An EU citizen living in the Netherlands is legally required to register with the municipality in which they live.
To register, EU citizens will need to bring:
- valid identification (passport or identity card)
- an original birth certificate in Dutch, English, French or German (or a translation by a sworn translator) and authenticated if required (these certificates can be submitted within three months of the appointment)
- if applicable, an original marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption certificate, family book (Daftar or Livret dÉtat Civil) or former residence permit (translated and authenticated where required)*
- one of the following documents:
Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland do not need a residence permit.
Citizen service number
Everyone in the Netherlands needs a citizen service number (BSN). You will receive your BSN as a result of municipal registration.
In the Netherlands you are obliged to take out health insurance, even if you have health insurance in your country of origin. You can choose your own health insurance provider (zorgverzekeraar) who offers the basic package (basisverzekering) and may change insurance providers once a year. If you do not purchase Dutch health insurance, you risk being fined and billed retroactively for the months you were not insured. Please see our article on health insurance for more information.
Permanent residence document
If you have resided lawfully in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of a minimum of five years, you may be eligible for a document to prove permanent residence for EU citizens. However, acquiring the document is not compulsory. Read more here.
Find out more about working in the Amsterdam Area. In addition, the public employment service, UWV WERKbedrijf, plays an important role in the Dutch labour market. This website offers lots of useful information for EU citizens about working in the Netherlands. The site is run in partnership with EURES, the EU’s official European Job Mobility Portal.
Information for EU labour migrants in the city of Amsterdam
The City of Amsterdam provides information for European labour migrants, including registration, financial matters, education, work and housing. A number of brochures are available to download in Dutch, Romanian, Polish, Bulgarian and Spanish.
EU information line (Europe Direct)
The Europe Direct contact centre provides:
- Answers in the official EU language of your choice.
- Immediate response to general questions on EU matters or a referral to additional sources of information.
- Contact details of relevant organisations.
- Free postal delivery of certain EU publications.
Call the toll-free number from anywhere in the EU during opening hours (09:00-18:30 CET on weekdays): 00-800 678 91011. If you are calling from outside the EU, call the standard number at + 32 (0)2 299 96 96 from anywhere in the world (normal charges apply). More information can be found on Europa Direct website.
Residency rights following Brexit
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 at midnight Central European Time. A transition period began at this moment, lasting until 31 December 2020. If you are a UK citizen living (and registered) in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021, you can continue to live and work in the Netherlands but must apply for a temporary or permanent residence document (Withdrawal Agreement). You must apply before 31 December 2020. If you are moving to the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for the appropriate residence permit. Learn more from the IND's latest Brexit content.
To ensure that all parties who may be affected by Brexit remain up to date with the latest news and are aware of any potential policy changes, a Brexit Information Point has been installed at IN Amsterdam, which will help to answer any questions raised by British citizens already living in the Netherlands, those moving here, as well as businesses directly affected by any future policies. Contact the Brexit Information Point by calling +31 (0)20 254 7999.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I use my current driving licence?
For information about using your EU driving licence in the Netherlands consult Driving Licence or contact the RDW directly at 0900 0739. If you are calling from abroad dial +31 598 39 3330.
- How can I import my car?
For information on importing your car, consult the Netherlands Vehicle Authority website or contact Dutch Customs for further information and advice at +31 (0)70 372 3243.
- Which documents can I use to identify myself?
As of 1 January 2005, everyone who is 14 years and older must have a valid form of ID with them at all times. The documents used to prove your identity depend on your nationality. If you are living in the Netherlands and are a national of the EU or the EEA you can use your passport or EU document/card.
Protect yourself against exploitation
If you’re new to the Amsterdam Area, you may not be aware of the laws that are designed to protect you against workplace exploitation in the Netherlands. One of the best ways to protect yourself is by reading up on your rights and obligations in this brochure issued by the Dutch government (available in several different languages). You can report an incident of discrimination in the labour market by contacting Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam. Alternatively, make a complaint to the Inspectorate SZW (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment). Information is available in several languages.
Learning the Dutch language is another important step towards safeguarding yourself against rights violations. Read more about learning Dutch. Of course, IN Amsterdam and ACCESS are also available to assist with any questions about living or working in the Netherlands.
Learn more about moving to and living in the Amsterdam Area.