Wednesday 24th of January 2018 01:37:11 AM

Bureaucracy and work in NL

The Netherlands is one of the most advanced western countries in the world today. In the past, people have settled in the Netherlands and received a Dutch citizenship with hardly any bureaucratic problems.

Today, the situation is quite different. In order to settle in the Netherlands, with the option of receiving a Dutch citizenship, you have to first legally live 5 consecutive years in the Netherlands, during which you have to go through a series of tests that include familiarity with the Dutch language, the Dutch’s way of life and Dutch history.

In order to work in the Netherlands for non-EU citizens (citizens of non-European union countries) a work permit is required. That kind of permit can only be applied by a Dutch employer, as long as he/she can prove that you, as a non-EU citizen, are the most suitable person for the position.
If you work in the Netherlands based on another nationality other than Dutch, you are entitled for a substantial tax benefit – you pay tax only on 70% of your income for a period of 10 years.

First step: Preparation in your homeland
To live and work in the Netherlands as a non-EU citizen, the following steps need to be taken:
An issue of an MVV (provisional residence permit).
This is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in the Netherlands
more than 3 months. Usually a potential employer applies for an MVV
on your behalf. An MVV application should include the following documents:
- A copy of your passport
- A notarized translation of your birth certificate certified with a conformant apostille
- Marital certificate

- Working contract
More details are available at:

Once the MVV is approved, you need to get to the Dutch embassy to have it stamped on your passport. The procedure takes approximately 4 to 6 days. It is advisable to ask for a “CD visa” – allows you to stay in the Netherlands for a period longer than 3 months (residential permit plus free mobility across Europe).

Your house pet:
You need to have a certificate in English stating that your pet is healthy and is vaccinated. To get that certificate, the pet’s blood needs to be examined and the level of rabies antibody’s needs to be checked as well.
A week before your departure, you need to go to your local veterinarian to receive a document (valid for one week), that allows you to enter the Netherlands with your pet.
If you are concerned that your pet might panic during the flight, you may give it Rescue remedy – works great and has no side effects.
Once in the Netherlands
, there is no problem to travel with your pet across Europe.

Package delivery
A delivery from your homeland to the Netherlands may take some time (we waited 2 months for ours even though we were promised that it would only take 2 weeks).


For more details click here

Second step: Coming to the Netherlands:
As mentioned above, the bureaucracy in the Netherlands is anything but simple.
In 2009 the Dutch have realized how complicated and cumbersome it really is, so they came up with a few simple steps for the new expat to follow, to make it easier.

They also established the “Expat centre” , that has under its roof all the necessary authorities and information you need:

First of all you need to make appointment with the IND (- Immigration and Naturalization Service). There you will get a sticker on your passport stating that you are allowed to work/just to stay (in case that you are not working) in the Netherlands.
You will need this sticker for the tax authorities whether you are working or not.
The IND sits close to the Hague. The procedure itself takes sometime and unfortunately all the written communication, is done in Dutch – so be prepared.
IND website :click here
It might be possible to do all of the above via the “Expat centre”. It would be wise to make a
call to find out.

With in 3 days of your arrival to the Netherlands, you need to register at your local municipality (Gemeente). After registration, you will get a sofi-number (equivalent to a social security number). The Sofi number is needed to open a bank account, get a parking permit (a parking permit can take up to 6 months to get, depending on your residential area) etc.
When coming to the “Gemeente”, you need to bring the following documents:
-a contract signed by you and your landlord
-birth certificate (of you and your children)
-marital certificate

If you have documents that you think might be relevant, bring them – better be safe than sorry.

Third step: Acclimation
Once you get your sofi number, you may open a bank account (the procedure itself takes about a month so be patient – if you do it via the Expat centre, it might be shorter).
To get an internet and telephone may take a while depending on the internet provider that you choose (for example if you choose to go with UPC you can have internet and telephone with in a day and if you choose KPN, it can take up to a month and sometimes more).

It is a wise to be very patient when dealing with these sort of things. The Dutch are not in a hurry and have all the time in the world. The service experience here is different than what you might know. Words such as quick service, kind service, going out of our way, finding solutions etc. are not well known here in the Netherlands. So when dealing with these sort of things try to keep it in mind. Take a long breathe and try to see the advantage of that way of life – no rush no fuss.

Health insurance
The health system and the health insurance are much
different than in other countries. Every resident of the Netherlands must have a health insurance – it is not a matter of choice. A person without health insurance will pay a fortune for simple medical procedures.
Every person over 18 needs to pay his/her own health insurance. Children under that will be insured with the same company as their parents.
The cost of the health insurance is a derivative of your salary.
The cost of a minimal premium cost is 100Euros. It covers doctor’s visits, medicines, operation etc.
The minimal premium covers much more than its Israeli equivalent. It covers its clients only in the Netherlands. If you go abroad a lot,
it would be wise to ask your insurance company what kind of insurance packages it offers for travelers.

Since 2010, the policyholder's participation, is 165Euros a resident, so in-fact the first 165Euros for any medical coverage are paid by the policy holder. If no medical treatment was required, then there is no need to pay that sum.
A woman who has given birth in the Netherlands is entitled to an after care center – The new mother is provided with a nurse the day after the child is born. The nurse can stay with a mother for a week or ten days (depending whether the birth was natural or not). She is there to help her around the house and with the care of the new born. She shows the new mother how to bath the little one, what is the proper way of holding the baby etc.

Once you know the estimated date of delivery, you need to get in contact with your insurance company in order to get that benefit. The insurance company takes care of all the details. Your job is just to remind them from time to time about the due date and right after the baby is born.
Remember, once the baby is born you need to notify the insurance company so that they can update it in their system

Dental insurance:
As mentioned above, the basic premium does not cover dental insurance. You need to check the different types of dental insurances that there are. Be sure to read all the fine prints once getting such insurance, since dental care is quite an expensive business.

Driver’s license:
Once landing in the Netherlands, your driver’s license is valid for 6 months. With in these 6 months, you need to replace your own driver’s license with a Dutch one.
You need to come to your local municipality, fill out some forms, supply them with a passport photo (the photo should be according to their demands – every Dutch photographer knows the demands for a driver’s license. Most of the time there will be photo-machines at your local city hall) and wait about 2 months for the arrival of the new license.
If you do it after 6 months, you need to do an eye-exam which can lengthen the procedure. So be sure to do it as fast as you can.
The driver’s license is a pink plastic card, and is valid for 10 years

Driver’s license procedure – Amstelveen click here

Negotiation with a potential employer:
When negotiating with a potential employer, be sure to discuss the following:
-full funding of the rent
-full funding of schools and kindergartens
-full funding of car expenses
-full funding of flights back to Israel for everyone (at least twice a year).
-full funding of the health insurance
-have a Dutch company that escorts you through the entire procedure of relocating.

Finding where to live
Like everything in the Netherlands, also house hunting has its own set of rules. In the Netherlands you can rent either an apartment or a house. The houses are not your
average villa, but rather a house with big rooms and usually 2 to 3 stories high.

Dutch house
Usually a high building, made out of 2 or 3 stories, a small yard, a storage room and big windows with out shades. The main windows usually face the street. The house consists of 3 to 6 rooms with lots of stairs between each floor (usually the stairs are very steep especially in old buildings that were not recently renovated).
The garbage needs to be separated – glass & paper – it is supervised by the” garbage police”.
Parking is usually by the house or not more than 3 to 6 ft away.

The apartment’s buildings in the Netherlands usually have a lot of tenants in them. It should not be problem, since most families keep to themselves in their own little nest. Average apartments are spacey and have 3 rooms (there are of course apartments with as much as 5 rooms or as little as one room). Note that the extra room, is usually rather small – half the size of what we would call a normal room. Most of the apartments are renovated and in a satisfactory condition. The apartments are usually well lit since there are no shades or blinds.
The garbage needs to be separated – glass & paper – it is supervised by the” garbage police” (in most buildings there is a garbage room so the supervision of the garbage police is hardly if ever, enforced).
When living in an apartment, parking can be somewhat of a hassle since most of the time, the parking space is not close to home. What most people do is, park their car I a local parking lot – which costs money.

Rent costs
The prices vary, depending on the property that you would like to rent its condition and its location – an average apartment in the center of Amsterdam could cost more than a house just a few blocks away.
Before renting, I recommend to consult with a real estate agent or even a friend that is familiar with the residential costs in the area.
It is safe to say, that you will not find a 3 bed room apartment, in the center of Amsterdam for less than 1200Euros (and if you did then take it with both hands!!!!!!).

Parameters for a good residential property should also include a proximity to a tram station and a shopping center. The area should also be considered (not an industrial area for example or opposite a school).

When looking for an apartment or a house for rent, you can choose one which is fully furnished. In most cases, you can get everything, from furniture, electronic devices, towels and cutlery. And since it is common when negotiation before you sign the contract, it is highly advisable to ask for whatever you think you may need (at most, the landlord will not accept all your demands).

In most cases, there are either carpets or wooden parquets (usually laminate, the simple and the cheapest one).
If you like one of these two, don’t hesitate to ask for it, the landlord may definitely accept your preference, mainly if the contract is for long term.

If you ask for a wooden floor or a parquet floor, you need to have the consent of all the residents, since the neighbors might suffer from the noise. It is important that the floor should be laid out properly with a special buffer that absorbs the sound.

Do not forget to ask for sealed curtains for all the windows, since in the summer time the sun rises very early in the morning. 

Finding an apartment:
You can add an ad to our board for apartments in the website and it might help click here

The first option is to go to real-estate agents. There are many real estate agents that specialize in finding apartments for expats. If you choose this option, take under consideration the cost of the commission that you need to pay the real estate agent – usually one month’s rent.

Some real estate agencies:

a second option is to look for yourself on the internet where there are no commissions.
The websites are usually in Dutch but are very easily understood.

terminology: Koopwoningen-a property that is for sale
Huurwoningen-a property that is for rent

If you have a hard trouble with the Dutch then you can always try the Google translator- it has proven to be very helpful in tasks such as this.

A third option is to have a relocation company help you. these kind of companies are usually much more expensive, but very helpful when it comes to bureaucracy matters such as visa’s, licenses etc. 

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