Register with the municipality
If you intend to live in the Netherlands for more than four months, you must register with your local municipality. Everyone must do this, regardless of nationality.
IN Amsterdam, for international newcomers in Amsterdam, provides a one-stop-shop where you can register with your municipality and collect your residence permit.
Please note: IN Amsterdam can only help you register with your municipality if you’re living in Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere, Diemen, Haarlem, Hilversum, Haarlemmermeer and Velsen.
- Registration at IN Amsterdam takes place by appointment only. The Staff Immigration Office or your HR department will schedule this appointment for you.
Get a citizen service number (BSN)
The first time you register with a municipality in the Netherlands, you will receive a Citizen Service Number (BSN). Various government agencies will use this number in all their correspondence with you.
Get a TB test
Depending on your nationality, you might have to undergo a tuberculosis test (TB test) in the Netherlands. Find out whether you need a TB test by consulting the list of nationalities that do not have to take the TB test.
- If you do have to get a TB test, schedule an appointment with the Amsterdam Health Service (GGD).
Get health insurance
Once in the Netherlands, you need to make sure you have health insurance for the duration of your stay. Health insurance is compulsory for everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands. See the government website for more information health insurance in the Netherlands.
Dutch health insurance is mandatory
You must take out a Dutch public healthcare insurance (called 'zorgverzekering' or ‘basisverzekering' in Dutch) for yourself and your partner and children. This insurance provides coverage for basic medical care, such as a visit to the GP, most hospital treatments and other necessary medical treatment.
Even if you already have a health insurance policy in another country, you are still obliged to take out a new policy in the Netherlands. Although the health insurance system is a public one, it is not free. A substantial monthly insurance premium (around €100) will be charged by the insurance company where you take out your policy.
You must take out health insurance within 4 months of moving to the Netherlands. If you fail to do so, you may be fined 130% of the monthly premium for each month in which you were not insured, up to a maximum of 5 years.
Find a health insurance provider
You can take out insurance with the Dutch health insurance company of your choice. A health insurance company cannot refuse to cover you for the standard insurance package, irrespective of your age or state of health. For every health insurance company, the standard insurance package is the same, but monthly payments may vary. You do not have to pay contributions for children under 18.
- Use a comparison website to find a health insurance package to suit your needs. Some of the main ones are ZorgWijzer.nl, Zorgverzekering Informatie Centrum and Independer.
Find a doctor (GP)
Register with a family doctor as soon as possible after you arrive. The family doctor (huisarts) is the first port of call if you have health problems. He or she can refer you to a specialist if necessary.
You can find a doctor in your neighbourhood on the website zorgkaartnederland.nl. It is usual in the Netherlands to register with a doctor near to your home. Fill in your postcode in the second text box and click zoek.
- To register with a doctor, make an appointment by calling the receptionist.
I Amsterdam website
The I Amsterdam website provides detailed information about all aspects of working and living in Amsterdam. See their pages on:
- Health care and insurance
- Opening a bank account
- Getting a DigiD - a digital signature used to secure your data when arranging official matters