Expat housing

10 things Expats in Amsterdam need to arrange

Moving to another country is usually a very exciting time, you will be confronted with a different culture, language, rules etc. But as an expat in Amsterdam there are many (boring) things you need to arrange.

Check these 10 things you might need to do, as an Expat in Amsterdam, depending on your situation.

Visa & Permits

Depending on the country you are from you may or may not need a visa to live in the Netherlands. In general, the following is applicable. If you are from the European Union, you do not need a visa. There are special rules for Shengen countries, and visa requirements for almost every other country in the world. If you want to become an Expat in Amsterdam, you can check with your embassy to get the exact and up-to-date information for requirements applicable to you. Find your embassy here http://www.embassyworld.org


Of course, you might already have a job before coming to Amsterdam, or you might be coming as a student. But if you are looking for a job, your search must spread through many channels. Apart from the obvious ones like https://www.linkedin.com/ there are online jobsites like http://www.intermediair.nl/ , http://www.nationalevacaturebank.nl/ and http://www.monsterboard.nl/ There are private employment agencies called “uitzendbureaus” in Dutch which you should check, some of them even specialize in Expats in Amsterdam. Then there is the public employment service called UWV (http://www.uwv.nl/) which could also be a good source.


Renting a house in Amsterdam is probably by far the most difficult task of them all. The demand is many times higher than the supply, and the good homes are rented out quick. RentSlam offers a great service that will send you all property matching your criteria within minutes from them becoming available and does so using almost all available sources. This service is great for expats in Amsterdam. Sign up here to find your new rental home now.

Health insurance

In the Netherlands it is obligatory to get Health Insurance from a Dutch insurance company. The only exemption to this rule is if you are staying in the Netherlands for less than 12 months. There are many companies to choose from and all of them have a basic package and optional extra’s, and each set their own fees. Check sites like https://www.independer.nl/ for a comparison.

Money/bank account

Moving money around is a tricky business, depending on your bank and country of origin (of your bank account), the bank may charge you high transfer fees and even use “expensive” exchange rates if you are converting to Euro’s from another currency. So you are best off the get a Dutch bank account as soon as you can. Many institutions also require you to have a Dutch bank account. There are of course many banks, but the 3 main banks are ABN-AMRO (my personal favorite), ING and Rabobank. They will all ask you for a BSN number and an address to open an account.

BSN number

The Burger Service Nummer is sort of a social security number or Personal public service number. You will need it for all your contact with the government. You can get this number by registering at the municipality. Get this done as soon as you can, as you will need it to get a bank account, a job, health insurance etc. Read more info here https://www.government.nl


Are you coming to the Amsterdam with children? You need to make a choice whether you want to send your kids to an international school or a Dutch one. For a list of international schools have a look on the ‘Foundation for International Education in the Netherlands’ (www.sio.nl). If you want your kids to attend a Dutch school, you need to keep in mind that there can be long waiting lists, so you should register as early on as you can (even before moving to Amsterdam). For a complete list of schools, check out this website http://10000scholen.nl/


Are you binging 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 type of 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 here https://www.government.nl


In the Netherlands we speak Dutch. Not to be confused with Deutsch (which is German). Dutch does not seem like an easy language to learn. Mostly because almost all Dutch people speak English very well, and especially in Amsterdam, will often respond in English when they hear that you are struggling in Dutch. However, if you are serious about staying here long term, it will certainly make your life easier and more fun if you learn the languages. There are many schools that teach Dutch to foreigners, check out this list http://www.amsterdam.info or simply google it!


Moving can be a daunting task. Many people leave it to the last few days to organize the move. You are better off if you prepare ahead of time. Most people will use a moving company. Get lots of quotes, as prices vary tremendously. Think about what you want to bring. Are you moving into a furnished rental, then you might want to reconsider moving your furniture? Whatever you do, don’t leave this task to the last days before you move.

There is a lot of information available regarding these and many more topics. A great source for you to check out is https://www.justlanded.com and remember to register on https://rentslam.com to find your new rental home in Amsterdam.

Sign up now