Picking up your stuff and moving to another country is quite exciting. Once you find yourself between all those tall Dutch people, that never close their curtains (we still have no idea why we don’t), you’ll be confronted with a different culture, language and rules. As an expat in Amsterdam there are a bunch of things you need to arrange. Check out the most important six and get started.
What visa & permits do you need as an expat?
Depending on the country you’re from you may or may not need a visa to live in the Netherlands. Normally the following rules apply: if you are a European citizen, you don’t need a visa. There are special rules for Schengen countries, and visa requirements for almost every other country in the world. If you want to become an expat in Amsterdam, you should check with your embassy for up to date information.
Getting a rental house in Amsterdam as an expat
The ingredients for getting that great apartment in Amsterdam are: luck, determination and medium to large pockets filled with cash. Like any other great city, the demand is much higher than the supply. To get the madness over with, dedicate yourself to it for at least two weeks and also read our tips for finding a house in this city. You should definitely consider using the RentSlam tool, since we’ve been through this process many times it before. It sends you all the property that matches your criteria within minutes of them becoming available.
Work workworkwork work work
You might already have a job as you enter Amsterdam, or maybe you’re a student. But if you’re looking for a job, your search must spread through many channels, apart from the obvious ones like LinkedIn. So, try Intermediair, Nationale Vacaturebank and Monsterboard. There also private employment agencies called “uitzendbureaus” in Dutch which you should check, some of them even specialize in Expats in Amsterdam.
Get health insurance
In the Netherlands, it’s obligatory to get Health Insurance from a Dutch insurance company. The only way to work around it, is to stay in the Netherlands for less than twelve months. There’re many companies to choose from and all of them have a basic package and optional extra’s, and they all have their own set of fees. Check websites like Independer who compare insurance companies.
You need a social security number
A BSN number to be exact (burger service nummer) is your personal public service number. You need it for all your contact with the government. Register at the municipality to get this number. Do it as soon as you can, as you will need it for everything: bank account, job, health insurance etc. The government.nl tells you all you need to know.
We take pets serious
Are you bringing a pet with you? In the Netherlands, many people have pets. They are widely considered to be family members. And even the authorities have adopted that view. Some pets need a passport (not a joke) and dogs pay tax (also, not a joke). So, make sure you check all the requirements before traveling.
How to find a rental property faster
To be honest it drove us crazy to go through all these steps to find a rental. That’s why we started RentSlam. Our service sends you an email immediately every time a house shows up that fits your criteria. We only work with reliable websites, so you don’t have to worry about scams. And it saves you tons of time, because you no longer have to check all the different websites ten times a day manually. Last month 78% of our customers found a rental with us. A two-week subscription will only cost you € 19. Certainly worth the money.