Moving to Amsterdam 

Moving to a new city is always a big step, especially if it's in a different country. But fear not – relocating to Amsterdam is easier than you think, especially if you make use of this handy checklist

1. Documentation & permits

Registering to live in Amsterdam typically requires official proof of identity, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and other legal documents. Please note: in some cases legally translated documents may be requested, but even for materials already in English, it is required that all original documents be officially authenticated. It is always easier and quicker to arrange authentication before moving! Non-EU/EEA citizens also require an entrance visa, residence permit and work permit. If you qualify as a highly skilled migrant, the Expatcenter can help you and your family with some of these procedures.


2. Moving with your pet

Bringing your pet to Amsterdam needn’t be a problem but it is a process that can take between 6 to 12 months of preparation so it’s essential you begin as early as possible. Your pet has to meet all of the present vaccination standards required in the Netherlands and also have a valid pet passport. Dogs, cats and ferrets must also have an identity chip under their skin. If travelling long distances, it’s well worth contacting a pet relocation specialist to arrange transport, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey.


3. Finding work in Amsterdam

Perhaps you’re moving to Amsterdam for a new job, but if not – or if you’re moving with a family member that is – familiarise yourself with the employment market in the city before you move. In particular, there are a wide variety of options available for international talent. Start searching the advertised jobs online, adapt your CV to match the local style, and begin contacting local recruitment agencies. If moving to Amsterdam with the intention of starting a company, be sure that you have the necessary residence and work permits.


4. Arranging housing

Finding the right house before moving to a new country can be especially tricky. But there is undoubtedly lots of preparation that you can do before relocating: research the different neighbourhoods of Amsterdam to look for characteristics that fit your requirements and begin checking out the variety of options for house and apartment rentals advertised online. When arranging a short stay property for the first month or two, it’s certainly handy to find somewhere near your desired neighbourhood or place of work, but as Amsterdam is a relatively compact city it’s actually not essential.


5. Get started with Dutch

Learning Dutch can be tricky for some internationals – and Amsterdammers are famously open to communicating in English – but those who make the effort definitely find that being able to speak and understand a little Dutch helps you to settle in quicker. Look around for local languages classes, download free mobile apps to practice learning words and grammar, or purchase a language-learning package (Michel Thomas and Pimsleur are two of the most popular audio language courses).


6. Look at the local schools

There are a wide variety of education options in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, both in terms of traditional Dutch schooling and international schools (covering infants through to higher education). It is easy to begin researching schools before moving – most international schools have comprehensive websites and also welcome preliminary contact from the parents of potential students.


7. Seek out expert help

Throughout I amsterdam’s Local website you can find out about many more aspects of expat life in Amsterdam, from health insurance and support networks through to telephony and internet connections. And, of course, if you’re packing up your entire life and not just a suitcase, it’s well worth calling in some relocation experts to handle the move professionally.


Expatcenter partners

For a full list of the Expatcenter's partners, including Relocation and Recruitment agencies, please click here.