Relocating to the Netherlands: What International Assignees Need to Know
Posted by: Marije Peddemors, Client Services Manager, Netherlands
The Netherlands has long been a frequented destination for expatriates, especially the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague. I recently shared my top tips and best practices for international assignees in the latest Cartus video on relocating to the Netherlands. With a dedicated Destination Services team on the ground in The Netherlands, we understand the potential challenges that companies and their employees may face when relocating.
Tips for Assignees and Relocation Managers
Our Netherlands video covers housing, schooling, transport, and language, including best practice tips on each topic. Here are a few of the top tips from the video:
- Assignees need to register their stay at the local immigration office. They will then be given a personal registration number, known as a ‘BSN’. Everyone in the Netherlands has one, and it is needed for all official matters like working, opening a bank account, or seeking medical treatment.
- Amsterdam’s rental market is very fast moving, so when searching for a home international assignees need to make quick decisions.
- Looking for a family home with a garden in Amsterdam? You’ll need to expand the search out to Amsterdam’s surrounding suburbs as such properties in the city centre are extremely rare.
- The Hague rental market is also competitive. The city is home to many global corporations and surrounding universities, which means assignees will have to compete with graduates and students, as well as expatriates.
- Assignees planning to drive whilst on relocation to Amsterdam should check parking options for their neighbourhood. Most areas require residents to obtain parking permits, which (in some cases) can take years!
- Consider purchasing a bicycle or fietsen. They’re by far the most popular way to travel (and it helps that the country only has the occasional hill). If you do get a bike then be sure to use at least two locks as bike theft is a common occurance, especially in cities.
- Relocating with children? Then it’s best to research schools online before you arrive in-country for a school search trip. That way, applications can be made as early as possible.
- The restricted opening hours may take a bit of getting used to, for example, banks and most shops are closed until 1 p.m. on Mondays, and Sunday shopping is typically only available in major cities.
- Enjoy the rich cultural heritage! The Netherlands (and Amsterdam especially), is full of museums, art galleries, theatres, and restaurants, so be sure to visit as many as you can during your assignment.