A Comprehensive Guide to Relocating to the Netherlands
Moving from one country to another can be a hassle, especially with little to no help. Some knowledge of the destination country is required.
The same is true when moving from the US to Europe. No matter how close or far you’re going, there’s much to arrange when moving. While you can arrange the move yourself, we recommend hiring a professional.
This guide covers moving to the Netherlands, including moving property, mandatory registration, insurance, and driver’s licenses.
Overview of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a beautiful country and ranks among the top five in the world’s quality of life index. It’s a relatively small country with good transport links, making it convenient for commuters who live far away.
Benefits of Moving to the Netherlands from the US
Quality of life: The Netherlands is known for its high standard of living and excellent quality of life. You’ll enjoy reliable healthcare, low crime rates, and a wide range of outdoor activities and cultural experiences.
Diverse companies: The Netherlands has a diverse population and a long international trade and travel history which could make it a more comfortable place for Americans accustomed to a diverse population.
Good location: Located in the heart of Europe, the Netherlands is perfect for exploring the rest of the continent. It is also an international business and trade hub, benefiting Americans looking to expand their professional networks.
Bike culture: Holland has a great cycling culture, a network of trails, and easy travel. It’s a great way to explore the country and stay active.
Educational Opportunities: The Netherlands has some of the best universities in Europe and is known for its quality education system. This is an excellent opportunity for Americans who want to continue their education and families with children.
Work-life balance: Dutch culture values work-life balance, and many Dutch companies have policies that support this. This could be an attractive place for Americans who need more time for family and fun activities.
Language: The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch. The second official language is Flemish. English, French, and German are pretty common spoken languages.
Preparing to Move
Researching the Netherlands
When you think of Holland, you think of canals, bicycles, and strange windmills. But since you’re planning to move, it’s essential to know what it’s like to live there.
Cost of living: Living in the Netherlands is fairly affordable compared to the Western European average. However, Amsterdam and other major city capitals and major tourist destinations can be more expensive. Depending on who you’re with and your lifestyle, you can spend on average €2000 a month.
Weather: Holland has a mild climate most of the year, and there are many attractions in winter.
Culture and customs: Dutch culture is famous for being liberal and laid-back. The people here are mainly Christian, and like other European countries, Christmas here involves family, celebrations, and some local traditions.
Health and Education: The Dutch education and healthcare system is high quality and considered the best in Europe. Expats usually require public health insurance, including basic medical care and long-term care options.
Securing a Job or Enrolling in School
There are countless job opportunities for expats relocating to the Netherlands, especially skilled IT, engineering, and finance workers. The standard working week is 36-40 hours, and various employment laws protect workers.
Expats moving into the country can send their kids to one of many international schools. There are also various Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in Dutch universities.
Finding a Place to Live
Holland has something for every budget and every taste. Choose from the quintessential Amsterdam canal house, the Haarlem houseboat, or the stylish waterfront apartments in Rotterdam.
If you are moving to the Netherlands, we recommend renting a house, as purchasing a home can take several months. We recommend hiring a private agent in the private sector.
However, there are no restrictions for foreigners, residents, and non-residents when buying property in the Netherlands.
Planning Your Move
Moving can be very stressful, so hiring a logistics professional is best. End-to-end services will take care of the collection and delivery of your belongings, inventory lists, and customs regulations.
You’ll also need to know your and your family’s immigration requirements. EU/EFTA citizens do not need a Dutch visa to enter and stay in the Netherlands. However, non-EU/EFTA citizens require an entry visa and residence permit.
Settling In Netherlands
Registering with the municipality
EU/EFTA citizens residing in the Netherlands for more than four months must register and obtain a BSN or Civil Service Number. In addition, the ex-pat must apply for a long-term entry visa (MVV) and a residence permit for a stay of more than three months.
Once you have a residence permit, you can get health insurance in the Netherlands. You must do this within four months of receiving your residence permit to avoid fines.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account in the Netherlands is fairly easy. You can find English-speaking staff at most banks, and some financial institutions cater specifically to foreigners. A valid ID card, civil services number, and proof of address are required in addition to some optional requirements.
Setting up utilities
Utility bills such as water, gas, and electricity are likely included in your monthly bill when you’re renting a home. Otherwise, you have to connect them and forward them to your name.
Obtaining a driver’s license or ID card
Driving rules in the Netherlands are quite strict. You must exchange your foreign driver’s license for a Dutch driver’s license within 185 days of your arrival. Otherwise, you will have to take the Dutch driver’s license test.
English is widely spoken in the Netherlands, but you can integrate better if you speak Dutch. Several Dutch courses and language schools offer online study options for beginners to advanced learners.
Can You Move to the Netherlands from America?
The short answer is yes! For a complete moving experience, consider a professional moving service like Dutchify.
With Dutchify, you get support at every step of your journey, giving you a dedicated platform for communication and service. Most importantly, Dutchify’s network of over 300 partners can help you find your perfect home in the Netherlands.
Best way to get a visa as a US citizen
The Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) visa is a bilateral agreement between the Netherlands and the United States that allows American citizens to work in the Netherlands for a specific time without the need for a regular work visa.
The residence permit is valid for two years, and you can extend it up to five years, depending on the specific provisions of the treaty.
The DAFT visa is the most suitable relocation route for US citizens who wish to open a business or work as self-employed in the Netherlands.
Getting a visa is easy. The application process is a bit complicated and confusing. Dutchify’s professional support might be just what you need to get you to the Netherlands
When it comes to delivering a quality relocation service, Dutchify is your best bet. You can beat the Dutch housing market and get personal help outside working hours. A personalized experience has never been easier than with Dutchify.
If you’re planning on relocating to the Netherlands, book a free consultation on their website. Journey to your new home with Dutchify. Check out Dutchify’s website, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram for more information.