent years, making it easier and cheaper for family reunification in the Netherlands. • Partners or relatives in the Netherlands can apply for permits on behalf of family member(s) who live abroad. • The applications for both the entry visa (MVV) and residence permit are streamlined into one Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV), which can be lodged before family members arrive. • Partners also no longer need to be married to receive residency, although certain conditions apply. • If you need an MVV permit to enter the Netherlands, you may need to follow an integration programme, although many exemptions apply. • It is important to visit the IND website ( for the most up-to-date information and prices, as changes occur regularly. Search the ‘Residence Wizard’ and news sections.

EU/EEA/SWISS NATIONALS AND FAMILY MEMBERS You need to first register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP), after which you will get your mandatory social number (BSN). You must ensure that all appropriate documentation (marriage certificates, birth certificates for you and your children etc.) is duly stamped with an Apostille (if this is relevant for your country) and translated into Dutch, English, French or German. You will need valid passports for all family members. EU/EEA/Swiss

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nationals do not need a work permit, and no further registration is required to live in the Netherlands. Exceptions include family members who are not EU/EEA/Swiss nationals themselves. Instead, after four months, an application for ‘verification against EU law’ must be submitted to the IND to request a certificate of lawful residency. This application is compulsory and costs money for a five-year period. Visit for conditions. NON-EU/EEA/SWISS NATIONALS All other non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals must have their own residence permit. The application fee depends on your personal situation and permit type. Rates are subject to frequent change, so it is best to refer to


Partners and family members generally receive the same conditions as the relative they are joining in the Netherlands. So family members of highly skilled migrants or labour workers do not need a work permit once their residency application is approved. SIGNIFICANT CONDITIONS If you want to bring a family member to the Netherlands, you will become their ‘sponsor’. A sponsor must sign a declaration and meet certain obligations, for example, you must prove you can support your spouse or relative. The IND publishes a table of required income levels. If you, along with your family, come to the Netherlands as a highly skilled worker, your contract will be sufficient to meet the requirements regardless of the length of employment.

An au pair can stay in the Netherlands for one year for the purpose of cultural exchange and is not allowed to work outside the agreed au pair duties. The IND website ( has a section for au pairs who wish to come to the Netherlands, as well as conditions for what an au pair is allowed to do. Below are some general conditions. • Au pair: Must be over 18 and under 31; only light domestic duties to assist the host family in exchange for bed and board; maximum work 8 hours per day, 30 hours per week; two days off weekly; TB test, if necessary; no previous Dutch residence permit for exchange purposes. • Sponsor: Sufficient income to support family and au pair; daily schedule for au pair agreed




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upon in writing; au pair must be registered at same address. CHILDCARE (KINDEROPVANG) It is never too early to register your child for daycare, for instance, when you are pregnant. Government policy can be found on (in Dutch). OPTIONS • Kinderdagverblijf: Public daycare for children aged six weeks to four years old. Centres are generally open from 8am to 6–8pm. Find a local one at www.kinderopvang. net. Urban areas have a shortage so expect long waiting lists. • Private daycare: In large cities, there are private facilities offering flexible options up to 24-hour care, which are more expensive,


plus international nurseries and pre-school establishments. • Pre-school/playgroups (peuterspeelzalen): Activities and play for two- to four-year-olds. This is often more social rather than proper daycare, but if you can get a place it can be sufficient if you intend to work part-time. • Employers: Some employers have their own daycare arrangements or local daycare places, which can be cheaper. • After-school care: Some daycare centres provide this for children up to 12, but it is also provided by naschoolse opvang and buitenschoolse opvang (BSO) establishments (see www. in Dutch).

CHILD BENEFIT Parents living or working in the Netherlands with children under 18 are entitled to the kinderbijslag, a quarterly contribution to the cost of raising children from the Sociale Verzerkerings Bank (SVB). The amount depends on age, special needs, etc., but is not income-related. It can be paid into a bank account in some foreign countries (but this will take longer). Find information and a list of local offices at CHILDCARE ALLOWANCE Parents working (or studying) in the Netherlands are entitled to the childcare allowance (kinderopvangtoeslag) for children under 12. This is a contribution to the cost of childcare, whether for a childcare centre, afterschool



care or a private childminder (gastouder). The allowance can reduce childcare costs up to a maximum of 90 percent, depending on income and number of children. Contact the tax office for details.


Many changes in recent years have affected the amount and granting of childcare allowance. Since 2013, the allowance amount has been dependent on a household’s (joint) income. Childcare allowance is also capped to a set of maximum hourly rates, depending on the type of care. Both can be calculated on the government site

• Child Care Bimbola Eendrachtsstraat 151, 3012 XK Rotterdam | +31 (0)10 213 2027 |

Changes to the Dutch Childcare Act included a reduction in childcare allowance for private childminders and no allowance for live-in childminders. Private childminders need to be registered, show proof of formal training, and first-aid training is mandatory. Parents must also be in regular employment to claim allowances. Parents cannot claim allowances if they look after each other’s children or relatives provide care, and parents cannot claim more than 230 hours maximum per child, per month for all types of care. There is a cap on the maximum hours parents can declare, which is linked to the number of hours worked by the parent who works the lowest contracted number of hours. In the event of sickness, holiday, parental leave, extra training or part-time unemployment benefit, the number or hours ‘worked’ remains unchanged, as does the number of hours of childcare allowance granted. The same rules apply for both independent entrepreneurs and those employed by an organisation. If a parent amends the number of childcare hours they receive, however, they must pass the information to the Tax Office (belastingdienst) within four weeks, or incur a fine.

• Charly Cares ‘s-Gravenhekje 1A – 2nd floor, 1011 TG Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 210 2323 | CHILDCARE

FAMILY LAW • SliepenbeekVanCoolwijkVanGaalen De Lairessestraat 151, 1075 HK Amsterdam | +31 (0)88 909 4921 | Parklaan 54, 5613 BH Eindhoven | +31 (0)88 909 4900 | LEGAL ADVISORS & NOTARIES • GMW advocaten Scheveningseweg 52, 2517 KW Den Haag | +31 (0)70 361 5048 | • Mr M.J. Meijer Notarissen Keizersgracht 695–699, 1017 DW Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 531 7070 |

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Finding the perfect home is not easy in the densely populated Netherlands. Here’s how it works. • More houses have become available in the private rental sector in 2016 because the sellers’ market is hot and housing is in demand. • The Dutch social housing sector makes up 75 percent of the rental market. • Competition for attractive housing in popular areas is fierce, so house hunters need to be ready to sign quickly if they find the right home. • Expats are advised to buy only if they will be in the Netherlands for five years minimum, mainly due to the recovery of start-up costs involved in buying property (in total, around six percent of the purchase price). • If you are only here for a couple of years, renting is likely your best option, despite high rents in desirable places. RENT OR BUY? The usual advice is that if you are here for more than five years and are paying a significant rent (say EUR 1,700 a month or more), you are better off buying a house in the Netherlands. Buyers who may wish to retain the property and rent it out in the future should make sure there is a scenario whereby – given the restrictive verordening (regulation) in Amsterdam – the legal rent that they are permitted to charge can cover costs. In the past, the main incentive for potential buyers was that mortgage interest payments were tax deductible if the house was a main residence, however, the economic crisis has influenced stricter control of the mortgage market. Only interest payments for full-repayment mortgages over 30 years are tax deductible, and the maximum tax rate for deductibility will be reduced by 0.5 percent per annum until 2040.

should be noted that not all properties on intermediary real estate portals may have been screened by the listing agent. Rental properties that have less than EUR 710.68 (in 2016) base rent will fall under social housing restrictions, and most people will not qualify for these properties as they either earn too much or have no required link to the area. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

FINDING A HOME Properties to rent (te huur) and to buy (te koop) can be found on online property portals and agency websites, including, the national database of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars (NVM), or the Dutch Association of Estate agents. There are many agencies specialising in expats (be wary of those that charge a registration fee), which can steer a path through the local market. The downside of using an agency is the commission or finder’s fee. A month’s rent (plus 21 percent tax) is the going rate. On the other hand, using a reputable agent can help you to avoid renting an illegal apartment, being removed by a handhavings action, not recovering your deposit, being bound by an unreasonable contract, or paying too much. If you’re baffled by real estate terminology, you can search for English language postings on, or try with searches in six languages. It 18

“Enjoy our comfortable, spacious and fully equipped apartments in the centre of the Netherlands. All of our apartments and studio’s are situated in the historical centre of Utrecht, or within walking distance. Our apartments are located near the central station, museums, bars, restaurants and several shopping areas. Whether you are looking for an apartment for short stay or long stay, Havaa Apartments can offer you both!” Havaa Apartments P.O. Box 467 | 3500 AL Utrecht M: +31 (0)6 25090191 | T: +31 (0)30 2317100 E:


How to buy a house in the Netherlands.

Save time and trouble. Buying a house can be a smart move for expats. Interested in knowing more about tax benefits, mortgage types and monthly costs? We’ll be happy to help. Read more on and schedule a free orientation meeting with one of our mortgage advisers. At our International Client Desks we can help you in English. Or 25 other languages. So you feel at home in the Netherlands. Contact us any time. We’re here for you 24/7.


RENTING USING AN AGENT A good agent should be able to tell you about the market, city, price, quality of housing and restrictions that apply to expats, as well as arrange visits for you, negotiate with landlords, and provide a contract in English. Check their portfolio to ensure they have a range of properties to suit you. THREE HOUSING SECTORS The dominant distribution sector has rent-controlled social housing, and income status plays its part in allocation. These restrictions are applied by the local authority, of which all intermediaries should be aware of and apply in practice. Social housing is split into two sectors, depending on whether the property is privately owned, or owned by a housing corporation (woningcooperaties). • Housing corporations: While these properties are often considered to be the best value, there are many restrictions regarding who may live in them and waiting lists of up to 10 years or more are not uncommon. Only those with a total income of less than EUR 35,739 and valid residency will be eligible. • Private distribution sector: You can only rent in this sector when your total taxable household income (ie. combined income of all occupants) is EUR 43,000 or less. This includes holiday allowance and bonuses. Landlords are free to find their own tenants, and as such, residency status does not apply. • Liberalised sector: Most expats end up renting accommodation in this sector because there are fewer restrictions and housing is easier to rent. Owners with low-priced rental properties usually rent easily through their own networks. RULES AND REGULATIONS • The Dutch rental system for housing, tenants and agents is intensely regulated but not necessarily reflective of current market conditions. Base rents (kale huur) are controlled by a ‘points’ system, woningwaarderingsstelsel, which scores everything from the floor space and heating system to location and property type to determine a rental value, and whether a property falls under the regulated or


liberalised sector. However, the reality is that there are too few rental properties, which puts upwards pressure on some types of accommodation. You can find more on the points system by searching ‘huurwoning’ on or check what your property’s rent should be at • The government regulates base-rents up to EUR 710.68 a month (2016) and anything over this price is in the ‘liberalised’ sector (assuming it has the correct points/ price ratio), where rent prices are not restricted. • Signed the contract but now think you are paying too much? Contact a local huurteam or initiate a rental review on within six months of signing the lease. • Some landlords expect your employer to act as a guarantor. • Generally income conditions apply for cheaper housing. • Be cautious of sub-lets when searching solo. You may have problems registering with the BRP and be evicted with little notice. COSTS AND CONTRACTS Your rental contract should cover: • Status: is the property furnished, semi-furnished or empty? There may be an inventory and/or photos. • Duration of lease. • Notice period and stipulations about how notice should be provided. • Service charges (check ‘all-inclusive’. What portion is rent?). • Utilities (apportioned how?). If you agree to a monthly fee, including an advance for utilities, then make sure that utility use is metered for your property. Your landlord should show you an account (eindafrekening) of payments and real costs at least once a year. • A diplomatic clause if you have to leave because your employer has relocated you elsewhere. You need to be clear on when and how this clause can be used to allow you to escape your rental obligations. Expect to pay one or two months of rent as deposit, a month’s rent in advance to the landlord, and a month’s rent plus 21 percent tax as commission if you use an agent.





• Discuss your needs explicitly with your agent. • Select one, at most two, agencies: “We all talk to each other.” • Arrange viewings three weeks before you need to move in, no earlier, and have vision: “You may have to look through the mess of the current tenant strewn randomly throughout every room.” • Don’t be pressured, but you must be ready to move quickly. • Make your mind up. You like the place. You agree terms in writing. You take it.

Universities try their best to help students with housing but there are serious shortage issues. There are non-commercial agencies for students, housing corporations and antikraak (anti-squat) agencies that rent out accommodation. Check the city housing department or dienst wonen, zorg en samenleven for more information about low-priced housing. You can also find useful internet sites for renting a room (kamer) or student accommodation, like

OTHER HOUSE HUNTING OPTIONS If the agent brokerage commission seems one financial burden too many, there are other ways to find property but you will need to put in lots of legwork and the monthly rental price won’t be much cheaper. Most of all, you will need luck and timing is important. If you start your search too early (say a couple of months before you need to move in) good properties won’t still be available. Every avenue is worth exploring. Post a notice in the housing section of expat forums or Dutch internet sites with housing, or reply to postings from private landlords. Steer clear of anyone asking for a cash payment or commission. Given the competition for housing, you need to be able to respond quickly to adverts and, if you can, take someone along with you when viewing. If you see a flat advertised in an estate agency window or in a newspaper with an estate agent contact number, make it clear you are only interested in that property – you might get away with no commission but you will still have to pay a deposit. There may be room for negotiation. Always check that you can register with the BRP and check the contract details. The standard NVM (Dutch estate agent association) contract has an English version for comparison.

SHORT-TERM HOUSING Many cities in the Netherlands have aparthotels for corporate clients, which can sometimes be less anonymous and cheaper than hotels. If you are looking for a private apartment for a couple of months, the websites aimed at tourists are also worth scouring as they have a wide choice of accommodation, including properties in the choicest of locations, which are priced accordingly. Short-stay regulations in Amsterdam make it ‘illegal’ to rent the majority of properties for less than six months. The only exceptions are where a property has been explicitly exempted or the landlord has a short-stay permit, and when a property was built after 1 January 2008. Despite this, there are many properties listed for less than six-month stays that are illegal due to new rules. LIVING ON THE WATER Tempted by life on a houseboat or Dutch barge? The houseboat market is a very close-knit community so personal references will go a long way. There are many rules and regulations regarding permits and mooring conditions and, if you want to buy a boat, it will usually (certainly for newcomers) be a cash transaction. Track down a specialist agent to steer you through the procedures. Useful sites include and www.botentekoop. nl (which includes all kinds of boats for sale).





It is common to appoint a makelaar to do much of the legwork: tracking down appropriate houses, arranging viewings, suggesting areas where there’s room for negotiation, and advising on potential pitfalls. Some properties come with specific regulations; some expats have bought property only to find they do not have permission (woonvergunning) to live in it. Another benefit might be that a makelaar knows which property will come on the market shortly. As with renting, find a makelaar who understands your needs and let them get on with it. The agent’s commission will be one or two percent of the purchase price. You can hunt on Funda ( to get ideas of prices in particular areas or scour the pages of newspaper housing supplements. Proximity to work, schools and amenities all play their part. Be aware of the costs involved in renovating older property to current building standards or the quality required for renting. For leasehold properties, check out the ground rents. Tax is also levied on the deemed property value (WOZ), evaluated by the local municipality each year. See for useful information in English.

nl). Notary fees can range from EUR 1,000–3,000, so it pays to look around. An accredited translator must also be hired if one or more of the parties is not a Dutch citizen. The whole process can take just two to three months. Pre-sale agreement (koopovereenkomst): prepared by vendor’s agent or lawyer (notaris) with a 72-hour ‘cooling off’ period. It will include details of when the 10 percent deposit should be paid, or when the bank guarantee has to be arranged. Valuation (taxatierapport): designed for mortgage purposes; not a survey. Transfer or conveyancing tax (overdrachtsbelasting): 2 percent of the purchase price (reduced from the former 6 percent by the government). Deed of transfer: transportakte. Mortgage deed: hypotheekakte. Agent commission (makelaarscourtage): generally 1–2 percent, if applicable. A full structural survey is sensible; possibly fees for translation, plus 21 percent VAT on the total. Parental gift tax In 2016 homebuyers can still receive up to roughly EUR 45,000 euros as a tax free gift to buy a property.

ARRANGING A MORTGAGE (HYPOTHEEK) There are many different types of mortgage and the tax issues are complex. The general conditions for a mortgage up to four or five times your salary are: • You have a permanent residence permit (depending on nationality and employment contract, this may not be applicable). • You have a permanent employment contract or a continuation statement from your employer. • If self-employed or a contractor, you have certified accounts for the last three years and forecasts for the following year. • Maximum mortgage obtainable was reduced to 102 percent of the purchase price in 2016, and will be lowered further by 1 percent per annum until it reaches 100 percent in 2018.

How to buy your dreamhome or investment in The Netherlands? Ask us!

COSTS The buyer generally pays costs (kk – kosten koper) but some costs are tax-deductible. Allow for around six percent on top of the purchase price. Once your offer has been accepted, a written agreement is mandatory, and a 10 percent deposit should be paid. Make sure your finances are in place first (ie. that a mortgage lender will lend the required amount). On completion, both parties sign a transfer contract (akte van levering) and a notaris must register the property at the Land Registry (www.kadaster.


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The Dutch capital is a highly prized location with a diverse international population.

Population: 811,185 ( International residents: 50.6 percent Links: | (English site) • 3.5 million - the number of foreign visitors annually • 2 million - the combined number of kilometres cycled by Amsterdammers daily • 1 million - average number of bikes in Amsterdam • 872 - bridges in Amsterdam • 170 - the number of different nationalities in Amsterdam

CENTRE AND CANALS In the centre, apartments veer towards old and snug rather than spacious. Prices on the canal ring (grachtengordel) lined with 17thand 18th-century houses are vertiginous, although many expats enjoy the ‘typically Dutch’ experience in grandeur surrounds.

DE PIJP Directly south of the centre lies the regenerated ‘Pijp’, or so-called Latin Quarter, which is a vibrant neighbourhood that has rising housing prices that reflect its newfound status as a desired neighbourhood among Dutch college students, professional creatives and artists. SOUTH (OUD-ZUID) Oud-Zuid is a popular upmarket location for expats with easy access to international schools, the Vondelpark and spacious, privatelyowned housing. As a wealthy party of the city there is a leafy, gracious-living feel with cafes and shopping streets to match. EAST (OOST)

JORDAAN The Jordaan is an exceptionally desirable neighbourhood of beautiful canals and quirky, narrow streets occupied by a mixture of yuppies and expats, with a core of young family and business owning locals. The bordering district of Westerpark is an up and coming area with a large park, trendy eats, and a young family vibe.

Oost and Indische Buurt is undergoing a wave of gentrification by young professionals and creatives introducing trendy cafes and shops, and spiked rental and housing prices. The bonus of the Amstel river, newly-renovated Oosterpark and its proxvimity to nature reserves and rivers make the area very appealing to internationals, young families and older




generations, ethnic minorities and long-time residents. WEST (OUD-WEST) Oud West is similar to Oost in demographics and development, where housing is cheaper (and smaller) and a little more urban and edgy than Oud-Zuid. As an up-and-coming area of the city it’s an exciting place to be as bars and shops make way for renovations and new neighbours. ZEEBURG AND NOORD Zeeburg (which comprises Oostelijk Havengebeid, the Indische Buurt and the new islands of Ijburg) offers architecturally interesting surroundings in one of Amsterdam’s hottest development areas. It’s a little less family friendly, but a growing area.

The most appealing spot for new families is the fast-growing Amsterdam Noord and its ecoconscious NDSM development surrounded by growing green parks and waterfront areas. KNSM AND DOCKLANDS Further west and growing in popularity are KNSM Island and the Eastern Docklands. This former working port established on four artificial island peninsulas is becoming home to locals and expats who enjoy their modern accommodation options with a twist of traditional Dutch streetscapes and buildings. The area offers more space for your housing budget, while remaining easily accessible to central Amsterdam.

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As a suburb of the capital, prices are slightly cheaper than in Amsterdam and there’s more family-style housing.

Population: 85,749 International residents: 15 percent Links: | • 4.5 million - the number of yearly visitors to Amsterdamse Bos, Amstelveen’s large forest and park • 1,000 - students from over 50 countries at International School of Amsterdam in Amstelveen • 44 - the amount of square kilometres that makes up Amstelveen

Amstelveen has many green areas, and excellent shopping and local amenities, particularly for sporty types. The extra space means parking is not a problem and many homes have garages. Amstelveen’s population is booming, expected to reach almost 86,000 citizens by 2020. Close proximity to both Schipol airport and Amsterdam make Amstelveen attractive for international companies, and high living standards appeal to a growing expat community. The area is flanked by Amsterdam’s largest park, the Amsterdamse Bos, and the CoBrA Museum adds of a dash of culture. HET OUDE DORP ‘The Old Village’ is the historic hub of the original settlement (1278) with the Amsterdamse Bos to the west and the town centre to the east. There’s a mix of


older detached houses, farms, terraced houses, and apartments. WESTWIJK Westwijk is modern, spacious and lined with small canals. A central shopping zone in the centre of the neighbourhood preserves the feeling of a residential area. Larger detached family homes and villas are available here, in green and tranquil settings that offer a lot of individual privacy at premium prices. ELSRIJK Directly north of the town centre, this is considered classic Amstelveen with its wide streets, huge trees and post-war housing next to small parks. There are terraces, semidetached houses and villas. PATRIMONIUM Running along the Amsterdamse Bos, there’s a mix of housing, shops and businesses in a variety of styles and periods. The Prinsessenbuurt in the north west of Patrimonium is known for large open spaces and detached houses, set among some of the oldest small parks in the area.




Well connected and close to hi-tech multinationals, Eindhoven has a selective business and design community.

Population: 221,402 International residents: 29.5 percent Links: | • 7100 - the amount of students enrolled in Eindhoven University of Technology • 33.3 - the highest percentage of public green area in the country is in Eindhoven

Philips and Eindhoven go hand-in-hand but the city has a lot more to offer. The region accounts for around half of the country’s R&D (research and development) investment and is officially known as ‘Brainport’. Aimed to be among the top 10 regions by 2020 in terms of technology and economy, Eindhoven is a hub for start-up companies and employment opportunities. Because of 19th-century urban planning decisions, there are no canals, and pre-1940 architecture was destroyed by wartime bombing. But over the years things have changed immensely and for the better. The city is well connected with the railway station close to the centre and the airport offers cheap international access from airlines like RyanAir and WizzAir. CENTRE People living in the centre have plenty of facilities, including a shopping mall and scores of international restaurants. Accommodation is pricey and popular with single expats and couples. International schools (attended by children from Den Bosch and Tilburg) and the PSV football stadium are also located here. NORTH (WOENSEL) The area north of the centre is divided by wide, treelined boulevards, and is mainly residential in nature. Housing is mostly newbuild, with apartments and

terraced houses for all budgets. Woensel South is cheaper and there’s a great market for ethnic shopping. EAST Situated around the Karpendonkse Lake and Eckart Forest, the area has a range of housing including some exclusive detached properties. SOUTH The Philips High-Tech Campus is situated at Gestel along with the International Primary School, the Open-air Museum and the Tongelreep International Swimming Complex. Expats also gravitate towards Stratum, with its wide range of modestly priced to exclusive housing. VILLAGES The villages closely surrounding Eindhoven’s centre are popular with expat families. International schools are still within cycling distance, and the sense of community is greater. Nuenen was home to Vincent van Gogh (1883–1885) and the older centre stretches around a leafy village green. There’s some detached housing; outer areas are newer and mid-priced. Veldhoven is virtually a southwest suburb (the other side of the A2 from Eindhoven). Housing is modern and in a range of price bands. Best is a contemporary, well-planned village with good access, while more rural retreats can be found in Waalre, which is surrounded by large areas of forest. The twin towns of Son and Breugel are usually mentioned in a single breath, and popular with expats. Son has a pleasant old centre but the majority of housing is located in newer, greener (and more expensive) districts.





Den Haag is a multi-bureaucratic hub with four centuries of international integration.

Population: 520,704 International residents: 50.5 percent Links: | • 10,000 - the average amount of people who “Polar bear plunge” or dive into the icy North Sea every New Years Day at The Hague’s seaside neighbourhood of Scheveningen • 150 - the number of international organisations with headquarters in The Hague • 124 - amount of sovereign states that are members of the International Crimincal Court (ICC) in The Hague

The Hague is a mixture of modern skylines with a historic city centre, and the scenery and activities are as diverse as its mix of residents. As the third most populated city in the Netherlands, it is also the capital of South Holland, the seat of government, home to the Dutch royal family, and an outpost for most of the world’s human rights organisations, including the International Court of Justice. Building development has been active in past years, and newly built residential neighbourhoods on the city’s outskirts, such as Leidschenveen-Ypenburg and Wateringse Veld, are expected to be in demand as the city approaches some 520,000 residents in 2020. WASSENAAR The gated villas of Wassenaar house diplomats and upmarket expats, as well as members of the House of Orange. This district is known by some as the Beverly Hills of the Netherlands, and it remains a favourite among expat families with large


budgets for housing, situated in close proximity to several of the area’s international schools. ARCHIPELBUURT/ WILLEMSPARK A city centre area of beautiful 19th-century houses and apartments full of character, with broad streets and big town houses and villas. This is embassy land and a top location where prices are premium and parking space problematic. STATEN QUARTIER/ DUINOORD A similar feel to Archipel, with charming, spacious and elegant homes. Close to shops and cafes, it is a popular area. Typically smaller housing can be found in Duinoord, which also has a slightly creative ambiance. BENOORDENHOUT A green, quiet location but still close to motorway and other transport links with woodlands to the north and east. There are traditional, beautiful 1930s villas inhabited by wealthy older residents, and some singlefamily homes. Considering the space and environs, it is a good option for young families with children. Also in this area is Mariahoeve, which has the benefit of being on the train line and close to the British primary school. SCHEVENINGEN If you want something less genteel, head for the seaside town of Scheveningen with its casino and long, sandy beach.


Looking for a short-term or long-term home in The Hague or Scheveningen? Sonar Appartementen offers a broad range of furnished and semi-furnished properties in the upper-class residential districts of the city centre and by the beach. Every rental is unique and is handled with utter care and personal service. Our agents will take away every worry when renting and we will be happy to make your familiar in The Hague. Feel free to visit our website or contact us, so we may assist you in your house hunt.



The city that combines top technology with a high quality of life in an international environment. Population: 121, 906 International residents: 29 percent Links: |

Maastricht is located in the very south of the Netherlands, but right in the heart of Europe, bordering to Germany as well as Belgium. Aachen, Cologne, Frankfurt, Brussels, Antwerp, Paris as well as Luxemburg are around the corner. Its impressive history is reflected in the historic centre and location along the Meuse river. In the hilly countryside new technologies on chemicals and new materials, life sciences and smart services are booming. The three Brightlands campuses in the region are at the heart of global innovation. CITY CENTRE Historic buildings jostle with shops, cafes and restaurants. Encompassing the city walls, university buildings and the Stadspark, the Jekerkwartier has an artistic slant that entices creative types and students.

RIGHT BANK Across the river, Wyck has an old-town feel, while the new Ceramique district, a renovated industrial ceramic area, offers modern accommodation favoured by expats who like inner-city living with full amenities and services. BASSIN AND BELVEDERE The inner-city harbour ’t Bassin, on the northwest side, has grown into a residential and commercial village since redevelopment started in 1999. SINT PIETER AND SURROUNDINGS A green residential area along Jeker valley and St Petersberg Hill, yet within walking distance to the centre or Belgium.

Innovation is our second nature.





Rotterdam is one of the most dynamic, booming cities in, with a growing expat population.

Population: 624,799 International residents: 49.1 percent Links: | (event guide) • 30,000 the approximate number of buildings destroyed by German bombers in May 1940 • 802 the total length in metres of Rotterdam’s famous cable-stayed bascule Erasmus Bridge • 2 Rotterdam’s port is ranked the second largest in the world after Shanghai

Most of Rotterdam was destroyed by heavy WWII bombing, yet rather than rebuilding traditionally the city has took the contemporary route. Impressive modern architecture influenced Rotterdam’s place on the New York Times and Rough Guide’s must-see cities. Rotterdam’s employment opportunities are being driven by increased international investment, with more than 100 international companies setting up base in Rotterdam in recent years. Expats tend to settle around the city centre or in one of Rotterdam’s scenic green suburbs.

CENTRE The city centre offers characteristic buildings dating back to about 1900 alongside minimalist new build in various guises: simple buildings with shared staircases, spacious villas, and modern apartments, some with water views. Parking is limited but residents enjoy close proximity to a range of museums, shops and restaurants. The area around Central Station is also a hotspot, and close to the Rotterdam International School. KRALINGEN If you’re young, single or ‘dinky’ (two incomes, no children), the neighbourhood of Kralingen is likely to appeal. Fifteen minutes east of the centre, Kralingen’s multi-million-euro mansions stand cheek by jowl with student digs and council housing. Near a lake and woods, the area has a very international feel and a huge variety of affordable to upmarket housing.




KOP VAN ZUID/ NIEUWEWERK Also favoured by young expats, Kop van Zuid (‘Head of South’) is the trendy extension of the city centre on the southern bank of the Nieuw Maas; great for executives wanting to get to work quickly in the mornings. Like London’s Docklands, it’s a mix of renovated old warehouses and smaller, newer housing and apartments. Similar luxury and renovated housing can be found on the opposite bank in NieuweWerk and the Maritime Quarter (Scheepvaartkwartier). HILLEGERSBERG Rotterdam’s jewel is Hillegersberg, a leafy suburb on the northeast of the city. The area escaped wartime bombing, leaving the old village centre and elegant residential streets intact. Homes in Hillegersberg are expensive but enduringly popular, and is home to several of the international schools. A few minutes on your bike brings you out of the city to meadows or the river Rotte. Hillegersberg is located around two fairsized lakes, where there is endless boating and sailing in the summer, and skating in the winter. OTHER SUBURBS Schiebroek (west of Hillegersberg) and the newer, up-and-coming Prinsenland are becoming favoured expat sites. Prinsenland is more affordable than downtown living and close to international schools, but still a bustling area, as is multicultural Oude Westen, a lively and bohemian neighbourhood near Central


Station. It is relatively easy to find family accommodation at reasonable prices in child-friendly Ommoord (in the northeast), with a peaceful atmosphere and green spaces.

s e r v i n g t h e i n t e r n at i o n a l c o m m u n i t y

• Multilingual Counsellors • FREE Guides on life in the Netherlands

• Professional Volunteering • FREE lifestyle publication: ACCESS Magazine Other questions? Contact our Helpdesk on 0900 2 222 377 (€0.20 ct/min. Mon-Fri 10-4) or email us via ACCESS-Netherlands




Utrecht attracts expats and foreign companies with high living standards and an educated workforce.

Population: 330,772 International residents: 32.3 percent Links: | • 285,000 - the amount of daily passengers who travel through Utrecht Central station (the largest train station in the country) per day • 30,374 - student body population for Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands • 112 - the height in meters of Utrecht’s gothic-style Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the country

Arriving in Utrecht by train, you emerge into the country’s largest shopping mall, but don’t let that put you off. Utrecht’s medieval centre is a delightful place to live, with its unusual sunken canals and cellar bars. The vibe gets particularly lively at night due to the huge student population. Utrecht attracts international companies and expats alike, having the Netherlands’ most highly educated workforce and second-best standard of living. Transport links are excellent, particularly by train, and it is an easy commute to Amsterdam (25 minutes by train) and the service is regular. IJSSELSTEIN Twenty minutes down the motorway is the popular suburb of IJsselstein, complete with a car-free medieval city centre and castle (now a museum). There are fast train connections to Utrecht and Nieuwegein, and good cultural amenities. Nature lovers can enjoy the green heart of the Netherlands with bike trails through scenic countryside and along the river Lek. New housing was completed in 2012, and zoning has been approved for more. The centre is expected to get new retail and housing stock by 2016.

LEIDSCHE RIJN Officially part of the city of Utrecht, Leidsche Rijn consists of the two small villages of Vleuten and Meern and includes the entire agricultural area between those villages and Utrecht itself. Considered the largest new development in the Netherlands, some 30,000 houses and new space for industry and companies are being built in Leidsche Rijn. In effect, this means that a medium-sized town, which will house 100,000 people, is being built out of nothing. Great effort is being made to create an environmentally friendly town with high quality housing. An underground motorway is the pride of the project. NIEUWEGEIN Lying 7km south of Utrecht, Nieuwegein was a new town created in 1971 to cope with the expanding population of Utrecht. There is a variety of housing styles from classic Dutch brick homes to modern high-rises, and if you need to drive to work, easy access to nearby motorways (A2, A12 and A27). To the east is Houten, a fast-developing town, where some third of its population is under 20. DE VECHSTREEK This beautiful area is north west of Utrecht and close to the Loosdrechtse Plassen lakes. Popular with young families and retirees, Breukelen and Maarssen are connected to Utrecht by local rail and bus services. Older villages include Oud-Zuilen (built around a castle) and Maarssen-Dorp. Maarssenbroek contains newer housing estates with local amenities and services in place.




Money matters can be complex, and the Dutch tax system is anything but simple. • Before you open a Dutch bank account, you should have no problem obtaining cash from an overseas account using an ATM or geldautomaat.. • If you want to exchange cash, services can be found at the Post Office (postkantoor) or a GWK exchange office. • The Netherlands is on the euro, and paper denominations are EUR 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500; coins come in denominations of EUR 1, EUR 2, and 5, 10, 20 and 50 eurocents. One and two eurocents have been discontinued. • All major credit cards are accepted but not everywhere. Hotels, restaurants, large department stores and tourist attractions present no problem, but you can’t use a credit card in the supermarket. • Cash is still widely used, but the most common method of payment is pinnen, using a debit card with a PIN code.


OPENING A DUTCH BANK ACCOUNT The main Dutch banks are: • ABN-AMRO: • ING Bank: • Rabobank: ABN-AMRO, which was nationalised, has the most information in English online and a special expat package but you should generally have no problem conducting business in English at any of them. At most banks you



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‘Meeting the expat community in the South of the Netherlands’

GET YOUR FREE TICKET AT WWW.EXPATFAIREINDHOVEN.NL Join the biggest event for expats living, working, studying or setting up a business in the South of the Netherlands. The historical VDMA area in the city centre of Eindhoven, brings 50 exhibitors and more than 1,500 internationals together for information, orientation and business networking. Find all information you need regarding housing, employment, insurance, banking, tax, entrepreneurship, WWW.IAMNOTATOURIST.NL | THE NETHERLANDS | SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONALS 2017 education, healthcare, legal and relocation/transport.



will also find financial providers aimed specifically at expat clients, with extensive English-language services.

where there’s a box for them. These are only acceptable with IBANs (International Bank Account Numbers).

Documents generally required:


• Valid ID, plus residence permit if applicable; • BSN burgerservicenummer, which you’ll get when you register with the BRP or direct from the tax office; • Proof of address (bevolkingsregister extract, utility bill, rental contract etc.).

The term ‘offshore banking’ originates from the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, etc.) but is generally used today to refer to any tax haven (such as the Netherlands Antilles). Essentially it is any account held in a bank located outside your country of residence, usually in a low tax jurisdiction, and offers certain financial benefits for those who wish to reduce their tax liability.

If you want to open anything other than a savings only account you may also need evidence of income, such as an employment contract or payslip. The credit rating of new clients may be checked with the Central Credit Registration Office (BKR). An account can be opened in your name and your partner’s (they will also need identity documents). A private bank account is a privérekening. Various cards are on offer but the bankpas is standard. You can pick up the card personally with ID. A four-digit PIN code (pincode) will either be posted separately or given to you on pick up, but it can be changed at a bank. When you pay by pin, you swipe your card through the machine and punch in your four-digit number. It’s the most common method of payment used in shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants. CREDIT CARDS Commercial banks usually have an arrangement with Mastercard or VISA but you will generally need to be a customer for a while before getting one. A credit card will be more expensive than other bank cards and you will be encouraged to pay off the card swiftly and consistently. INTERNET BANKING Online banking is common in the Netherlands. You will usually be issued with a calculator-sized device into which you slot your bankpas and enter your PIN, then exchange numbers with the online login system to gain authorised access to your account. You can pay bills directly or set up direct debits (automatische overschrijving) for regular payments. There is usually information in English but you can also get step-by-step tuition from the bank. IBAN ACCEPTGIRO

Accounts can be held in a variety of currencies and there’s a diverse range of savings and investment products. Previously renowned for a high degree of confidentiality, offshore banking is changing with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires foreign banks to share account information of US citizens with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For expats based in the Netherlands, the tax situation can be complex. Dutch residents pay tax on their worldwide income and there are wealth, inheritance and gift taxes. Non-residents however, generally pay tax on Dutch-sourced income, but if you are a US citizen or green card holder and have the 30 percent ruling, you can be considered as a non-resident or partial non-resident taxpayer. In such a case only offshore banking might offer extra advantages. Pensions, investments and savings can all be arranged through a licensed independent financial adviser (IFA) or a bank. Interest rates for savings can be fixed or variable; some banks’ websites provide tools to predict investment returns. The type of fund and level of appropriate risk will obviously depend on individual circumstances, and it is advisable to consult an adviser to ascertain your ‘Risk Profile’. In the current economic climate, there are additional risks to depositing money offshore: recent bank mergers, differing protection schemes and deposits held in a different country to the bank’s service centre can mean investors are unclear about how safe their deposits are. Before settling on a bank, expats would be wise to ask themselves the following basic questions: Which bank is my money in, who owns it, what is its credit worthiness, and which jurisdiction does it fall under?

A common method for paying bills, this is a yellow payment slip attached to the bottom of an invoice into which you enter your bank details and sign. You can pay online into the account on the slip or ‘post’ it at the bank,





The Netherlands is a socially conscious country, and you can expect to pay a substantial proportion of your salary to the taxman. But your personal situation (nonworking partner, for example), type of work, residency status and other assets and earnings (particularly from abroad) affect your position considerably. In many cases, you will still be filing a tax return in your home country and will be entering the land of double taxation agreements. There are many expat financial specialists who can complete your tax forms for you or provide other consultancy services. The Ministry of Finance publishes a guide on the Dutch Taxation System ( The tax office is the Belastingdienst (www.belastingdienst. nl) and their website has information in English. In general, tax returns are submitted digitally, except the “M form� which must still be filed on paper (for residents in the Netherlands for part of the year only). The M form must be filed in the year

of migration. The deadline for the tax return is 1 April, for the M form 1 July. If you are not able to file before 1 April, you can request an extension. To file a return, you will need a digital signature or DigiD ( or the services of a tax consultant. The DigiD is essentially a personal login that you use with all government agencies enabling some transactions (paying parking fines, applying for permits etc.) to be done over the internet. Authentication requirements may vary according to the sensitivity of information in transit. Particularly in the year of arrival and the year of departure, filing a tax return may result in a substantial rebate. Tax returns can be completed retrospectively for a period of five years. RESIDENCY STATUS If you have demonstrable ties to the Netherlands (for instance, you live here, you work here, or your family is based here) you are generally regarded as a




Looking for help with your tax affairs? > Preparation of Dutch and US tax returns > Administration for freelancers > 30% ruling application > Accounting for companies > Payroll administration > Company formation > Tax advice

Worry less. Enjoy more. Expatax BV | Keizerstraat 3 | 3512 EA Utrecht | +31 (0)30 - 246 85 36 |


‘resident taxpayer’ from day one. If you live abroad but receive income that is taxable in the Netherlands you are generally a ‘non-resident taxpayer’.


Non-residents can also apply to be treated as residents for tax purposes (in order to gain access to Dutch deductible items) and an additional category of partial non-resident taxpayers covers those eligible for the so-called 30 percent ruling (see below). As a resident taxpayer you are taxed on your assets worldwide.

Where possible, partners are taxed individually but, when only one partner works, the other partner is generally entitled to a refund of general tax credit and deductible expenditure can be apportioned to take advantage of tax credits. Under certain conditions, unmarried couples may qualify as tax partners also, for example if they have a child or own a home together. Details are listed on



Different categories of income are treated differently for tax purposes on the tax return and there are three types of taxable income:

This is a tax incentive for employees, recruited from abroad who bring specific skills to the Netherlands. It acknowledges the additional expenses incurred by expats (extraterritorial costs) by allowing the employer to grant a tax-free lump sum to cover these costs up to a maximum of 30 percent of the sum of wages and allowances. Applications (completed by both employer and employee) should be made to the Belastingdienst Limburg Kantoor Buitenland in Heerlen.

• Box 1: Income from profits, employment and home ownership. This includes wages, pensions, social benefits, company car, and WOZ value of owner-occupied property (maximum 52 percent) • Box 2: Income from substantial shareholding (5 percent minimum holding – 25 percent rate) • Box 3: Taxable income from savings and investments. Income from property for instance, owned but not lived in as a main residence, is taxed here: not the actual income but the value of the asset (fictitious return: 4 percent taxed at 30 percent = 1.2 percent). Calculating tax: the amount of tax payable is calculated by applying the various tax rates to the various taxable incomes in the boxes. The amount calculated is then reduced by one or more tax credits. TAX CREDITS AND ALLOWANCES Everyone is entitled to a general tax credit and may be additionally entitled to other credits like the single parent’s tax credit. The general tax credit comprises an income and social security element (to which you are only entitled if you have compulsory Dutch social security coverage). Your employer will take these into account when deducting wage withholding tax but not any other personal circumstances. You claim other allowances and potential refunds when you file your tax return or request a provisional refund.

MORTGAGES AND TAX IMPLICATIONS When arranging a mortgage it is important to look at the whole picture: interest, cost of life insurance, savings plan and investment accounts. If you are intending to sub-let, you may need to pay off a substantial part (say 30 percent) of the mortgage to get permission from the lender. When your interest rate comes up for renewal, it is important to check that it is still competitive. Tax implications include: • Interest payments are tax-deductible if the property is your primary residence and the loan is used for acquisition of the house. • There is no capital gains tax in the Netherlands but increases in the value may impact your mortgage relief if and when you use the profits to buy another house in the Netherlands. • Tax is levied on the deemed rental value of the house (WOZ) determined by the local authority. Expenses in financing the purchase of a house are tax-deductible.




INSURANCE You can arrange insurance through your employer or a private insurance company. Aside from obligatory medical insurance required by everyone (see the Health section), self-employed persons are expected to arrange additional specific insurances, although in some cases welfare benefits are applicable. National insurance schemes available for all residents are explained at HOUSE AND HOME Homeowners or house insurance is known as woonhuisverzekering. A standard policy covers fire, storm, flood and theft. In terms of flood, there is a distinction between damage from rainwater flooding (covered) and water damage due to a breakdown in the dykes, for example (not covered). Houseboat dwellers come under separate conditions. If you buy an apartment, the Association of Owners (VVE) takes out the house insurance that is paid together equally among the other apartment owners in the building. CONTENTS An annual household contents policy starts at about EUR 20 depending on what is covered. This insurance is known as inboedelverzekering. Higher priced items such as art, jewellery or antiques need to be individually valued and insured separately.


DRIVERS By law, you must have at least third-party insurance for your car. You might also want to insure your car against theft, fire and damage/injury to yourself and your vehicle. This is known as allriskverzekering. LIFE INSURANCE Known as levensverzekering, it is similar to schemes in most other countries. OTHER TYPES OF INSURANCE Third-party liability insurance (aansprakelijkheidverzekering) protects you if your cleaner drops your precious china, or your child spills grape juice on your neighbour’s oriental carpet. More than 95 percent of the Dutch population has this insurance, and it is often included in combination packages for either homeowners or tenants. Many Dutch households also have legal insurance (rechtsbijstandverzekering), guaranteeing (cheaper) access to legal advice. It insures against costs of lawsuits and personal and labour disputes. Although most insurances are similar to those offered elsewhere in the world, the Netherlands is distinctive in the high level of insurance taken out by the population. Many large insurers offer combination packages that can bring down costs.



The national association of insurers is Het Verbond van Verzekeraars ( If you need advice, call the Dutch Association of Insurers on (070) 333 85 00 or speak to your bank or financial advisor. BELASTINGDIENST The website for the tax authority has extensive information in English and downloadable forms and brochures. There are separate offices for resident and non-resident taxpayers. Email queries are not possible. TaxLine: 0800 0543 – This is the central information line for residents (only Dutch spoken); Monday to Thursday: 8am – 8pm, Friday: 8am – 5pm.

CUSTOMS The Belastingdienst webpage has extensive information in English regarding duties payable and procedures for individuals and businesses. If you move to the Netherlands from outside the EU or if you wish to bring your car, you can download an application form from the website for exemptions on ‘removable goods’. FINANCIAL AND TAX ADVISORS • ABN AMRO 0900 8170 | +31 (0)10 241 1723 (abroad) | Amsterdam +31 (0)20 343 4002 | The Hague +31 (0)70 375 2050 |


Rotterdam +31 (0)10 402 5888 |

If you want to file your taxes electronically, or indeed any other official form (local taxes etc.), you need a DigiD registration number. The website has an English section.

Eindhoven +31 (0)40 237 9000 | • Expatax Keizerstraat 3, 3512 EA Utrecht | +31 (0)30 246 8536 |

GOVERNMENT The Ministry of Finance provides details of the Dutch Government’s financial policies including the 30 percent facility at




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“The event for pursuing an international career in the Netherlands”


UPLOAD YOUR CV NOW AT WWW.JOBFAIRFORINTERNATIONALS.NL The Job Fair for Internationals is the event for expats pursuing an international career in the Netherlands. Whether looking for your first job in the Netherlands or a new challenge, this event is for you. Complete your profile, upload your CV at the fair website and meet with employers and recruitment agencies. Presentations and workshops will bring you up to speed on the workings of the Dutch job market. Find a new job at this one day event.


Conditions apply to foreigners driving in the Netherlands, otherwise there’s an excellent public transport system.

• Once you are a resident of the Netherlands you cannot drive a car registered in another country. • You must have a valid licence recognised by Dutch law, be at least 18, and have third party insurance. EXCHANGING A DRIVING LICENCE To exchange (omwisselen) your existing national driving licence (rijbewijs) for a Dutch one, you must fit into one of the categories below. Otherwise you can use it for 185 days after becoming a resident, during which time you need to take the CBR theory and driving tests. You can take both the theory and practical exam in English. ‘Drivers in international traffic’ — essentially tourists or short-term visitors — are

considered non-residents and do not need a Dutch driving licence, although non-EU nationals should check with their Dutch embassy if an international licence is required (essentially a translation of your national licence). Dutch licences are generally issued for 10 years. Foreign licences from EU/ EFTA countries can be used in the Netherlands for 10 years from the date of issue, or 15 years if issued after January 2013. You may like to exchange it anyway: it is a valid proof of identity in many cases.

Licenses that can be exchanged: • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dutch Caribbean, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, (States of) Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Isle of Man, Monaco, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and UK. • Specific licenses from Taiwan, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Andorra, South Korea, Canadian Province of Quebec.




• Residents with the 30 percent ruling status (whatever nationality). Expat employees may also be eligible to exchange their foreign licence if the tax office considers them to provide specific knowledge that is either unavailable or rare on the Dutch labour market. Apply at a municipal office for an ‘Aanvraag omwisseling voor Nederlands rijbewijs’ form (or download it prior from — you must be registered in the municipality database for at least 185 consecutive days, and non-EU/EFTA nationals must additionally present an ‘Eigen Verklaring’ (a CBR statement of health). If you are 75 years or over you’ll need a medical examination, which the CBR may request for non-EU/ETFA/Swiss nationals also. There are fees for this. If you are applying under the 30 percent ruling you will need a statement from the tax office’s international department in Heerlen.



Check with all departments if additional documentation is required for your certain situation, and if any document requires translation or authentication. You will generally forfeit your original licence (unless applying under the 30 percent ruling).




You need a special licence for a bromfiets (moped), snorfiets (light moped), or brommobiel (mobility car) (unless you have a licence of the A or B category) and you must be 16 or over to get one. For all information on driving licences and tests visit or REGISTERING AND OWNING A CAR The hefty disincentive for bringing a car into the Netherlands is the private motor vehicle and motorcycle tax (BPM) levied as a percentage of the value of the car. Exemption certificates are dealt by customs ( There are many implications affecting car tax calculations: consult the website for full details (in English). Also note that you, as a Dutch resident, may not drive in a vehicle with foreign registration plates – you will be considered as evading the import duty on the vehicle and road tax, and risk heavy fines. All cars must be registered with the RDW (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer). If you bring your vehicle from abroad, it must first be reviewed at an RDW inspection station, after which registration is handled through the same office. This means getting Dutch registration plates, registration documents and paying the BPM.




Verkeersschool Kennedy Rijnstraat 90 1079 HM Amsterdam Tel. 020 644 43 02 www.verkeersschoolkennedy

EXPAT DRIVING SCHOOL KENNEDY Driving school Kennedy is situated in Amsterdam for more than 30 years. We’d like to help you with getting your driver’s license and staying safe on the streets of Amsterdam. • Exchanging a foreign driving license • Learning to drive save without fear in Amsterdam • Interactive theoretical training • Speed course possible (2 till 10 weeks) • Trial lesson € 30,00


To register ownership of a Dutch-registered car, you can go to any post office or RDW–TV (Tenaamstellen Voertuigen) certified company with all the usual identification documents and a certificate of ownership, vehicle registration documents, statutory liability insurance (WA) and safety certificate (APK). For second hand vehicles, there is a transfer certificate (overschrijvingsbewijs). A seller should ensure their previous ownership certificate has been officially invalidated. After registering your car, you will receive a bill for road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting) from the tax office. The vehicle’s registration card (kentekencard, or bewijs) and the certificate of ownership (tenaamstellingsbewijs) must be in the car at all times when on the road. The APK test (at an RDW-approved garage) measures the road-worthiness of your vehicle. For insurance, check the yellow pages or other sources for suppliers of autoverzekering. TRAFFIC AND PARKING You drive on the right. Unless otherwise marked, the speed limits are 50 km/hr in the city, 80 km/hr on other roads and 100, 120, or 130 km/hr on motorways. Traffic is an issue ( and so is



parking, for which you generally need a permit. There are various options for paying for parking: by cash, chip or via your mobile phone. See, or

which include up to 40 percent discount off the price of your tickets and up to three people travelling with you. See a NS counter or online for more information. Tickets are checked regularly and fines are heavy.

Many Dutch drivers are members of motoring organisation ANWB (, which can provide breakdown cover (wegenwacht) at home or abroad. There are park and ride (P+R) schemes in most cities and the car-sharing scheme Green Wheels is a popular option (

You need an OV-chipkaart to travel on the NS. Make sure you have a minimum EUR 20 uploaded on your card (EUR 10 if you have a discount pass), and that you swipe out on arrival or your travel costs could triple. If you forget to swipe out, you have up to six hours to go back and check out, otherwise you must claim back the added costs. Call 030 751 5155 for help with claims. For certain cities, you can organise the NS Zonetaxi when you buy your train ticket. This is a door-to-door taxi service at fixed prices, for up to four people (starting at EUR 6).

Contacts • The Department of Road Transport:, 0900 0739, or +31 (0)59 839 3330 (abroad) • Information on driving licences: • Theory and driving tests:, 0900 0210 • ‘Road Traffic Signs and Regulations’ brochure: do a search on to download • Common traffic offences: PUBLIC TRANSPORT The Netherlands has excellent public transport links, and the swipecard payment system OV-chipkaart is the official transport payment system for the metro, bus and tram throughout the Netherlands. Infrequent train travellers can buy a single-use chipkaart ticket per trip. There are two types of cards: anonymous, which anyone can buy from the OV-chipkaart machines or station, or personal, whicvh you can apply for online. Your pass can be loaded from one of the OV-chipkaart machines strategically placed at train and metro stations, or you can arrange for your personal card to ‘load’ automatically from a bank account. You pay for the distance travelled by swiping it upon entering and leaving your transport station. Personal products, such as season or discount tickets, can be loaded to your personal OV-chipkaart and you are automatically eligible for discounts.

DRIVING LESSONS • RijschoolDenK De Clercqstraat 17 HS, 1053 AA Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 489 0801 | info@ | • Verkeersschool Kennedy Rijnstraat 90, 1079 HM Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 644 4302 |


Refresher driving lessons. Complete driver’s license packages. English traffic theory books & courses. English theory exams.

Contact us for more information: +31 (0) 20 489 08 01

The OV-chipkaart website ( also has an English language section where you can find lines of action should you lose your card or forget to swipe out (you will automatically be charged the maximum travel price but refunds can be requested). Helpline: 0900 0980 (EUR 0.50/min) or @OVchipkaart on social media. TRAIN

The smartest way to your Dutch driver’s license!

The Nederlandse Spoorwegen ( is the national train company. NS offers season tickets and discounts for off-peak travel (dal voordeel abonnement),

Rijschool DenK | De Clercqstraat 17 | 1053AA, Amsterdam +31 (0) 20-4890801 | |








More than a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level In addition to that, 50% of its land lies less than one meter above sea level. Schiphol is actually 4.5 meters below sea level. Luckily, the Netherlands is not in a tsunami-prone part of the world.


Turkish Tulips Tulips, tulip fields and flower bulbs are typically Dutch. Yet, tulips do not originate from the Netherlands. The first tulip bulbs were imported from Turkey to the Netherlands, where they proved to grow extremely well in Dutch soil.


Dutch people are the tallest in the world

About 30% of all Dutch babies are born at home In many countries, it’s customary to give birth in a hospital. Not in the Netherlands: about 30% of all Dutch births happen at home.

With an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women, Dutchies are the tallest people in the world. Scientists say it’s because of their DNA, nutrition and welfare, others say it’s because of their copious consumption of dairy.


Dutchies love their coffee After Scandinavians, the Dutch are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. They drink no less than 140 liters of coffee a year on average. That’s 3.2 cups a day!


The Netherlands is the most densely populated nation in Europe With 487 inhabitants per square kilometer, the Netherlands has the highest population density of any European country with more than 1 million inhabitants.


86% of Dutchies speak English as a second language All Dutch kids learn English in school and visitors to Amsterdam are often impressed with the fluency with which the Dutch speak English.


Flat as a pancake The Netherlands is a very flat country. The Vaalserberg is the highest point in (the European part of) the Netherlands. It’s only 322.7 meters high and located in the south-easternmost edge of the country in the province of Limburg. You could also say the Netherlands is as flat as a pannenkoek.


The Nederlands is the largest beer exporter in the world In 2001, Dutch beer companies exported an astonishing volume of 1.3 billion liters of beer abroad. Half of that was shipped to the U.S.!


Amsterdam is built entirely on poles Because Amsterdam’s soil consists of a thick layer of fen and clay, all buildings are built on wooden poles that are fixed in a sandy layer that is 11 meters deep on average. The Royal Palace at Dam Square is built on no less than 13,659 wooden poles.




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The Netherlands is committed to choice in education. • The OECD international rankings for school systems puts the Netherlands as one of the highest in performance annually. • Compulsory education under Dutch law applies to children of all nationalities from 5 to 18 years who are residing in the Netherlands. • Children are leerplichtig (under a learning obligation or leerplicht) at 5 years old for 12 years of full-time education, and one or two years part-time (until the attainment of a diploma).




The Netherlands is among the world’s top countries for equity in education opportunities. Schools following particular religious or pedagogic principles have had equal state funding as public schools since 1917. The number of privately-run schools more than doubles public ones, with one in five primary schools comprising less than 100 pupils. International education is available at both Dutch and private schools throughout the country, and up to 20 schools have implemented bilingual education. Nearly 1000 primary schools in the Netherlands offer English classes, and about another further 100 teach German, French and Spanish.

Your finances, location, nationality, the age of your children, and how long you are likely to stay in the Netherlands are the main factors you should consider when selecting a school. Many companies reimburse international school fees as part of a relocation package, and reimbursement could be exempt from income tax (though not for all schools). While teenagers might appreciate the educational and social continuity provided by an international school, younger children might get a greater sense of belonging by attending a local school if you plan



Education for International Understanding

For over 50 years, the International School of Amsterdam (ISA) has been a global leader in the international education community fostering curiosity, creativity and a passion for learning. Serving 1200 students from over 50 countries, ISA combines a rich cultural heritage with world-class faculty and staff, inspiring students to look beyond simple answers and facts and to pursue a genuine understanding of the world. We have built a tradition of excellence by pursuing innovative, research-based approaches to teaching and learning, such as our long-standing partnership with Harvard University's Project Zero. At ISA, we develop students' thinking skills and help them learn how to learn.




to stay for a while. By learning good Dutch they will connect to their new world more easily. You certainly won’t be the only non-Dutch parent in the playground.

School inspection reports can be viewed online at under Zoek Scholen (enter the name of the school and/or town). The visual representation of green (good) and red (weak) will give some idea of performance. Note that this applies to state schools and Dutch international schools only.

APPLYING FOR A SCHOOL Register your child as soon as possible at the school of your choice. Public schools technically are not allowed to refuse admission, unless full. Popular schools have waiting lists and the municipality can assign catchment areas based on postcodes – you should register as young as the school allows. All schools have brochures and websites where they announce ‘open days’ when you can visit the school. Almost 90 percent of children attend early education at the age of three, and most children are enrolled by the age of four (when children are invited for orientation). Schools can arrange early childhood education programmes for children aged two to six whose first language is not Dutch.

COSTS Primary and secondary state education is free, with parents being asked to contribute a ‘voluntary’ nominal amount, which varies from school to school. Additional payments include lengthier school trips, lunchtime supervision (tussenschoolse opvang) and after-school care (naschoolse opvang), which the school is supposed to provide or sub-contract. EDUCATION POLICY The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science sets quality standards, attainment targets and social objectives, but individual schools ‘fill in the details’ of the curriculum and budget allocation.


To be a community where learning is at the heart of everything we do.

International Community School

We are a Primary and Secondary school offering international education in English. We cater for students aged 4-19 and offer a highly reputable school programme called the International Baccalaureate (IB). Our school strongly believes in high quality and accessible education and we are able to offer our programmes at a highly competitive rate. We are located in Amsterdam and -as a community school- make good use of its educational opportunities. • The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for children aged 4 - 10 years • The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for children aged 16 - 19 years Prinses Irenestraat 59 1077 WV Amsterdam T: 020 - 57 71 240 E:

• The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) for children aged 11 - 15 years • Dutch language lessons

fully accredited by

w w w . a i c s . e s p r i t s c h o l e n . n l




Education policy includes increasing bilingual opportunities, connecting education with the job market, and raising the quality of schools that do no meet the Education Inspectorate’s standard. Primary schools to teach about fifteen percent of courses in English, German or French. Not only do pupils learn a second language, such as English, they also learn other subjects, such as biology or history, through one of these languages.



Most private schools are denominational (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, etc.) or follow specific philosophic principles. Private schools are governed by a board or the foundation that set them up. Financially, they have the same status as public schools and are basically free, although all schools ask for a contribution for things such as school trips.

Major holidays for state schools are set nationally with staggered start/finish times between three regions. Private international school holidays can be different. For school holidays per region, look up schoolvakanties on (in Dutch). TYPES OF SCHOOL Source schools via your city’s website (onderwijs = education), or on’s Education channel.

State-run schools (non-denominational) provide secular education, but they can also offer teaching around specific philosophic or pedagogic principles (Montessori, Waldorf, Steiner, etc.). Public schools are governed by the municipal council or a public legal entity or foundation set up by the council. PRIVATE SCHOOLS

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS These provide education for global nomad students of any nationality. Dutch International Primary Schools (DIPS) and Dutch International Secondary

Understanding the Dutch Working and living abroad as an expat is exciting and challenging for you as a professional as well as for your family. Learning the Dutch language and getting to know the customs of the country will help you understand the Dutch and integrate smoothly. At Regina Coeli, we offer top quality tailor-made language courses which include a touch of culture. Our intensive individual training courses at our institute in Vught are well known because they offer the ideal combination of personal trainers, methods that work and a perfect environment. Visit our website for information not only on our Dutch language courses but also on our English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish courses. More information at or call us at +31 (0)73 684 87 90.

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Schools (DISS) provide international education at reasonable fees because of subsidies from the Dutch government. They are designed for non-Dutch families living in the Netherlands for a limited time, and Dutch families returning from, or preparing for, an overseas assignment. These schools offer the International Primary Curriculum (4 to 11 years), the IGCSE (11 to 16 years), or the International Baccalaureate programmes at primary (4 to 11 years) and middle years’ level (11 to 16 years). All DISS teach the IB-Diploma programme (16 to 19 years). A new curriculum, IBCC, offers an alternative to the IB-DP in the final years ( PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS These schools teach either an international curriculum (as above) or a specific country’s national curriculum (like American, British, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Polish, etc.), and sometimes in the native language. Facilities (swimming pools, football pitches) are often superior compared to the Dutch schools.


SPECIAL SCHOOLS All schools are required to cater to any child’s needs under the ‘All Inclusive Act’, although participation in mainstream schools has been encouraged through other policies for several years. Additionally, there are schools for children with special needs, plus special needs teachers at Dutch schools. Lighthouse Special Education caters to the international community with special needs children providing extensive assistance in English. Entry is by referral. IPAD SCHOOLS Over 30 so-called ‘Steve Jobs schools’ have opened in the Netherlands, pioneered by Dutch entrepreneur Maurice de Hond. These government-funded schools provide children with iPads and educational apps, which replace everything from books to blackboards. Teachers act as ‘coaches’ to help students direct their own learning. You can read more at www.



DUTCH PRIMARY EDUCATION (PRIMAIR ONDERWIJS OR BASISONDERWIJS) There are eight years of primary schooling. Children are placed in “Group 1” upon entry, and move up a group every year; different age groups may therefore be in the same class depending on when each child started. In their last year, “Group 8” children in 85 percent of primary schools (basisscholen) sit the CITO test ( in February, which advises their next level of education. All children in Group 8 are required test to assess numeracy and language skills. The government sets attainment targets in Dutch, English, arithmetic and mathematics, social and environmental studies, creative expression and sports and movement. DUTCH SECONDARY EDUCATION (VOORTGEZET ONDERWIJS) From 12 years of age, pupils choose from vocational or pre-university diplomas based on their ability. In the first years all pupils study the same subjects (to different academic levels), known as the

basisvorming, followed by a second stage (tweede fase) in which students choose a specialist profile. VMBO (a further four years of school): Prep school for vocational secondary education; those who achieve the highest level (theoretische leerweg) can enter HAVO studies. VMBO graduates must continue studying until age 18 or until they obtain a basic qualification (minimum MBO level 2). MBO: Secondary vocational education. MBO programmes vary from one to four years depending on the level (1 to 4). If a student has successfully completed the Dutch VMBO or the international middle school programmes IGCSE or IB-MYP, but is not admitted to the IB-Diploma Programme, the MBO can prepare pupils for work or professional studies (HBO) if level 4 is achieved. A number of Englishlanguage programmes are offered. HAVO (five years): Senior general secondary education. Provides entrance to higher professional education (HBO) at ‘vocational universities’.


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flexible business and management studies with several specializations


• Various Dutch courses • Both daytime and evenings • 3 or 6 hours each week

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Information and registration Telephone: 040 269 58 00

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VWO (six years): Pre-university education. Prepares students for academic studies at a research university (WO). VWO schools can be athenaeum, gymnasium or lyceum (a combination of the first two), a difference being that Greek and Latin are core subjects in gymnasium programmes. Just under a third of secondary schools are run by the public authority. English is a compulsory subject. VMBO pupils study one modern language and HAVO/ VWO pupils at least two. Other core areas include mathematics, history, humanities, arts and sciences. BILINGUAL EDUCATION (TWEETALIG ONDERWIJS TTO) In 2016 there were over 100 schools with a TTO bilingual stream, plus several dozen HAVO and VMBO schools have bilingual departments. Only students that master the Dutch language at an appropriate level will be admitted (

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Internationally British

HIGHER EDUCATION Third-level education, as it is known in the Netherlands, is offered at a vocational level (HBO, a ‘university of applied sciences’ or hogeschool) and at an academic level (WO, at a universiteit). Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are available at both HBO and WO institutions, but only universities (WO) offer PhD programs. There are around 2,000 courses taught in English. You can see what’s available on Nuffic (Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education;, which includes extensive information about the Dutch higher education system. There is a small, third branch of higher education offering international education (IE), comprising advanced courses suited to international students. Institutions are either government funded or government approved. There are also privately financed institutions that are not recognised. NVAO is the organistion that accredits institutions ( in Dutch).

Join us and learn a language Join us and learn a language in Amsterdam city centre in Amsterdam city centre or on one of our language trips or on one of our language trips Dutch ✸ Arabic ✸ French ✸ Greek Dutch ✸ Arabic ✸ French ✸ Greek ✸ Italian ✸ Spanish ✸ Turkish ✸ Italian ✸ Spanish ✸ Turkish

Contact us! Contact Amsterdam us! Taalhuis Taalhuis Amsterdam +31(0)6-18 11 09 84 +31(0)6-18 11 09 84


Small classes and personal attention. At the British School of Amsterdam we get to know each and every student. We provide an all-round education that develops the whole person and delivers academic success. From Early Years to Secondary School, we provide top-class British schooling for everyone from expats to locals seeking an international education. With pupils of more than 40 nationalities, the British School of Amsterdam offers a stimulating and inclusive learning environment for students aged 3 to 18. Non-native English speakers are welcome. Our curriculum leads to the respected British A-Level qualification accepted by universities worldwide. In addition to the formal academic subjects, we teach European languages including Spanish, French, German and Dutch, as well as English as a foreign language.

“I love coming to school. Everyone’s friendly and the lessons are fun.” Every day is an open day at the British School of Amsterdam. Why not come along and visit us? For more information, see, or contact us at +31 (0) 20 67 97 840 or

TEACHING PEOPLE, NOT TOPICS Onyinye Age 8 English / Nigerian


HBO In 2016, around 446,000 students are enrolled at 41 ‘universities of applied sciences’ or hogescholen, which provide practical-based programs lasting four years. Students can prepare for particular professions in one of seven sectors: agriculture, engineering and technology, economics and business administration, healthcare, fine and performing arts, education/ teacher training and social welfare. For more information visit WO In 2016 there are 18 research universities offering international degrees and short courses, with students involved in intensive, academic studies. For more information, visit COSTS Fees depend on your nationality and age. There’s a fee for EU/EEA nationals, which is set by the Dutch government, and tuition fee loans are available. Otherwise you pay the institutional fee (up to 10


times more). The fees at private institutions can be substantially higher. HOW TO APPLY There are more than 90,000 international students studying in the Netherlands, and information on fees, qualifications and study programmes is widely available in English. Students should first contact the institution offering the course, which will specify what education qualifications are required for admission. A quota system is in place for oversubscribed courses; places are allocated by a lottery. At you can apply online for third-level courses that are subsidised by the Dutch Ministry of Education. University programmes consist of a Bachelor’s or undergraduate phase lasting three years and a Master’s or graduate phase lasting one to two years. Many Dutch universities have partner institutions in other countries, so students can study part of their course abroad.



Mozartlaan 27 4837 EH Breda The Netherlands T

+ 31 76 560 7870


+ 31 76 560 7871


The International School Hilversum is an internationally oriented school with over three decades of experience in international and bi-lingual education. We are a small, friendly yet professional international community of 700 students and 80 staff members.

Coordinated programmes for 4-18 year olds: • International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme • International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Emmastraat 56 1213 AL Hilversum The Netherlands

T +31 (0) 35 672 99 31 F +31 (0) 35 672 99 39 E

Learning through diversity




QUALIFICATION ACCREDITATION Diplomas and certificates awarded overseas need to be accredited by the Dutch authorities. Often the school where you have applied takes care of this. If not, the IDW Internationale Diplomawaardering ( offers this service for a fee. Non-native English speakers are required to pass an English language test at a specified level, most commonly the TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Test.

EDUCATION LINKS Information on the Dutch education system • Ministry of Education, Culture and Science | www. • Government policy • Eurydice | • International schools Educaide The Professional Helpdesk for International Education in the Netherlands PO Box 96911, 2059 JH Den Haag T: +31 (0)65 598 8998 | | www. • Foundation for International Education in the Netherlands • Independent educational consultant: www.new2nl. com/education-services/ Higher education in the Netherlands | www.studyin. nl | Information on studying and funding | | Portals for vocational training | | www. Masters / PhDs | | www. Online applications | Non-Dutch diploma evaluation | BUSINESS SCHOOLS • UIBS Amsterdam Campus (extension campus) Spaces Business Center Herengracht 124 – 128, 1015 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands | +31 20 5219423 | • UIBS Antwerp Campus (main campus) International Education Center Meirbrug 1, box 29. 2000 Antwerp, Belgium +(32) 3 2835126 |


• UIBS Barcelona Campus (main campus) International Education Center Rambla de Catalunya 2 – 4, 08007 Barcelona, Spain +34 934522227 | • UIBS Brussels Campus (main campus) International Education Center Avenue des Arts 10 – 11, 1210 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 2037780 | • UIBS Lausanne Campus (extension campus) Regus Business Center Voie du Chariot 3, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland +41 21 5605626 | • UIBS Madrid Campus (satellite campus) Regus Business Center Carrera de San Jerónimo 15, 28014 Madrid, Spain +34 914547281 | • UIBS Milan Campus (extension campus) Regus Business Center Via Santa Maria Valle 3, 20123 Milan, Italy +39 0200681086 | • UIBS Tokyo Campus (satellite campus) Regus Business Center Park Tower 3-7-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, 163-1030 Tokyo, Japan | +81 3 53263477 |

• International School Breda Mozartlaan 27, 4837 EH Breda | +31 (0)76 560 7870 • International School Hilversum Alberdingk Thijm (Primary & Secondary dept.) Emmastraat 56, 1213 AL Hilversum +31 (0)35 672 9931 | • The British School in the Netherlands (BSN) Admissions/enquiries: +31 (0)70 315 4077 Primary schools: Vlaskamp 19, 2592 AA Den Haag | +31 (0)70 333 8111 Diamanthorst 16, 2592 GH Den Haag +31 (0)70 315 7620 | Vrouw Avenweg 640, 2493 WZ Den Haag-Leidschenveen | +31 (0)70 315 4040 Secondary school (also IBDP and IBCC): Jan van Hooflaan 3, 2252 BG Voorschoten +31 (0)71 560 2222 • The British School of Amsterdam Nursery & Early Years Location: Anthonie van Dijckstraat 1a, 1077 ME Amsterdam +31 (0)20 679 7840 Infant School Location: Jan van Eijckstraat 21, 1077 LG Amsterdam +31 (0)20 679 3060 Junior & Senior School location: Fred. Roeskestraat 94a, 1076 ED Amsterdam +31 (0)20 679 0183

• UIBS Zurich Campus (main campus) International Education Center Brandschenkestrasse 38, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland +41 44 2011222 |



• Ster College Van Vorststraat 50, 5622 CX Eindhoven +31 (0)40 269 5800 |

• Amsterdam International Community School Prinses Irenestraat 59, 1077 WV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 577 1240 | • International School of Amsterdam Sportlaan 45, 1185 TB Amstelveen +31 (0)20 347 1111 |

• Language Institute Regina Coeli Martinilaan 12, 5262 BR, Vught | +31 (0)73 684 8790 |

• Taalhuis Amsterdam Sint Nicolaasstraat 59, 1012 NJ Amsterdam +31 (0)6 18 11 09 84 |



Expats are an essential component of the Dutch workforce, and office life has its cultural quirks.

• The Dutch workforce is internationally oriented, highly educated and multilingual. • Workers’ rights are strongly protected, and unemployment is at 6 percent (July 2016). • Demand for highly skilled workers remains high and there are incentives for international employees, such as the 30 percent ruling (a tax benefit scheme), and a fast-track immigration programme for highly skilled migrants and entrepreneurs. • The GVVA (gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid) is a single permit that combines the residence and work permit into one so employers no longer need to apply for a separate work permit for labour migrants. • Under the ‘Modern Migration Policy Act, if a worker needs a Dutch entry visa (MVV) and/or residence permit, their employer in the Netherlands can apply on the employee’s behalf while they are still abroad, with fast-track applications possible for companies that are ‘recognised’ by the IND ( has a list). WORK PERMIT CONDITIONS If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national and want to work in the Netherlands, unless you are a highly skilled migrant or qualify for the single employee residence and work permit (GVVA), your employer will likely need to apply for a separate work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV). Exceptions are listed below. The TWV permit is specific to

the job and employer, and is issued for a specified period (up to three years), although extensions can be applied for. The IND site ( has detailed information on coming to work in the Netherlands, as well as the financial and other conditions that need to be met. You can start work once your employer has been issued a work permit and applied for a residence permit, if needed.



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You do not need to wait for the IND to approve your residence application, but you must get a ‘residence endorsement’ passport sticker from the IND while you wait. If the residence permit application is rejected though, the work permit is no longer valid. The consequences of illegally working can be severe for both employer and employee.

• Self-employed workers (their eligibility for residency is assessed by the IND). • Workers on short assignment (performers, musicians, guest lecturers, journalists etc.). • Those with a residence permit or passport sticker stating ‘Arbeid is vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist’ (free to work, no permit required). PARTNERS: WHO CAN WORK?

After three years of employment on a Dutch work permit, the employee is free on the labour market. Employers can then hire you without needing a separate work permit. When you renew your residence document, your new labour market position will be mentioned as ‘Arbeid is vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist’ (free to work, no work permit required). WHO DOESN’T NEED A WORK PERMIT? The main exceptions are:

If your spouse, partner or relative has permission to work in the Netherlands, then generally you can work without needing an additional work permit. Your employment status (arbeidsmarktaantekening) will be stated on your residence permit. You generally need to have received your residence permit before you can start work. It is advisable to file the residency applications for you and your partner at the same time. APPLYING FOR A WORK PERMIT

• EU/EEA/Swiss nationals (except Croatians, who need a work permit for their first working year and the ‘proof of lawful residence’ permit). • Highly skilled migrants.

If you qualify for the single GVVA residence and work permit, you or your employer must apply to the IND ( Otherwise, work permits are initiated by employers who apply to the UWV WERK bedrijf

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( In both cases, your employer has to submit supporting evidence to show that EU/EEA/ Swiss nationals cannot occupy the position, which can include copies of advertisements, postings on the internet, or statements from agencies. This supporting evidence may not be required in the cases of in-company transfers, internships and some scientific jobs. For a company to apply for a work permit, the candidate must be between 18 and 45 years old. If a visa and residency permit is required, your employer can initiate your Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) on your behalf, before you arrive. They will request information from you for the application, such as copies of your passport/ ID and education qualifications. HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRANTS To employ expats under the highly skilled migrant scheme, employers must sign an IND statement to become a ‘recognised sponsor’. Your employer must apply for your residence permit for you, which will be issued for the same period as the work contract, or up to a maximum five years for indefinite contracts. With the highly skilled migrant residency, your employer does not need a separate work permit (TWV) to hire you. If your residency permit is not ready when you arrive, you are allowed to work in the interim period if you visit an IND desk and get a passport sticker (verblijfsaantekening) that proves your application is being processed.


Partners of highly skilled migrants can work without a work permit, though they do require a residence permit before commencing work. SELF-EMPLOYED/ ENTREPRENEURS To be granted residency based on self-employment (for non-EU/ EEA/Swiss), your business activities must ‘serve an essential Dutch interest’. A point system is used to assess this. Your personal experience, business plan and what you plan to offer to the Netherlands (innovation, job creation, investment, etc.) are taken into account. You will also need to prove you have the appropriate qualifications for carrying out your business. With the self-employment residence permit, you can still work as an employee provided the UWV WERK bedrijf has issued a work permit to your employer. Freelancers can also apply for this permit, but proof of assignments in the Netherlands is required. DUTCH AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP TREATY American citizens who wish to start a business in the Netherlands can apply under this scheme, which has been in operation since 1956. They don’t need to satisfy the Dutch economic interest conditions as above, but they do need to register at the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel,, have financial accounts verified by a qualified accountant, have a business plan and substantial

capital investment of EUR 4500, and they cannot apply for social welfare. The same conditions apply to Japanese citizens under the Treaty of Trade and Navigation. STUDENTS There are no work restrictions for students who are EU/EEA/ Swiss nationals; they don’t need a work permit (except for Croatia). If you are a citizen of Croatia transitional rules apply with respect to the labour market, and you will still need a work permit. All other nationalities can only work if a work permit has been granted, and working hours are limited. Students can opt to work part-time throughout the year for a maximum of 10 hours per week, or undertake full-time seasonal work in June, July and August. The employer or agency must obtain a work permit from the UWV WERK bedrijf which will be valid for the same period as the university registration. Students do not need a work permit to undertake a compulsory internship as part of their course. WORKING HOLIDAY SCHEMES Those between the ages of 18 to 30 from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand can apply under these schemes to live and work in the Netherlands for one year. Conditions include proof of a return ticket or funds to buy one. Candidates can apply in their home country, or once they arrive in the Netherlands. A restricted quota of South Koreans can also apply under this permit.



CHANGING JOBS Any changes in your work or partnership status must be reported to the IND within four weeks. You or your ‘sponsor’ (such as an employer) can be penalised by the IND if changes aren’t reported, including contributions to repatriation costs. If you change jobs you don’t necessarily need a new residence permit, but the same rules will apply as for the first permit you were granted. So if you worked with a separate work permit, your new employer needs a new work permit, too. If you worked as a highly skilled migrant, your new employer needs to be eligible to apply under the highly skilled migrant scheme, and will need to prove to the IND that you still meet the requirements of the highly skilled migrant scheme, for example, sending in your contract to show you earn the required salary. If you are applying to extend a residence or work permit, your circumstances will be assessed again in reference to the original application. The main exception is that after three years working on any given residence permit that allowed you to work (such as partners’ permits or employee single permit), you no longer need a separate work permit. Highly skilled migrants can also change their purpose of stay into ‘labour’ after three years, which allows them to work without a work permit and without meeting

the requirements for the highly skilled migrants scheme.

allowance’ (normally paid in May) plus four weeks of paid leave.

It is essential to apply for a new residence permit before the old one expires; the IND will notify you in advance. Letting your permit expire can create a ‘residence gap’, which may affect your eligibility for permanent residency, where five years of continuous stay is required.

Sanne van Ruitenbeek of Pallas Advocaten provides the following important information:

CONTRACTS AND EMPLOYMENT LAW The laws covering employment in the Netherlands are many and various. Your personal contract will determine your pay and specific conditions. Dutch legislation covers key areas such as trial periods, holidays, notice and dismissal, minimum wages, health and safety, and equal treatment. The system for dismissal is particularly unusual in being so protective of employees: in most cases the employer needs permission from the UWV WERK bedrijf or the court to fire you. Useful information regarding working practices, employment law and the minimum wage can be found on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment website ( or the UWV WERK bedrijf website ( If you want to check the market rate for your salary or calculate bruto/netto rates (before/after tax and social security deductions), try It is standard practice in the Netherlands to get extra wages (usually eight percent of your yearly salary) as a ‘holiday

• If you work in the Netherlands, Dutch law is partly and often fully applicable to your employment, even if the law of another country is declared applicable in your contract. • The number of succeeding employment contracts for a fixed term is limited to three. The total duration of fixed term contracts is limited to two years. If the duration of the contracts or the number of fixed contracts exceeds the legal limit, the employment contract will automatically become a contract for an unlimited term. • If the contract is for less than two years, the trial period cannot be longer than one month. The maximum duration of a trial period is two months. Trial periods in contracts for less than 6 months are invalid. During the trial period, both employer and employee are allowed to terminate the employment contract with immediate effect. • The notice period for the employee is usually one month. If the notice period for the employee is extended, the notice period for the employer should be double the notice period of the employee.




• Employment contracts for an unlimited term can only be terminated by the employer with consent of the employee, the labour office (UWV WERKbedrijf) or the Court. The court and labour offices assess whether there are grounds for a valid termination. If an employer gives notice of termination without obtaining prior approval, the employee could nullify the termination. This rule is not applicable in the case of summary dismissal (such as fraud or theft by the employee). Courts are however very reluctant about accepting summary dismissals. It is therefore very important to contact an employment lawyer immediately if you are fired on the spot. • The legal minimum number of holidays per year is four times the weekly working time. This means 20 holidays in the case of a fulltime employee working a five-day week. However, it is common practice in the Netherlands for a fulltime employee to be entitled to approximately 25 holiday days per year in addition to Dutch public holidays. By law, there is an expiration date of six months for taking the legal minimum number of holidays. Employees therefore must take all their holidays within six months after the year in which the holidays were accrued. Should the employee not take the holidays on time, the holidays will lapse without any compensation or payment. The expiration date of six months is not applicable to the holidays that the employee is entitled to on top of the legal minimum number of holidays. These extra holidays will not lapse until after a period of five years. COLLECTIVE LABOUR AGREEMENT (CAO) This is a written agreement covering working conditions and benefits, which is drawn up by employers, employers’ organisations and employee organisations (such as unions). A CAO operates at company or industry sector level and the provisions (number of holidays, for example) are often more generous than statutory requirements. It should state in your contract whether a CAO is applicable; you don’t have to be a member of a union to benefit. If no CAO applies – all must be registered – you will need to negotiate your own terms and conditions. The largest trade union federation in the Netherlands is the FNV (

SOCIAL SECURITY The Dutch social security system is one of the most comprehensive in Europe but access to the welfare system is becoming more restrictive. There are three strands: • National Insurance administered by the social insurance bank (, which includes old age pension (AOW) and child benefit (AKW); • Employee Insurance administered by UWV (, including unemployment benefits (WW, see below), long-term disability (WIA) and sickness (ZW); and • Social Assistance administered by municipalities ( Specific conditions apply to each benefit. Also, do check that your residence rights are not affected if you apply for benefits. Your official documents will need to be in good order. Consult the Ministry of Social Affairs and Welfare website ( for more information. UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT (WW) Your employment history will determine the amount and duration of payments. For the first two months you get 75 percent of your last earned salary, and thereafter 70 percent. You must have worked 26 out of the previous 36 weeks before the first day of unemployment (or less for those not in regular employment). It can be restricted if other benefits are in operation. You apply for benefit online at or at a local office of UWV WERK bedrijf. VOLUNTARY WORK A volunteer is a vrijwilliger and there are many opportunities depending on your skills. Expat advice centre ACCESS is always on the lookout for volunteers in its offices in Den Haag, Amsterdam and Utrecht (



YOUR AMBITION, OUR CHALLENGE Excellent career opportunities Intensive personal guidance Professional career coaching Ample room for development Inspiring network meetings



FINDING A JOB Expats seeking a new career challenge in the Netherlands will find ample opportunities. The Dutch employment market is mature, sophisticated and boasts an impressive array of both local and international companies spread across the Randstad region and beyond. It also has a vast network of specialist and generalist recruitment firms. Many newcomers take the recruitment agency route for speed and convenience, as well as for the valuable contacts that established agencies can tap into, but there are many job hunting streams that foreigners can tap into.

JOB HUNTING Recruitment agencies are big in the Netherlands and several specialise in recruiting non-Dutch nationals. It’s worth exploring every avenue from social media outlets like LinkedIn to internet job engines like, (search by language) or the popular, or even sector-specific sites (architecture, biotechnology, finance etc.). Consider a wider range of areas or industries when job-hunting, so you can get onto the working ladder.




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The UWV WERK bedrijf portal ( also has a useful list, as does EURES, the European job mobility portal ( Expat community sites, such as Expatica, have extensive employment listings for foreigners ( Getting a job through personal contacts is quite common, so don’t be shy about making a direct enquiry to a company or dropping in at a branch of an agency or uitzendbureau. Vacancy (vacature) advertisements are covered in all Dutch newspapers and senior positions at international companies are often placed in English. The list of companies that are eligible for applying for highly skilled migrants is a useful source and can be found on the IND site ( SKILLS IN DEMAND Expats with French, German, Flemish, and Scandinavian language skills are always in demand, according to expat job agency Undutchables. The job market is also strong for experienced professionals in finance and IT, sales and (online) marketing, and customer service. Experience and personality are the most important aspects employers look at, so highlight this on your CV. CULTURALLY CORRECT CVS Concise, direct and professional communication is the style for job applications in the Netherlands. “Remember that a Dutch CV only states facts and figures,” said the centre for work and employment, UWV WERK bedrijf. One or two pages maximum in this order: • Personal details (address etc., sometimes a photo); • Education (courses, not results); • Work experience (the most recent first is popular with recruiters but some like to see career progression). Include job responsibilities. • Leisure activities are valued ‘very much’ by Dutch companies, according to the UWV WERK bedrijf. In your cover letter (which should be in Dutch if possible), include more about your motivation for the job, but keep the tone professional. If you’ve done your research, you should know what the company is looking for and how you fit in.

CULTURAL COMPETENCY Many international companies have headquarters in the Netherlands. For senior executives, ‘cross-cultural competency’ tests may be part of the selection procedure for international assignments. Following on from standard personality analysis programmes, such as the Meyers Briggs Type Indicators, these tests analyse personality preferences and prejudices that could affect performance in a new cultural environment; technical competence to do the job is already assumed. Top firms are looking for executives who are open-minded, flexible, mature, and show respect for, and interest in different cultures. WORKING WITH AGENCIES Specialist and generalist agencies openly advertise their services on websites geared to expats and are frequent advertisers on job boards and leading publications. Trade directories also carry agency listings and search engines like Google will help you navigate your way to various websites. But how do you find an agency that is both tuned into the local market and to your personal needs? Here are some golden rules: • Maintain an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) in English that fully reflects your skills, education, work experience and personal profile, and try to keep it as succinct as possible. If you really want to stand out, have a version translated into Dutch, which some companies will appreciate. • Always support any application with a clear overview or motivation letter setting out your primary work requirements, personal qualities and career objectives. • Follow up any application if you hear nothing back within five days. • Always try to meet your agent in person, and make sure that your CV does not get sent anywhere without your permission. • Be clear about your work preferences and present yourself in a positive and personable light. • Stay flexible and be ready to attend interviews as opportunities emerge, but remain patient while your agent scours the market for the right opportunity.




• Keep your agent informed of any personal developments that might affect the work they are doing on your behalf. THE INTERVIEW PROCESS Once you’ve set yourself up with your preferred agencies and the enquiries are starting to flow in, you need to prepare yourself for interviews. As an expat, one of your primary concerns may be about language. Fortunately, many HR personnel and other hiring managers in the Netherlands speak English at a high level, but this should not stop you from speaking clearly and slowly. Avoid using jargon or colloquial expressions. Just like in your home country, prospective employers expect interviewees to be well-presented, enthusiastic and well-informed. You should research the company in advance, and while most good agencies will prepare you in the best possible way based on their intimate knowledge of the company, selfpreparation is equally important. Always attend an interview armed with a list of relevant questions. When you receive a job offer that fully matches your expectations, your agent will help you to assess the various aspects of the offer, including salary level, benefits, role progression, and career development. Unless you are fully convinced it is the right job for you, allow yourself two or three days to consider all of the angles.

RECRUITMENT AGENCIES • Projob Van Baerlestraat 63–65, 1071 AR Amsterdam +31(0)20 573 8383 | • Together Abroad WTC The Hague Business Center (3rd Floor) Prinses Margrietplantsoen 33, 2595 AM Den Haag | • Undutchables Recruitment Agency Westeinde 20, 1017 ZP Amsterdam +31 (0)20 623 1300 | Burgemeester Haspelslaan 21, 1181 NB Amstelveen +31 (0)20 345 5104 | Noordeinde 202–1, 2514 GS Den Haag +31 (0)70 711 8300 |


Starting a new job in a foreign country might be a daunting prospect for some, but the Dutch are very tuned into working with foreign nationals and you can be reassured that your new co-workers will be supportive of their new ‘international’ colleague. Finally, make an effort to learn some Dutch as it will pay dividends in the long run. WORKING CULTURE Work life and home life are kept separate, and office hours are strictly observed. Newcomers working at Dutch companies are often surprised by the informal working relationships, horizontal management structures and (lots of) meetings (overleggen), at which every point of view must be discussed to reach a consensus. There’s a punctilious approach to these meetings, indeed social engagements of any kind: always carry your diary (agenda). Colleagues often lunch together (all part of working as an egalitarian team) or there may be a canteen. The working environment in an international company can be very different. Flexible working is common, particularly for families with children, however senior executive women are still some distance from the boardroom. In terms of gender diversity at the top, “the Netherlands lags sorely behind other countries,” says cultural consultant Mary van der Boon. In 2012 the Netherlands implemented an EU initiative target of 30 percent of executive positions to be held by each gender by 2019, although it’s not mandatory and applicable only to large or listed companies.

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Medical care in the Netherlands is of a high standard but non-interventionist in nature.

It is mandatory for everyone living in The Netherlands to purchase a basic level of insurance (basisverzekering) and your own health insurance providor (zorgverzekeraar). HEALTH INSURANCE (zorgverzekeringen) must come from a Dutch insurer within four months of arrival, or once you have registered with the IND (family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals) or obtained your residence permit (non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals). Certain students, employees and work arrangements can be exempt from this requirement, but you should check carefully whether your situation qualifies.


Children under 18 are included in their parents’ insurance at no additional cost, unless the child begins working. A Dutch insurance company cannot refuse to cover you for the basic package, regardless of your age or state of health. The standard basic coverage is set by the government, although providers can vary in cost and how they deliver these requirements. If your income is under a fixed minimum level, you can apply for a healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag) from the tax authorities (belastingdienst). You can get free advice from the independent organisation

Visit (in Dutch) for details and application forms. Find a list of insurers (zorgverzekeraars) at, or compare insurance policy costs at,, or BASIC INSURANCE The basic insurance covers general medical care (visits to the doctor, for example), hospital stays, ambulance services, IVF and maternity care, dental care for children up to age 18, most prescription medicine, and various appliances. The government tweaks this package on a yearly basis.



You will need extra coverage for dental care, physiotherapy or anything else the government considers your responsibility, and it is in these additional areas that companies compete. Health-care plans are renewed yearly on 1 January, so inform your provider beforehand if you wish to select or change any extra coverage. Always check that the healthcare supplier (such as a physiotherapist) is registered with your particular insurer before starting treatment. Some insurance companies have policy documents in English on request. It is possible to purchase additional coverage (aanvullende packet) from a different provider than your basic insurer. This may make things more complicated when processing bills, but it can sometimes lower your overall costs or allow you to purchase additional coverage tailored to the needs of foreigners residing in the Netherlands. Basic coverage is around EUR 100 a month. If you work at a company, it is worth checking whether there is a collective scheme that provides health insurance at a discount. Some employers cover (some) costs. If you are self-employed, you may want to take out extra coverage.

The standard insurance package includes a mandatory excess or deductible that you must pay towards your insurance claims. Exemptions apply to family doctor visits, obstetric and postnatal care, national screening programmes, flu vaccinations and some chronic illness treatments, so the insurer ordinarily pays those expenses in full. You can choose to increase your excess contribution in order to reduce the monthly cost of your standard package. DOCTOR A huisarts is a family doctor and you need to register with one convenient for you. People choose a huisarts close to home or work, or travel further to a family doctor they feel comfortable with. Most doctors speak English. Visit huisarts (in Dutch) for doctors (with ratings) in your area. Some doctors will refuse registers because their practices are already full, or will place you on a waiting list. As such, it is important to register with a huisarts when you arrive in the Netherlands, even if you are not ill and rarely use a doctor. If you are not registered with a clinic and become ill, you

may have difficulty finding a nearby doctor who is taking patients, which can delay your treatment. Your insurance company can also provide a list of practitioners, or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Dutch healthcare is generally non-interventionist, so Dutch doctors tend not to hand out prescriptions lightly. You might also see a doctor’s assistant (for blood pressure readings, urine testing, injections etc.) or a practice nurse (for monitoring chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes). You’ll need a referral from a huisarts to receive non-urgent medical treatment from a hospital or other specialist health provider (like a gynecologist or cardiologist) if you would like to have those costs covered by your Dutch medical insurance. Many practices have a spreekuur (or consultation hour) where you can consult your doctor without an appointment. On weekends or holidays a recorded message is on their telephone telling you how to contact on-call medical services. These are often only recorded in Dutch, so if you do not speak Dutch it is best to have a Dutch speaker call for you.





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High-end dentistry ● Multilingual staff ● Open 7 days a week Plenty of personal attention ● Open to new clients

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In case of urgent matters, your huisarts can alert the hospital (for instance, if you’ve broken your ankle they can call ahead to organise an X-ray). Don’t expect a lot of medication, as Dutch doctors are generally reluctant to hand out antibiotics. The usual pain reliever is over-the-counter paracetamol. DENTIST A dentist (tandarts) can also be located via your insurance company. Check your policy carefully, as an annual check-up may be included but not the hygienist fees, for example. You must pay for additional coverage. Dental care for those under 18 is covered in basic insurance, as is dental surgery and dentures. Just as with the family doctor, it is important to register early with a dentist to ensure you can be seen if an urgent problem arises. Dentists are in short supply in the Netherlands, so many practices are full and not taking new patients. Expats may find anesthesia is less forthcoming than in their own country, although this varies between dentists. If you feel that your procedure requires it, it’s helpful to request this. The Dutch visit their dentist on a regular basis – approximately 85 percent go once or twice a year. Almost all dental practices in the Netherlands are private with one dentist and one assistant. It is common to take out additional insurance that can cover up to 75 percent of costs for visits and dental care. Oral surgeons are usually affiliated with a hospital, and orthodontists usually have a private practice. Periodontologists (who specialise in gums), endodontologists (root canal specialists), implantologists and children’s dentists are also available to visit via a referral from

your dentist. Most dentists will give a local anesthetic before a painful treatment, however nitrous oxide is seldom used by a limited number of specialised dentists. ORTHODONTICS Extra health insurance is usually necessary if you want this to be covered by your insurer. If you or a family member is arriving in the Netherlands with orthodontic appliances already in place, some research will be necessary to determine which orthodontist can continue the care here, as there are various types of orthodontic systems and equipment, and not all practitioners use all of them. HEALTHCARE FOR CHILDREN All aspects of children’s growth and development up to 18 years old is covered by the GGD GHOR municipal health service and regional medical assistance (Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst and Geneeskundige Hulpverlening Organisatie in de Regio). On their website ( you can search for your local centre, but if you have young children, they’ll probably find you first via your registration at your local municipality. Inoculations and checks from birth to age four take place at the consultatiebureau, which is usually part of the GGD. Expect a big check-up just before starting school. For childhood immunisations, you may wish to check whether the Dutch immunisation scheme is the same as the one from your home country, especially if you expect to return while your children are still school age. Immunisations different from those on the standard plan can be arranged, although that must sometimes be done via the family doctor rather than the consultatiebureau.

HOSPITALS At the hospital, accident and emergency is “SEH” (spoedeisende hulp) “EHBO” (eerste hulp bij ongelukken) for first aid. The emergency service phone line is 112. In some cases, there is a huisartsenpost (HAP, family doctor post) that you must visit before being admitted to the emergency department, in case the matter is something a doctor can handle without involving hospital care. If you need an ambulance, your doctor or the emergencies services must call one for you, otherwise it might not be covered by your insurance. For a hospital admission for nonemergency treatment, keep your insurance company informed and check your policy. Your insurers will require a referral letter from your huisarts. You usually must make the appointment with the specialist at the hospital. PHARMACIES Pharmacists are able to give advice for minor complaints. Opening hours vary but the address of the nearest out-of-hours pharmacy will be indicated on the door. Drogists supply over-the-counter remedies, while apotheek handle prescription drugs. Once you have located a huisarts, you need to locate a nearby pharmacy (apotheek) where you will pick up prescriptions. If this pharmacy deals with your particular insurance scheme, you won’t have to pay bills directly. Pharmacy services vary, so look for one that has the services you need. For example, many can deliver medications to your home free of charge, and some also offer services such as secured pickup boxes accessible with a key, so that you can retrieve prescriptions after hours.




Pharmacies in the Netherlands expect patients to register with them, meaning that they take your contact and insurance information and then consider you a long-term client (although it is possible to fill prescriptions elsewhere, if needed). If you have been treated at a hospital, you can sometimes fill your prescription at an onsite pharmacy. This will often save time and hassle, especially after business hours. You can also order prescriptions online, or find your nearest pharmacy at HAVING A BABY The Netherlands has a strong tradition in prenatal care and natural childbirths. As the Netherlands has the highest at-home birth rate in a developed country (about 20 percent in 2016), your insurance company will automatically send you a special package for giving birth at home.


This also means some 80 percent are born in a healthcare setting for those who prefer a hospital. A midwife -an independent medical practitioner -- will generally be your sole care provider during your pregnancy and delivery. There are also increasingly more doulas available these days-an experienced woman who can give support and continuity of care, complementary to the midwife or obstetrician. They are (not yet) covered by insurance though. You can find one at

hospital birth if you do not have a medical reason. Supplementary insurances are available to cover any extra costs. Some hospitals have birth centres or nearby birthing “hotels”, where the environment is made more ‘homely’. If you do deliver your baby in a hospital, you can often be back at home the same day for postnatal care.

Expectant mothers with certain sorts of medical conditions or complications will be handled by an obstetrician (gynecologist), which will automatically take place in the hospital.

Regular check-ups take place with the primary caregiver (midwife or obstetrician). Prenatal testing and genetic screening are not routine for women under 35 unless there is some medical history that puts her or the baby into a higher risk category. If you need further tests according to Dutch practice, your caregiver will arrange that.

Should you prefer a hospital birth, let your midwife know within the first few months of your pregnancy. However, you should check that your insurer will cover a poliklinische

The routine prenatal testing recommended in the Netherlands is different from the guidelines in some other countries. If you are not comfortable with



skipping some of the testing, then discuss this with you caregiver. It may be possible to arrange the testing, although you might be required to pay for it yourself. There are many types of birth preparation classes, some of which are offered through local homecare (thuiszorg) organisations. ACCESS ( runs a number of popular ones, from childbirth preparation to postnatal classes. Pregnancy yoga is extremely popular, offering a variety of approaches, from gentle breathing and relaxation exercises to more energetic stretching. One of the best things about taking a class is meeting other parentsto-be and sharing experiences, information and concerns. FINDING A MIDWIFE OR OBSTETRICIAN/ GYNAECOLOGIST The majority of women giving birth in Netherlands are cared for by a midwife (verloskundige or vroedvrouw) during pregnancy and childbirth. Gynaecologists/ obstetricians are part of the care process for women who have (or are expected to have) complications or multiple pregnancies. If your caregiver is a midwife, you can choose to have your baby at home (thuisbevalling) or at a hospital (poliklinische bevalling) with an assisting midwife. If your caregiver is an obstetrician then the delivery will take place in the hospital, although the specific arrangements within the hospital vary from hospital to hospital. You should register with a midwife early in your first trimester. When locating a midwife, your huisarts might be able to make a recommendation, as will your friends and colleagues via word of

mouth. You can also visit the website of the Royal Dutch Association of Midwives ( If the supervision of an obstetrician/ gynaecologist is needed, your huisarts or midwife can assist you in locating one. Few hospitals in the Netherlands have newborn intensive care units, so if complications are anticipated with the baby, it is often preferable to select a healthcare provider already located at one of those hospitals. This minimises the risk that you and your baby will end up in two different hospitals after the delivery, as well as eliminating the risks of transporting a fragile newborn to a different hospital. It is important to let your caregiver know your feelings about pain relief, as it is infrequently offered in the Netherlands but can be arranged for hospital births. While some women complain that the Dutch childbirth system is becoming too medicalised, and others that it is not medicalised enough, most are positive about the postnatal care (kraamzorg). Once your baby has arrived, you will be given assistance at home by a maternity nurse (kraamverzorgster). She will monitor you and your baby’s health, teach some general childcare and set up a daily routine. Best of all, it may include household help. The amount of kraamzorg varies (from a few hours a day for a week, to full-time care) and a representative will come round to discuss what is appropriate just before birth. The insurance generally covers the costs but you should confirm this. It is important to register for kraamzorg early in your pregnancy, as the nurses are sometimes in short supply. You can register online at www. (in Dutch).

MATERNITY LEAVE New mothers are entitled to 16 weeks minimum paid leave in the Netherlands and fathers can take the day of birth plus two (paid) days after the birth, after one year working in a company. During leave, mothers are entitled to 100 percent of their earnings paid out by their employers or the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemers Verzekeringen (UWV). Pregnant women must take pregnancy leave (zwangerschapsverlof) from four to six weeks before their due date. After the birth, women are entitled to 10 to 12 weeks of maternity leave (bevallingsverlof), even if the child is born later than expected. Self-employed mothers are equally entitled to paid leave, but the amount depends on the hours worked in the last 12 months. Parents are also allowed to take increments of unpaid parenting leave (ouderschapsverlof) totalling six months, until a child is 8 years old. As part of this, fathers are increasingly taking one day a week for child care, known as “Daddy Day” (papadag).

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Dutch regulations make it easy for residents to choose and change suppliers. UTILITIES In many cases, the utilities (gas, water and electricity) will already be connected and you just need to transfer them into your name. If you are paying an inclusive rent, check your contract carefully for what is covered in the monthly sum. You can connect all your utilities online at (in Dutch), or www.utility-provider. nl offers a free service to connect expats with the best deal (in English). WATER There are two elements of water payments: a consumption charge based on actual water usage (which is estimated if you don’t have a meter) and a municipal tax for services (sewage, maintenance, etc.). To see which water company covers your area, visit www. and enter your postcode in the box Uw drinkwaterbedrijf, or ask at your local gemeente.

• Amsterdam: Waternet 0900 9394 • Den Haag/Leiden: Dunea 088 347 4747 • Rotterdam: Evides: 0900 0787 • Utrecht: Vitens 0900 0650 • North Holland: PWN Waterleidingbedrijf 0900 405 0700 ELECTRICITY AND GAS The energy market is liberalised, so you are able to choose (or change) suppliers. Most have ‘green’ options, where energy is bought from alternative sources such as sun, wind, water and biomass. Regulatory authorities ensure fair practices and tariffs. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets ( provides a list of gas and electricity suppliers on their website, or you can use their consuWijzer ( to compare prices or seek advice. On, you

can compare prices in English and connect your services online. Main suppliers: • Budget Energie: • Electrabel: • Eneco: • Energie Direct: • E.ON: • Essent: • Greenchoice: • Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij: • Nuon: • Oxxio: Greenchoice is the only 100 percent sustainable energy provider in the Netherlands, using mostly Dutch-generated energy. COMMUNICATIONS There is a huge range of options from many suppliers with combination deals for telephone




(bellen), internet (surfen) and TV, charged under a single monthly fee.

numbers toll free; 0900 numbers are charged (per call or minute).



KPN is the main supplier for landlines, while Ziggo and UPC offer phone connection via cable networks. Often the easiest way to connect a landline is to visit a KPN winkel (shop) with appropriate identification and they can set it up, while some cable networks allow you to sign up online. There are many additional services such as discounts for favourite numbers, or combination deals with internet and TV. For low cost international calls, you can have calls charged via a cheaper provider. For instance, you can rent a line from KPN but direct long-distance calls through Tele2 or OneTel, or register with bell1649 (, or use an international calling card, which you can buy from independent call shops. In all these cases, you key in a combination of codes before dialing overseas. Internet telephony (such as Skype) is a cheaper option. To use a public phone, you’ll need to buy a phone card from a supermarket or newsagent.

Connectivity in the Netherlands is among the highest and fastest in Europe. All kinds of dial-up, ISDN, ADSL, and cable options are available, and can be combined with telephone and TV deals. Fiber cable (glasvezel) is available, but you may need to get your building connected; carriers generally install it free. You can compare prices and packages at It is possible to opt for a TV option from one supplier and telephone/internet from another. It can take up to a couple of weeks to set up, and you need a cable connection. There are internet cafes dotted about and many more cafes and restaurants with WiFi. Dutch libraries also provide internet for a small fee; if you are in Amsterdam, the central library ( offers free internet for members (yearly fee EUR 20).

MOBILE TELEPHONES The cheapest deal for a mobile is via a contract (abonnementen) with one of the main suppliers. You can compare the latest rates on (in Dutch). You’ll need proof of identity, address, income and a bank account to sign a deal. A prepaid phone is more expensive but easier to get; you can top it up with cards from supermarkets. If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a Dutch SIM. Every phone has a unique IMEI serial number (enter *#06# to find out yours). You’ll need this when reporting a stolen phone. You can call 0800


TELEVISION Cable TV is cheap and main providers include Ziggo and UPC, and included in the standard package are BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC World, and CNN alongside Dutch channels, which include the government-owned Nederland 1, 2 and 3 and RTL 4, 5, 7, and 8. You’ll also receive Veronica and Net 5 (quality films and drama including popular US serials), plus National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and popular children’s channels. Local TV channels are another option. For Amsterdam, it is AT5. Subtitling, rather than dubbing, is used except for children’s TV. For more films, sport or other interests, you can select different options for extra payment. Check out for coverage in your area (by postcode) or compare

combination packages at www. or at any of the suppliers. You get a media box and then pay for your chosen option. CanalDigitaal is a provider of satellite TV but you will need to be able to fix a dish facing east and check there are no restrictions on satellite placement with your gemeente. Internet / phone / TV suppliers • CanalDigitaal: • Fiber Netherlands: • KPN: • • Stipte: • Tele2: • Telfort: • T-mobile: • UPC: • Vodafone: • Xs4all: • Ziggo: POST OFFICES Post offices are marked with an orange sign that says postkantoor or PostNL and generally located inside shops, newsagents or tobacconists (postagentschap). Formerly TNT, the company changed its name in 2011. Stamps (postzegels) can be bought in all of the above places and in some of the larger supermarkets, or printed online at Post-boxes are red and scattered throughout shopping areas and neighbourhoods. On the post-box there are two slots: the right (streekpost) is for ‘local’ delivery and you’ll see a list of postcodes that indicate the areas included; the left (overige bestemmingen) is for everywhere else, including international destinations. PostNL aims to deliver locally within 24 hours, otherwise spoedservice guarantees local delivery by 10am the next day and next day delivery to Europe. In 2014, PostNL started trialling evening and Sunday deliveries for certain online



shopping, including the delivery of chilled foods. See for online postal services, or call 0900 0990 (45ct) for customer service. FURNISHING YOUR HOME Hema ( is a Dutch institution for all household matters. Blokker is cheap ( and Ikea ( has many branches across the country. Useful websites • Advice: • Film: • Government: • News, information, community: • Opera: • Restaurants: • Royal family: www. • Telephone directory/Yellow pages: • Tourism: • Weather: • Website links (by category):



EMERGENCY NUMBERS The emergency number for police, fire or ambulance is 112.

The pan-European 112 emergency operators will speak English. You will be asked for the address and city where you are calling from and the nature of the emergency. For information on emergency situations (noodsituaties) in the Netherlands, visit the government site Residents can also subscribe to the government mobile alert service (, which will send a text message regarding any emergencies in your area. POLICE The non-emergency number is 0900 8844. You will be connected to your local police station. If your passport has been stolen, contact your embassy immediately for instructions as to what to do next. You generally need to make a statement at a police station to start any kind of official procedure (insurance, applying for a new passport etc.). Visit for information. FIRE You can find information on Dutch fire services at AMBULANCE In emergency medical situations you can call an ambulance. You can also visit A&E but if a doctor could have treated the situation, you may be charged for this or refused treatment without a

referral. For non-threatening issues, you should first contact your local doctor or find your closest out-of-hours medical clinic (huisartsenpost). GAS AND ELECTRICAL EMERGENCIES If you suspect a gas leak (gaslucht) or have a power problem (stroomstoring) you can call the national line 0800 9009; for serious emergencies posing a public threat, call 112. See for details. WATER EMERGENCY Contact your local gemeente for serious (sewage) issues. If the problem is in the length of pipe between the street and your house, this is the local water board’s responsibility; find yours at by typing your postcode in the box under Uw drinkwaterbedrijf. For other situations that are your responsibility, search the yellow pages (gouden gids) for a loodgieter (plumber). SIREN For acute danger, a siren will sound in the affected area(s) and signals for people to head indoors. Information about the disaster or emergency will be published on However, it should be noted that each municipality tests their siren the first Monday of every month at 12pm.



• ACCESS: Invaluable resource for all international residents. +31 (0)900 222 2377 (20 ct/min) |

Staffed by Dutch volunteers but many speak English. | +31 (0)900 0767 (5ct/min)

• ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS | National: +31(0)20 625 6057


• ANIMAL EMERGENCES Also provides a shelter for animals seeking new homes. | National: +31(0)70 328 2828

• MasterCard: +31 (0)800 022 5821

• GAY & LESBIAN SWITCHBOARD | National: +31(0)20 623 6565

• Schiphol lost property: +31(0)900 0141 (40ct/min)


• GVB (bus and tram) lost property: +31(0)900 8011 (2.76ct/min)

• American Express: +31 (0)20 504 800 • VISA: +31 (0)800 02203110 • NS (rail) lost property: +31(0)900 321 2100 | +31(0)800 0432




Many activities exist for the Netherlands’ thriving expat community. There are a few regional variations for Dutch public holidays, except for the orange madness of King’s Day, which takes over the whole country. Carnival is also celebrated in February and March in Catholic areas.

• Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag) [Not a bank holiday] 14 April 2017


• King’s Day (Koningendag) 27 April 2017

• Sinterklaas [Not a bank holiday] 5 December 2016 (Sint arrives in the Netherlands on 12 November.)

• National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) [Not an bank holiday] 4 May 2017

• Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag) 25 December 2016

• Easter Sunday/Monday (Pasen) 16/17 April 2017

• Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) 5 May 2017 [Bank holiday every 5 years. Next: 2020]

• Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag) 26 December 2016

• Ascension (Hemelvaart) 25 May 2017

• New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaarsdag) 1 January 2017

• Whitsun (Pinksteren) 4 June and Monday, 5 June 2017

SCHOOL VACATION HOLIDAYS The Netherlands school districts are divided into three regions. Some school vacation breaks are taken at the same time, others are split into regions to help spread the seasonal flow of vacationers. North (Noord): Provinces Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland (except Zeewolde), Gelderland (Hattem only), Utrecht (and former Abcoude), and Noord-Holland. Middle (Midden): Flevoland (Zeewolde), Utrecht (except Eemnes and Abcoude), Gelderland areas of Aalten, Apeldoorn, Barneveld, Berkelland, Bronckhorst, Brummen, Buren, Culemborg, Doetinchem, Ede, Elburg, Epe, Ermelo, Geldermalsen, Harderwijk, Heerde, Lingewaal, Lochem, Montferland (except Didam), Neder-Betuwe (except Dodewaard), Neerijnen, Nijkerk, Nunspeet, Oldebroek, Oost-Gelre, Oude IJsselstreek, Putten, Scherpenzeel, Tiel, Voorst, Wageningen, Winterswijk and Zutphen; Zuid-Holland and Noord Brabant (Werkendam and Woudrichem, not Henk and Dussen)

South (Zuid): Gelderland areas of Arnhem, Beuningen, Doesburg, Druten, Duiven, Groesbeek, Heumen, NederBetuwe (Dodewaard), Lingewaard, Maasdriel, Millingen a/d Rijn, Montferland (Didam), Nijmegen, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Rheden, Rozendaal, Rijnwaarden, Ubbergen, Westervoort, West Maas and Waal, Wijchen, Zaltbommel and Zevenaar. • Autumn Holiday 2016 (Herfstvakantie) 15 October 2016 to 23 October 2016 (North and Middle regions) 22 October 2016 to 30 October 2016 (South region) • Christmas Holiday 2016-2017 (Kerstvakantie) 24 December 2016 to 08 January 2017 (all regions) • Spring Holiday 2017 (Voorjaarsvakantie) 18 February to 26 February 2017 (North region) 25 February to 5 March 2017 (Middle and South region) • May Holiday 2017 (Meivakantie) 22 April 2017 to 30 April 2017 (all regions) • Summer Break 2017 (Zomervakantie) 22 July 2017 to 3 September 2017 (North region) 8 July 2017 to 20 August 2017 (Middle region) 15 July 2017 to 27 August 2017 (South region)




ENTERTAINMENT BOOKS • ABC The American Book Center Amsterdam | Spui 12 | +31(0)20 625 5537 | The Hague | Lange Poten 23 | +31(0)70 364 2742 | • Waterstones Booksellers Kalverstraat 152,1012 XE Amsterdam +31 (0)20 638 3821 | EXPAT NEWS & PUBLICATIONS • | • Mark Media & Art Little Kingdom by the Sea | • Stuff Dutch People Like • The Hague Online • The Holland Times Energieplein 8, 2031 TC Haarlem +31 (0)20 410 7880 | • XPat Media Van Boetzelaerlaan 153, 2581 AR The Hague +31 (0)70 306 3310 | FOOD & DRINK • Eating Amsterdam Tours Herengracht 124-126, 1015 BT Amsterdam +31 (0)20 894 3068 | • Gardner Kookt +31 (0)62 244 6985 | @GardnerKookt |

• Hard Rock Café Max Euweplein 57–61, 1017 MA Amsterdam +31 (0)20 523 7611 • Heineken Experience Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam • House of Bols: The cocktail and genever experience Opposite Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 14, Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 570 8575 | • Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room Singel 182, 1015 AJ Amsterdam +31 (0)20 320 6333 | • Taco Gallery, Mexican Cooking • TastyClub MUSIC, THEATER, FILM & COMEDY • Boom Chicago Rozengracht 117, 1016 LV Amsterdam | • Easylaughs | • EYE Film IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam +31 (0)20 589 1400 | | • North Sea Jazz Club Westergasfabriek, Pazzanistraat 1, 1014 DB Amsterdam +31 (0)20 722 0980 |

• Stadsschouwburg & Philharmonie Haarlem Philharmonie Lange Begijnestraat 11, 2011 HH Haarlem Stadsschouwburg Wilsonsplein 23, 2011 VG Haarlem +31 (0)23 512 1212 | • STET The English Theatre Nassaulaan 17, 2243 HJ Wassenaar +31 (0)6 300 500 18 | TOURISM & ACTIVITIES • Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot | Rijksmuseum Muiderslot Herengracht 1, 1398 AA Muiden +31 (0)29 425 6262 | • Bleekemolens Race Planet Amsterdam | Delft | Mijdrecht | Zandvoort Herwijk 10, 1046 BC Amsterdam +31 (0)20 611 1120 | • Efteling Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel +31 (0)416 537 777 | • Science Center NEMO Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam +31 (0)20-5313233 | • The Dame Drum | WRITING • Amsterdam Writing Workshops +31 (0)6 2502 0817 |

GROUPS AND CLUBS ADVICE AND INFORMATION • ACCESS Laan van Meerdervoort 70, 2517 AN Den Haag The Hague Inernational Centre: Spui 70, 2511 BT Den Haag Expat Centre Utrecht: Stadsplateau 1, 3521 AZ Utrecht Expatcenter Amsterdam: Strawinskylaan 39, 1077 XW Amsterdam +31 (0)900 222 2377 (20ct/min) |

Almere • ABCDE – Almere Baby Club for Dutch and English

Delft • Delft Maternity and Motherhood Assistance

• Baby Sensory Nederland:

Den Haag • Birth preparation/baby massage:

Amsterdam • Childbirth preparation courses: www. • International playgroup: • Amsterdam Mamas:

• Expatriate Archive Centre:

• Oya’s Childcare:

BIRTH/BABIES/TODDLERS • Passionate Parenting (information and seminars):

Brabant • Portal for expats and kids:

• International childcare centre: Eindhoven • International play sessions: Haarlem • English Speaking Haarlem contact group

• Growing up bilingual:




Leiden • Vogelwijk playgroup Rotterdam • English-speaking family contact group Voorhout: • International parent and toddler group Voorschoten: • Play sessions for toddlers: BUSINESS/PROFESSIONAL • Amsterdam American Business Club (AABC): • Australian Business in Europe: • Connecting Women (The Hague): • European Professional Women’s Network (Amsterdam chapter):

CLUBS BY NATIONALITY • Australia: Australians abroad in Holland: Australian and New Zealand Club of the Netherlands: • France: Alliance Francaise: Avenir Emploi:

• International Women’s Club Breda: • International Women’s Club Eindhoven:

• Ireland: Irish Club:

• International Women’s Club South Limburg:

• Latin America: CLO Stichting – El Centro Latinoamericano de Orientacion:

• International Women’s Contact Amsterdam:

• New Zealand: New Zealand’s Global Network:

• Spain: La Asociacion Hispanica de La Haya:

• Rotary Club Utrecht International:

• South Africa: The SA Club in the Netherlands: • UK: British Society of Amsterdam: The British Club of The Hague: St Andrew’s Society:

CULTURE & MEDIA • Anglo American Theatre Group (Den Haag):

POLITICS/ACTIVIST • Amnesty International:

• InPlayers (Amsterdam):

• Democrats Abroad:

• International Drama Group of English-Speaking Associates (IDEA) (Dordrecht):

• Republicans Abroad:

• STET –The English Theatre (Den Haag):

SOCIAL • Amsterdam Expat Meetup Group:

• Reading Circle Eindhoven (RCE) (Eindhoven):

• Eindhoven expat group: TheHubEindhoven

• Easylaughs (Amsterdam):

• English Speaking Haarlem (contact group):

GAY & LESBIAN • COC Amsterdam:

• American Women’s Club of The Hague:

• India: India in Nederland:

• Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce:

• Women’s Business Initiative:

• American Netherlands Club of Rotterdam:

• Expat Spouses Initiative:

• Singapore: Singapore Netherlands Association:

• Toastmasters of the Netherlands:

• American Women’s Club of Amsterdam:

Amsterdam Accueil:

• Junior Chamber International (Amsterdam):

• Society of English-Native-Speaking Editors:


• Expatica Forum:

• International Women’s Contact Utrecht: • International Women’s Contact The Hague: • Mom2Mom and women’s church groups: • North American Women’s Club of Eindhoven: • Petroleum Wives Club of The Hague: • Pickwick Women’s Club of Rotterdam: • Women’s Business Initiative: CHURCHES & RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES • Christ Church, Amsterdam (international Anglican churches): www.christchurch. nl | Locations: Amsterdam city centre, Amsterdam Zuid, Amsterdam Zuidoost. • Christ Church, North Holland: • Crossroads International Church: VOLUNTEER GROUPS & OTHER • ACCESS Laan van Meerdervoort 70, 2517 AN Den Haag The Hague Inernational Centre: Spui 70, 2511 BT Den Haag Expat Centre Utrecht: Stadsplateau 1, 3521 AZ Utrecht Expatcenter Amsterdam: Strawinskylaan 39, 1077 XW Amsterdam +31 (0)900 222 2377 (20ct/min) | heldesk@access-nl. org |

• Gay Amsterdam:

• Expatica Date:

• Gay Tourist Information Centre:

• expatsHaarlem:

• PinkPoint (gay information centre):

• Expats in Amsterdam:

• Serve the City Amsterdam:

• Legal Aliens:

• Serve the City Netherlands:

• Leiden Expats:

• Volunteer Centre Amsterdam:




MISCELLANEOUS ONLINE FOOD DELIVERY • HelloFresh Nederland Spaklerweg 50-52, 1099 BC Amsterdam +31 (0)20 760 2014 • Udea EkoPlaza Doornhoek 4040, 5465 TD Veghel +31 (0)41 325 6700 | NUTRITION CONSULTING • EatLiveLoveFood +31 (0)6 3055 4729 |

MEDIA & PHOTOGRAPHY • Mark Media & Art Entrepodok 117, 1018 AD Amsterdam +31 (0)6 2853 3924 | • Sassen en Verstraaten Dorpsweg 147, 1676 GJ Twisk +31 (0)22 754 1080 | M: +31 (0)6 4101 7798 www. |

• Typical Dutch Art Freesiaberg 29, 4708 CE Roosendaal +31 (0)6 2120 7895 | AUTO • Dollar Car Rental | • Hertz Rent a Car | +31 (0)23 567 0747 |

• Orhan Sahin Photography +31 (0)6 4302 3225 |

• RijschoolDenK De Clercqstraat 17 HS, 1053 AA Amsterdam +31 (0)20 489 0801 |

• Profile Studio Willem van Hillegaersbergstraat 50, 3051 Rotterdam +31 (0)6 2529 9091|

• Verkeersschool Kennedy Rijnstraat 90, 1079 HM Amsterdam +31 (0)20 644 4302 | AIRLINES • easyJet:

RELOCATION EXPAT CENTRES • Expatcenter Amsterdam area World Trade Center Amsterdam | F Tower, 2nd floor Strawinskylaan 39, 1077 XW Amsterdam +31 (0)20 254 7999 | welcome@expatcenter. • Expat Center Twente World Trade Center Twente | Industrieplein 2, 8th floor, 7553 LL Hengelo +31 (0)74 25 03 325 | • Expat in Amsterdam Turnerstraat 30 - 1, 1076 VE Amsterdam +31 (0)6-48163021 • Expat Centre Leiden Stationsweg 26, 2312 AV Leiden | +31 (0)71 516 6005 • Expat Center for the Netherlands Startbaan 8, 1185 XR Amstelveen | +31 (0)900 9811 |

• Expat Center Utrecht Stadsplateau 1, 3521 AZ Utrecht | +31 (0)30 286 0000 • The Hague International Centre City Hall (Atrium) | Spui 70, 2511 BT The Hague +31 (0)70 353 5043 • Holland Expat Center South (Noord-Brabant and Limburg provinces) Vestdijk 27A, 5611 CA Eindhoven +31 (0)40 238 6777 | Avenue Céramique 50, 6221 KV Maastricht +31 (0)43 350 5010 Stadhuisplein 128, 5038 TC Tilburg +31 (0)40 238 6777 | tilburg@hollandexpatcenter. com | • Nijmegen Expatdesk Stadswinkel | Marienburg 75, 6511 PS Nijmegen +31 (0)24 329 2408 |

INFORMATION CENTRES • Limburg Economic Development Poststraat 8, 6135 KR Sittard +31 (0)43 328 2565 | • New2nl Amsterdam | +31 (0)6 29 09 39 33 | RELOCATION SERVICE PROVIDERS LAWYERS • De Vreede Advocaten: immigration lawyers Weteringschans 87 D, 1017 RZ Amsterdam +31(0)20 676 7312 | • Noordam Advocatuur Oranje Nassaulaan 5, 1075 AH Amsterdam +31 (0)20 689 8123 | • Everaert Immigration Lawyers IJdok 23, 1013 MM Amsterdam +31 (0)20 752 3200 |

• Expatdesk Rotterdam Coolsingel 104, 3011 AG Rotterdam +31 (0)10 790 0190 |




RELOCATION SERVICES • Altair Global Het Kleine Loo 414 T, 2592 CK Den Haag + 31 (0)70 324 2524 | • De Haan Relocation Edisonweg 18, 2952 AD Alblasserdam +31 (0)78 692 0333 | • Eurohome Relocation Services Wolga 12, 2491 BJ Den Haag | + 31 (0)70 301 1366 • Hello World Holanda +31 (0)619 780 664 | Skype: hwhelloworld | • Interdean Relocation A Einsteinweg 12, 2408 AR Alphen aan den Rijn +31 (0)17 244 7979 | • Map Relocations Weena 737, 3013 AM Rotterdam +32 (0)2 658 8080 |

• Mie-Lan Kok Estate Agency J.H. Weissenbruchweg 19, 2102 AE Heemstede +31 (0)23 547 5941|

ASSISTENCE ORGANISATIONS (links mostlyl in Dutch) • Accessibility Foundation: Accessible internet for all +31 (0)30 239 8270 | www/

• Noble Mobility A. van Leeuwenhoekweg 50, 2408 AN Alphen aan den Rijn | +31 (0)17 274 5454 |

• Children/teenagers support:

• PASBMS Relocation Services Schoutenlaan 62, 2215 ZH Voorhout +31 (0)25 234 7876 |

• Down Syndrome Foundation (SDS)

• RelocAid: Relocation and immigration Rendementsweg 12A, 3641 SK Mijdrecht +31 (0)29 727 2784 |

• Handilinks: A useful portal with lots of related links

• SCL Rotterdam Admiraal de Ruyterstraat 31, 3115 HA Schiedam +31 (0)10 427 7720 | • Tulip Expats Services Malakkastraat 88–90, 2585 SR The Hague +31 (0)70 220 8156 |

• Deaf/blind support

• Dutch Autism Network

• IEDER(in): Network for the chronically ill and disabled +31 (0)30 720 0000 | • MEE: Support and help for living with a disability +31 (0)900 999 8888 | • Valys: Regional assisted transport +31 (0)900 9630 | WEDDINGPLANNERS • The Expat Weddingplanner Jean Monnetpad 38, 2553 TW Den Haag +31 6 36532305 |

FAMILIES BABYSITTING • Charly Cares ‘s-Gravenhekje 1A – 2nd floor, 1011 TG Amsterdam +31 (0)20 210 2323 | | www. CHILDCARE • Baby Sensory Nederland Straat van Gibraltar 41, 1183 GV Amstelveen +31 (0)6 41 81 12 60 | | • Child Care Bimbola Eendrachtsstraat 151, 3012 XK Rotterdam +31 (0)10 213 2027 | • Comme a la Maison / House by the park Duinweg 1, 2585 JT Den Haag +31 (0)70 404 9750 | • Hestia Early Learning Centre Amsterdam, Amstelveen | +31 (0)20 661 8710 | • Kinderopvang Het Steigertje Hoogstraat 66a, 3011 PT Rotterdam +31 (0)10 206 0711 | • Oya’s Childcare IJsbaanpad 8, 1076 CV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 705 8040 | |

• The Family Nanny Lindelaan 106, 1231 CN Loosdrecht +31 (0)35-5826035 | KIDS SPORT • The Little Gym Amsterdam & Den Haag & Haarlem Amsterdam: Henkenshage 4, 1083 BX Amsterdam +31 (0)20 404 0798 Den Haag: Koningin Julianalaan 343, Den Haag +31 (0)70 300 0992 Haarlem: Zijlweg 148A, 2015 BJ Haarlem +31 (0)23 576 7316 | www.thelittlegym. eu/nl-en • Swimbee Swimming lessons Amsterdam: Beemsterstraat 652, 1027 ED Amsterdam Rotterdam: Spaanseweg 2-4, 3028 HW Rotterdam +31 (0)900 794 6233 | • VV Wilhelmus – Expat Football Groene Zoom 2, 2491 EH Den Haag

LEGAL FAMILY LAW • Smeets Gijbels Amsterdam | Jacob Obrechtstraat 70 +31 (0)20 574 7722 Rotterdam | Westersingel 84 | +31 (0)10 266 6666 | • SliepenbeekVanCoolwijkVanGaalen De Lairessestraat 151, 1075 HK Amsterdam +31 (0)88 909 4921 | Parklaan 54, 5613 BH Eindhoven +31 (0)88 909 4900 | LEGAL ADVISORS & NOTARIES • Buma Algera Notoriaat Prins Hendriklaan 27–29, 1075 AZ Amsterdam +31 (0)20 305 8922 | • GWM advocaten Scheveningseweg 52, 2517 KW Den Haag +31 (0)70 361 5048 | | • Mr MJ Meijer Notarissen Keizersgracht 695–699, 1017 DW Amsterdam +31 (0)20 531 7070 | • Mynta Law Benoordenhoutseweg 43, 2596 BC Den Haag +31 (0)7b0205 1162 | |




HOUSING ACCOMODATION AGENCIES • 27 House Real Estate Nieuwe Leliestraat 27 HS, 1015 SJ Amsterdam +31 (0)20 428 0721 | | • Amstelland Makelaars Prinsengracht 750, 1017 LD Amsterdam +31 (0)20 320 9080 | • Amsterdam Beautiful Property Rental Waalstraat 15, 1078 BP Amsterdam +31 (0)20 330 7338 | • Amsterdam House Hunting +31 (0)6 53 10 88 84 | • Expat Estate Agency Charlotte de Bourbonstraat 38-D, 1055 WX Amsterdam | +31 (0)6 20 01 41 42 • Expat Housing Amsterdam | Baarsjesweg 275 | +31 (0)20 662 2366 Den Haag | Anna Paulownastraat 101 +31 (0)70 302 0730 | • GDY Housing Tolstraat 112, 1074 VK Amsterdam +31 (0)20 470 4749 | • Holland Home Management Blasiusstraat 94 A, 1091 CX Amsterdam +31(0)20 354 7195 | • Home to Rent Herengracht 342, 1016 CG Amsterdam +31(0)20 3080206 | Minervaplein 40, 3581 XP Utrecht +31(0)30 888 2131 | • HomeRent Molendijk 22, 3363 EN Sliedrecht +31 (0)85 488 3619 | • HousingXL Netherlands Vestdijk 159, 5611 CB, Eindhoven +31 (0)40 760 0333 | • Interhouse Huur- en Verhuurprofessionals® Amsterdam | Haarlemmermeerstraat 55 +31(0)20 845 0527 Haarlem | Zijlweg 16 | +31(0)23 531 8100 Hilversum | Gijsbrecht v. Amstelstraat 104 +31(0)35 303 1320 Rotterdam | Mariniersweg 84A | +31(0)10 303 2720 Sassenheim | Havenpoort 21 | +31 (0)25 222 5450


• Preferred Hotel Reservations Visiting Address: Het Prooyen 3, 1141 VD Monnickendam Postal address: P.O. Box 62, 1140 AB Monnickendam +31 (0)29 965 6527 • Rots-Vast Group Friesland | Groningen | North Brabant | North & South Holland | Zeeland | • Stoit Groep Vestdijk 23, 5611 CA Eindhoven +31 (0)40 214 0660 | | • Sonar Appartementen Gevers Deynootweg 126, 2586 BP Den Haag +31(0)70 350 5080 | • Tweelwonen Oude Herengracht 18, 2312 LN Leiden +31(0)85 483 1849 | SERVICED HOUSING • Corporate Housing Factory Claude Debussylaan 235, 1082 MC Amsterdam +31 (0)88 116 9500 | • De Thijmse Berg Nieuwe Veenendaalseweg 229–231, 3911 MJ Rhenen | +31 (0)31 761 2384 | • Havaa Apartments Postbus 467, 3500 AL Utrecht +31 (0)6 25 09 01 91 | • Htel Serviced Apartments Teilingen 9, 1082 JP Amsterdam Laan van de Helende Meesters 421, 1186 AL Amstelveen +31 (0)20 426 6400 | welcome@htelapartments. com | • Claude Debussylaan 237, 1082 MC Amsterdam +31 (0)20 723 3490 |

MORTGAGE SERVICES • ABN AMRO International Clients 0900 8170 | +31 (0)10 241 1723 (abroad) Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 343 4002 The Hague | +31 (0)70 375 2050 Rotterdam | +31 (0)10 402 5888 Eindhoven | +31 (0)40 237 9000 • De Boer Financial Consultants Gang 3, 2242 KD Wassenaar | +31 (0)70 511 8788 | • Expat Mortgages Roerstraat 133, 1078 LM Amsterdam +31 (0)20 717 3908 | • Finsens Herengracht 136, 1015 BV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 262 4350 | CLEANING SERVICES • BOOK A TIGER | • Helpling Netherlands +31 (0)20 217 0804 | • UCC-Services Spieringweg 603 Q, 2141 EB Vijfhuizen +31 (0)23 576 2395 | FURNITURE RENTAL • In-Lease, the furniture rental company Stationsweg 94, 6711 PW Ede +31 (0)35 542 6695 | HOME ACCESSORIES • V@Amsterdam Dirk Vreekenstraat 81, 1019DP Amsterdam Skype: vat amsterdam |

• The Student Hotel Amsterdam City | Wibautstraat 129 +31(0)20 214 9999 Amsterdam West| Jan Van Galenstraat 335 +31 (0)20 760 4000 Rotterdam | Willem Ruyslaan 225 +31 (0)10 760 2000 The Hague | Hoefkade 9 | +31 (0)70 762 1000 | • World Fashion Apartments Koningin Wilhelminaplein 370, 1062 KS Amsterdam +31 (0)20 301 3930 |



FINANCE FINANCIAL AND TAX ADVISORS • ABBM Group | ABN AMRO 0900 8170 | +31 (0)10 241 1723 (abroad) Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 343 4002 The Hague | +31 (0)70 375 2050 Rotterdam | +31 (0)10 402 5888 Eindhoven | +31 (0)40 237 9000 • Blacktower Financial Management (International) Van Gijnstraat 19, 2288 GB, Rijswijk +31 (0)70 319 4041 | • Blue Umbrella Weesperstraat 106, 1018 DN, Amsterdam +31 (0)20 468 7560 | • Corvus Tax Naaldwijkseweg 101, 2691 RD Westland +31 (0)17 424 0811 |

• DTS Duijn’s Tax Solutions World Trade Centre, Tower H Zuidplein 36, 1077 XV Amsterdam +31 (0)88 387 669 | • Elliot Lloyd World Trade Center, Prinses Margrietplantsoen 33, 2595 AM, The Hague | +31 (0)70 205 4850 | • Expatax Keizerstraat 3, 3512 EA Utrecht +31 (0)30 246 8536 | • Finsens Herengracht 136, 1015 BV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 262 4300 | • J.C. Suurmond & zn. Tax consultants Jupiter 65, 2685 LV Poeldijk +31 (0)17 424 4725 | • KozRog Consult - Accounting, Tax and IT Solutions 11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 2000 Reston, Virginia 20190, USA +(1) 202 780 6008 |

• Okx Van Leeuwen: Tax Lawyers in Business
 Keizersgracht 442, 1016 GD Amsterdam
 +31 (0)6 46 60 55 20 | • Ralph’s Tax Service Koningin Juliana Plein 10, 11th floor, 2595 AA Den Haag | +31 (0)6 57 79 76 84 • Tax Direct Ringparkbuilding Nachtwachtlaan 20, 1058 EA Amsterdam +31(0)20 820 8340 | • Tax & Service Solutions Riouwstraat 12, 3312 XL Dordrecht +31(0)6 44 11 11 33 | • Tax Compliance Service Kingsfordweg 151, 1043 GR Amsterdam +31 (0)20 491 9945 | • Spectrum IFA Group Strawinskylaan 3051, 1077 XW Amsterdam +31 (0)20 301 2119 |

EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS LISTING ALKMAAR AREA • The European School Molenweidtje 5, 1862 BC Bergen NH +31 (0)72 589 0109 | ALMERE • Letterland International Primary School A. Roland Holststraat 58, 1321 RX Almere + 31(0)36 5367240 | • Secondary Dept. at International School Almere Heliumweg 61, 1362 JA Almere-Poort +31 (0)36 760 0750 | AMSTERDAM AREA • 21st Century Global School Korte Verspronckweg 7–9, 2023 BS Haarlem +31 (0)63 948 2827 • Amsterdam International Community School Prinses Irenestraat 59, 1077 WV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 577 1240 | • Le lycée Français Vincent van Gogh Rustenburgerstraat 246, 1073 GK Amsterdam +31 (0)20 644 6507 | • Gifted Minds International School Landtong 18, 1186 GP Amstelveen | +31 (0)20 822 1365

• International School of Amsterdam Sportlaan 45, 1185 TB Amstelveen +31 (0)20 347 1111 | • The British School of Amsterdam Nursery & Early Years Location: Anthonie van Dijckstraat 1a, 1077 ME Amsterdam +31 (0)20 679 7840 Infant School Location: Jan van Eijckstraat 21, 1077 LG Amsterdam +31 (0)20 679 3060 Junior & Senior School location: Fred. Roeskestraat 94a, 1076 ED Amsterdam +31 (0)20 679 0183 • The Japanese School of Amsterdam Karel Klinkenbergstraat 137, 1061 AL Amsterdam +31 (0)20 611 8136 | ARNHEM / NIJMEGEN • Arnhem International School Primary dept. at Dr. Aletta Jacobsschool Slochterenweg 27, 6835 CD Arnhem +31 (0)26 323 0729 Secondary dept. at Lorentz Lyceum Groningensingel 1245, 6835 HZ Arnhem +31 (0)26 320 2840

BREDA (including Zeeland and West Brabant) • International School Breda Mozartlaan 27, 4837 EH Breda +31 (0)76 560 7870 | BRUNSSUM (Limburg) • Afnorth International School Ferdinand Bolstraat 1, 6445 EE Brunssum +31 (0)45 527 8221 | DELFT • International School Delft Jaffalaan 9, 2628 BX Delft +31 (0)15 285 0038 | EERDE (near Zwolle) • International School Eerde Kasteellaan 1, 7731 PJ Ommen +31 (0)52 945 1452 | EINDHOVEN • International School Eindhoven Oirschotsedijk 14B, 5651 GC Eindhoven Primary dept. | +31 (0)40 251 9437 Secondary dept. | +31 (0)40 242 6835 • European School of Mol Europawijk 100, 2400 Mol, Belgium +32 (0)1 456 3111 |




ENSCHEDE • International School Twente Daalweg 32, 7541 AN Enschede Primary dept. | +31 (0)53 431 1173 Secondary Dept. | +31 (0)53 482 1100 GRONINGEN • Groningse Schoolvereniging, International Department Sweelincklaan 4, 9722 JV Groningen +31 (0)50 527 0818 | • International School Groningen Esserberg Villa Rijksstraatweg 24, 9752 AE Haren +31 (0)50 534 0084 | THE HAGUE AREA (Den Haag) • Deutsche Internationale Schule (German School) Van Bleiswijkstraat 125, 2582 LB Den Haag +31 (0)70 354 9454 | • Haagsche Schoolvereeniging (HSV) International primary department Admissions: + 31 (0)70 318 4965 | Nassaulaan 26, 2514 JT Den Haag +31 (0)70 318 4950

• •

Koningin Sophiestraat 24A, 2595 TG Den Haag +31 (0)70 324 3453 Van Nijenrodestraat 16, 2597 RM Den Haag +31 (0)70 328 1441 Lighthouse Special Education Curriculum: Individual SEN-program taught in English Amalia van Solmstraat 155, 2595 TA Den Haag +31 (0)70 335 5698 | Le Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh Scheveningseweg 237, 2584 AA Den Haag +31(0)70 306 6920| The American School of The Hague (also IBDP and IBCC) Rijksstraatweg 200, 2241 BX Wassenaar +31 (0)70 512 1060 | The British School in the Netherlands (BSN) Admissions/enquiries: +31 (0)70 315 4077 Primary schools: Vlaskamp 19, 2592 AA Den Haag | +31 (0)70 333 8111 Diamanthorst 16, 2592 GH Den Haag +31 (0)70 315 7620 Vrouw Avenweg 640, 2493 WZ Den HaagLeidschenveen | +31 (0)70 315 4040

Secondary school (also IBDP and IBCC): Jan van Hooflaan 3, 2252 BG Voorschoten +31 (0)71 560 2222 • The European School of The Hague Houtrustweg 2, 2566 HA Den Haag Nursery dept. | French, Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish and German Primary dept. | French, Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish and German Secondary dept. | French, Dutch and English +31(0)70 700 1600 | • The Indonesian Embassy School in the Netherlands Rijksstraatweg 679, 2245 CB Wassenaar +31 (0)70 517 8875 |


• The International School of The Hague Wijndaelerduin 1, 2554 BX Den Haag Primary dept. | +31 (0)70 338 4567 Secondary dept. | +31 (0)70 328 1450 HILVERSUM • International Primary School Hilversum Rembrandtlaan 30, 1213 BH Hilversum Frans Halslaan 57A, 1213 BK Hilversum Violenstraat 3,1214 CJ Hilversum +31 (0)35 621 6053 | • International School Hilversum Alberdingk Thijm (Primary & Secondary dept.) Emmastraat 56, 1213 AL Hilversum +31 (0)35 672 9931 | LEIDEN AREA | LEIDERDORP • Elckerlyc International School Klimopzoom 41, 2353 RE Leiderdorp +31 (0)71 589 2945 | OEGSTGEEST • International secondary dept. Het Rijlands Lyceum Apollolaan 1, 2341 BA Oegstgeest +31 (0)71 519 3555 | MAASTRICHT • United World College Maastricht Discusworp 65, 6225 XP Maastricht NL +31 (0)43 241 0410 | ROTTERDAM • American International School of Rotterdam Verhulstlaan 21, 3055 WJ Rotterdam +31(0)10 422 5351 | • De Blijberg international primary dept. Graaf Florisstraat 56, 3021 CJ Rotterdam +31 (0)10 448 2266 | • Rotterdam International Secondary School Bentincklaan 294, 3039 KK Rotterdam +31 (0)10 890 7749 | • The Japanese School of Rotterdam Verhulstlaan 19, 3055 WJ Rotterdam +31 (0)10 422 1211 | UTRECHT • International School Utrecht Van Bijnkershoeklaan 8, 3527 XL, Utrecht +31 (0)30 870 0400 | BUSINESS EDUCATION • Amsterdam Business School University of Amsterdam Plantage Muidergracht 12, 1018 TV Amsterdam MBA: +31 (0)20 525 5655 | MIF: + 31 (0)20 525 4056 | • Maastricht School of Management Endepolsdomein 150, 6229 EP Maastricht +31 (0)43 387 0808 | | • Maastricht University School of Business and Economics Tongersestraat 49, 6211 LM Maastricht + 31 (0)43 387 0808 | • Nyenrode Business Universiteit Straatweg 25, 3621 BG Breukelen +31 (0)34 629 1211 |

• Rotterdam Business School MBA Rotterdam University Kralingse Zoom 91, 3063 ND Rotterdam +31 (0)10 794 6229 | M: +31 (0)62 150 2419 | • Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam +31 (0)10 408 2222 | • TIAS School for Business and Society Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg +31 13 466 86 00 Horsten 1, 5612 AX Eindhoven Kromme Nieuwegracht 39, 3512 HD Utrecht +31 13 466 8600 | • The Hague University of Applied Sciences Main campus at Johanna Westerdijkplein 75, 2521 EN The Hague +31 (0)70 445 8888 | Delft campus at Rotterdamseweg 137, 2628 AL Delft +31 (0)15 260 6200 Laan van Poot campus at Laan van Poot 363, 2566 DA The Hague | +31 (0)70 448 3222 Zoetermeer campus at Bleiswijkseweg 37, 2712 PB Zoetermeer | +31 (0)70 445 7200 • UIBS Antwerp Campus (main campus) International Education Center Meirbrug 1, box 29. 2000 Antwerp, Belgium +(32) 3 2835126 | • UIBS Barcelona Campus (main campus) International Education Center Rambla de Catalunya 2 – 4, 08007 Barcelona, Spain +34 934522227 | • UIBS Brussels Campus (main campus) International Education Center Avenue des Arts 10 – 11, 1210 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 2037780 | • UIBS Zurich Campus (main campus) International Education Center Brandschenkestrasse 38, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland +41 44 2011222 | i • UIBS Amsterdam Campus (extension campus) Spaces Business Center Herengracht 124 – 128, 1015 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands | +31 20 5219423 | • UIBS Lausanne Campus (extension campus) Regus Business Center Voie du Chariot 3, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland +41 21 5605626 | • UIBS Madrid Campus (satellite campus) Regus Business Center Carrera de San Jerónimo 15, 28014 Madrid, Spain +34 914547281 | • UIBS Milan Campus (extension campus) Regus Business Center Via Santa Maria Valle 3, 20123 Milan, Italy +39 0200681086 |



• UIBS Tokyo Campus (satellite campus) Regus Business Center Park Tower 3-7-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, 163-1030 Tokyo, Japan +81 3 53263477 | • Webster University Webster Leiden Boommarkt 1, 2311 EA Leiden +31 (0)71 516 8000 Webster Amsterdam Strawinskylaan 57, Tower D Level 2, 1077 XW Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 214 8857 | • SAE Institute Amsterdam Johan van Hasseltweg 31, 1021 KN Amsterdam +31 (0)20 435 0655| • SAE Institute Rotterdam Kratonkade 5, 3024 ES Rotterdam +31(0)10 411 7951 | | • MMS Worldwide Institute Keizersgracht 62-64, 1015 BN Amsterdam +31(0)64 254 0007 | COMPANY TRAINING & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT • Culture-Inc. Haarlem Business Center A. Hofmanweg 5A, 2031 BH Haarlem +31 (0)62 556 0818 | • in2motivation Amstelveenseweg 739, 1081 JE Amsterdam +31 (0) 20 737 0312 | • knowboundaries Coaching and Training Jane Stephenson | +31 (0)6 24 16 1961 |

• Leadership & Change in Organizations (LCO) Meester F. A. van Hallweg 23, 1181 ZT Amstelveen | +31(0) 20 645 0061 | LANGUAGE SCHOOLS • Delken&Boot Schiekade 113, 1st floor, 3033 BL Rotterdam +31 (0)10 422 1481 | • easyNL Roelofspad 10, 5645 JG Eindhoven +31 (0)40 211 3101 | | • Institute for Dutch Language Education University of Amsterdam | Room 405 PC Hoofthuis Spuistraat 134, 1012 VB Amsterdam +31 (0)20 525 4642 | | • Koentact Language School Elandsgracht 70, 1016 TX Amsterdam +31 (0)20 737 1616 | | • Language Institute Regina Coeli Martinilaan 12, 5262 BR, Vught +31 (0)73 684 8790 | • NedLes Nieuwe Herengracht 145, 1011 SG Amsterdam +31 (0)20 624 3510 | M: +31 (0)62 558 5653 | • Ster College Van Vorststraat 50, 5622 CX Eindhoven +31 (0)40 269 5800 | • Taalhuis Amsterdam Sint Nicolaasstraat 59, 1012 NJ Amsterdam +31 (0)6 18 11 09 84 |

• Talencoach Keizersgracht 8, 1015 CN Amsterdam +31 (0)20 331 3738 | • Top Taal Anthony Fokkerweg 1M, 1059 CM, Amsterdam +31 (0)88 3742000 | • Tornante Trainingen 1e Pijnackerstraat 64, 3036 GK Rotterdam +31 (0)10 742 0465 | • University of Amsterdam Talen Roetersstraat 25, 1018 WB Amsterdam +31 (0)20 525 4637 | LANGUAGE WEBSHOP • Dutch I presume +31 (0)10 798 6018 | CORPORATE TRAINING • Outspoken Communication +31 (0)88 111 9333 COURSES & CLASSES • Volksuniversiteit Amsterdam Javaplein 2, 1094 HW Amsterdam +31 (0)20 626 1626 | • IDA Foundation Slochterweg 35, 1027 AA Amsterdam +31 (0)20-4033051 |




EMPLOYMENT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES Amsterdam • Projob Van Baerlestraat 63–65, 1071 AR Amsterdam +31(0)20 573 8383 | • Randstad Multilingual Recruitment Spaklerweg 52 J, 1114 AE Amsterdam - Duivendrecht • Undutchables Recruitment Agency Westeinde 20, 1017 ZP Amsterdam +31 (0)20 623 1300 | • Unique Multilingual Amsterdam-Utrecht Piet Heinkade 221, 1019 HM Amsterdam
 +31 (0)20 535 3400 | amsterdamutrecht@ | Amstelveen • Undutchables Recruitment Agency Burgemeester Haspelslaan 21, 1181 NB Amstelveen +31 (0)20 345 5104 | Eindhoven • Undutchables Recruitment Agency Veldmaarschalk Montgomerylaan 7, 5612 BA Eindhoven | +31 (0)40 237 3395 | • Unique Multilingual Eindhoven Dr Holtroplaan 32, 5652 XR Eindhoven +31 (0)40 239 5200 | eindhoven@ | Rotterdam • Unique Multilingual Rotterdam Blaak 6, 3011 TA Rotterdam | +31 (0)10 206 1010 | The Hague • Madison Parker international BV Koningin Julianalaan 351 A, 2273 JJ Voorburg +31 (0)70 387 5911| • Undutchables Recruitment Agency Noordeinde 202–1, 2514 GS Den Haag +31 (0)70 711 8300 | • Unique Multilingual Den Haag Fluwelen Burgwal 1D, 2511 CH The Hague +31 (0)70 310 2740 | Utrecht • Undutchables Recruitment Agency Achter de Dom 14, 3512 JP Utrecht +31 (0)30 238 2228 | • Unique Multilingual Amsterdam-Utrecht Piet Heinkade 221, 1019 HM Amsterdam
 +31 (0)20 535 3400


EXPAT EMPLOYERS & CAREER RESOURCES • Abroad Experience Van Asch van Wijckstraat 4, 3811 LP, Amersfoort +31 (0)33 479 3095 | • AMSTERDAM CLUB 4 SUCCESS organized by DIAMIND Training Training & Networking for Professionals | • ASML De Run 6501, 5504 DR Veldhoven +31 (0)40 268 3000 | • Atlassian Singel 236, 1016 AB Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 796 0060 • Herengracht 597, 1017 CE Amsterdam | • Club Med | • Complete Communications Soesterveste 14, 3432 RK, Nieuwegein +31 (0)30 268 4623 | • Copernica Marketing Software De Ruyterkade 112, 1011 AB Amsterdam +31 (0)20 520 6190 | • Curvature Merchants Court - Amsterdam, Singaporestraat 66, 1175 RA Lijnden +31 (0) 20 449 6910 | • Elsevier Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam +31 (0)20 485 3911 | company-information/careers • EURES |00800 4080 4080 • European Investment Bank Zuidplein 36, 1077 XV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 799 7835 | • Expatcenter Amsterdam Expatcenter Amsterdam area World Trade Center Amsterdam | F Tower, 2nd floor Strawinskylaan 39, 1077 XW Amsterdam +31 (0)20 254 7999 | welcome@expatcenter. | expatcenter • GarantiBank International N.V. Keizersgracht 569-575, 1017 DR Amsterdam +31 (0)20 553 9700 | • Hiil Bezuidenhoutseweg 16A, 2594 AV Den Haag +31 (0)70 762 0700 | | • Liberty Global Boeing Avenue 53, 1119 PE Schiphol Rijk +31 (0)20 778 9840 | • Limburg Economic Development Poststraat 8, 6135 KR Sittard +31 (0)43 328 2565 |

• Murata Europe Wegalaan 2, 2131 JC Hoofddorp +31 (0)23 569 8454 | • Optimizely B.V. Nes 76, 1012 LZ Amsterdam +31 (0)20 261 1444 | • Optiver Europe Strawinskylaan 3095, 1077 ZX Amsterdam +31 (0)20 708 7000 | • Palo Alto Networks De Entrée 99-197, Oval Tower, 5th Floor, 1101 HE Amsterdam | +31 (0)20 560 2030 • PVH – Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein Stadhouderskade 6, 1054 ES Amsterdam • Revinate Herengracht 205-3, 1016 BE Amsterdam • Sapienza Consulting Kapteynstraat 1, 2201 BB Noordwijk +31 (0)71 407 6518 | • Sectra Benelux Televisieweg 37A, 1322 AJ Almere +31 (0)36 540 1970 | • SharkTalent Sàrl Rue de L’Evole 5, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland +41 32 724 08 08 | • Tesla Motors Burgemeester Stramanweg 122, 1101 EN Amsterdam +31 (0)20 258 3916 | • Thales Nederland B.V. Bestevaer 46, 1271 ZA Huizen | +31 (0)35 524 8248 • The Chain Company BV Beursstraat 11, 7551 HP Hengelo +31 (0)74 246 9210 | • Together Abroad WTC The Hague Business Center (3rd Floor) Prinses Margrietplantsoen 33, 2595 AM Den Haag | • TomTom De Ruijterkade 154, 1011 AC Amsterdam +31 (0)20 757 5000 | • TravelBird Netherlands Keizersgracht 281, 1016 ED Amsterdam + 31 (0)20 308 0400 | • Gebouw The Gallery Hengelosestraat 500, 7521 AN Enschede +31 (0)53 483 6838 | • YER Technology Hogehilweg 16, 1101 CD Amsterdam +31 (0)20 697 5011 |



HEALTH SERVICES INSURANCE PROVIDERS • ONVZ Zorgverzekeraar De Molen 66, 3995 AX Houten +31 (0)30 639 6222 | • IntegraGlobal 29/30 Fitzroy Square, London, UK +44 (0)333 405 3003 | • Now Health Suite G3/4, Coliseum Building Watchmoor Park, GU15 3YL Surrey, UK +44 (0)127 660 2100 | HEALTH CONTACTS • ACCESS: – ACCESS publishes several online information guides. • Doula: • Homecare (thuiszorg): • Midwives: • The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG): MEDICAL The emergency number for fire, police and ambulance is 112. HOSPITAL A hospital is a’ ziekenhuis’ and a complete list of hospitals and medical centres for the Netherlands can be found at PHARMACY To locate an apotheek, visit DOCTOR Don’t wait for an emergency before registering with a family doctor. Find one at www.zorgkaartnederland. nl/huisarts • Huisartsenpraktijk Keizersgracht Bilderdijkstraat 142 – 148, 1053 KZ Amsterdam Westermarkt 2, 1016 DK Amsterdam Maasstraat 71, 1078 HE Amsterdam Nassaukade 361, 1054 AA Amsterdam +31 (0)20 450 9919 | |

EMERGENCY DOCTORS SERVICES (CENTRALE HUISARTSENPOST) • Amsterdam region (SHDA): 088 003 0600 • The Hague (SMASH): 070 346 9669 • Rotterdam: 010 290 9888 • Utrecht: 0900 450 1450 • Eindhoven: 0900 8861 • National line for information on all medical services: 0900 1515 (24/7) INSURANCE For more information about your specific situation, you can contact the following: • College for Health Insurances: 020 797 8555. • Sociale Verzekeringsbank: Under contact, type your postcode and get the phone number for your area and specific situation (for questions regarding social security). DENTAL EMERGENCIES You can call one of the helplines below to find an out-of-hours dentist, or call your own dentist and a recorded message will inform you what to do. Many dentists provide their own emergency services. Find a dentist at • Amsterdam: 0900 821 2230 • The Hague: 070 311 0305 • Rotterdam: 010 455 2155 DENTAL PRACTICES • Ivory & Ivory Dentistry Reguliersgracht 142, 1017 LZ Amsterdam +31 (0)20 626 0289 | Ieplaan 2, 2565 LL Den Haag +31 (0)70 360 8235 | Laan van Wateringseveld 120, 2548 CC Den Haag +31 (0)70 359 9774 | Catharijnesingel 56, 3511 GE Utrecht +31 (0)30 234 3415 | Maliebaan 44, 3581 CS Utrecht +31 (0)30 231 0003 | • Lassus Tandartsen Amsterdam Lassusstraat 9, 1075 GV Amsterdam +31 (0)20 471 3137

• Keizersgracht 132, 1015 CW Amsterdam +31(0)20 422 1912 | • Tandartspraktijk Hans de Liefde Rietwijkerstraat 52, 1059 XB Amsterdam +31 (0)20 614 0053 | EXPAT COACHING & THERAPY • ExpatPsy Westerkade 1, 3016 CL Rotterdam +31 (0)10 436 1768 | • in2motivation Amstelveenseweg 739, 1081 JE Amsterdam +31 (0)20 7370312 | • Kühler and Trooster International Mental Health The Hague, Nassaulaan 5, 2514 JS Den Haag Amsterdam, Tesselschadestraat 4, 1054 ET Amsterdam Amstelveen, Dorpsstraat 36, 1182 JE Amstelveen Den Haag +31 (0)6 1172 5725 | Amsterdam +31(0)6 1172 5725 | Amstelveen +31(0)6 1172 5725 • Protea Expat Therapy, Valeria Pierdominici De Wittenkade 192 I, 1051 AP Amsterdam Amsterdam | Amstelveen | Den Haag +31 (0)6 4196 9497 | • PsyQ International Mental Health Services Rheastraat 53 A, 1076 DS Amsterdam +31 (0)88 357 4600 Carel Reinierszkade 197, 2593 HR Den Haag +31 (0)88 357 3478 Torenallee 20 (videolab), 5617 BC Eindhoven +31 (0)88 357 3695 +31 (0)88 357 3478 | • Puzzle to Picture Databankweg 12, 3821 AL Amersfoort +31 (0)6 4252 5363 | • U-center Julianastraat 23 A, 6285 AH Epen +31(0)800 222 4446 |

SETTING UP HOME ENERGY & GAS • Greenchoice Pieter de Hoochweg 108, 3024BH Rotterdam +31 (0)10 478 2326 |

RENOVATION, REFURBISHMENT, INTERIOR • Van Kempen Project Management Jan Luykenstraat 28-2, 1071 CP Amsterdam +31 (0)20 672 4136 |

UTILITY SERVICE • Utility Provider Rivium 4e Straat 3, 2909 LJ Cappelle aan den IJssel +31 (0)10 870 1598 |





27 House Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Language Institute Regina Roeli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53


Lassus Tandartsen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

ABN AMRO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 ACCESS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Altair Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Amsterdam International Community School (AICS). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


Limburg Economic Development / Maastricht Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

M Mr. M.J. Meijer Notarissen N.V.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Murata. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73


Bimbola. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Preferred Hotel Reservations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27


ProJob. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Charly Cares. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14



RelocAid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Eurohome. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

RijschoolDenK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Expat Estate Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


Expat Fair Amsterdam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Expat Fair Eindhoven. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

SharkTalent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Expatax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

SliepenbeekVanCoolwijkVanGalen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Expatcenter Amsterdam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Sonar Appartementen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Expatica Datings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Ster College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59



FVB de Boer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Taalhuis Amsterdam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56


The British School in the Netherlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

GMW advocaten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

The British School of Amsterdam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57


The Expat Weddingplanner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Havaa Apartments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Holland Expat Center South. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Home to rent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Together Abroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Tulip Expats Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


Htel Serviced Apartments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Undutchables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62


United International Business Schools (UIBS). . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

International School Breda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 International School Hilversum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

V Verkeersschool Kennedy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

International School of Amsterdam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51



XPat Media. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 10, 27

Job Fair for Internationals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44



YER Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Kühler & Trooster International Mental health. . . . . . . . . . 97



We understand the highs and lows of living internationally and offer tailor-made, compassionate care with a strong focus on quality of life. Our experienced team of psychiatrists and psychologists provide mental health care to internationals of all ages. We are here to support you.   +31 (0) 6 11 725 725 Amsterdam




The Hague

Expat Survival Guide 2017