Who needs a BSN number?

A BSN is required for a variety of administrative procedures in the Netherlands. You’ll need one in order to work, open a bank account, arrange health insurance, visit a doctor or hospital, or apply for benefits. If you leave the Netherlands and later return, you’ll keep the same citizen service number when you re-register with the municipality.

How to get a BSN

When you register with your local municipality (for a short or long stay) you’ll be assigned a citizen service number (BSN). For either procedure, you’ll need to make an appointment with the municipality (gemeente) in which you live. Alternatively, some international newcomers are eligible to complete the process with IN Amsterdam (service fees may apply).

Short stay migrants

If you’re planning to reside in the Netherlands for four months or less, learn more about the registration procedure for short stay migrants.

Standard registration

Internationals staying in the Netherlands for more than four months will need to complete the standard registration process. The following methods are available:

  • Within five days of arriving in the Amsterdam Area, make an appointment to register with the municipality in which you will live. Upon completing registration for the first time, you will be assigned a BSN, which will typically be mailed to your home address following the appointment.
  • Alternatively, IN Amsterdam offers streamlined services to highly skilled migrants and EU citizens living in a partner municipality. Find out more about organising municipal registration (and receiving your BSN) as part of that process via IN Amsterdam (service fees may apply).


There are no costs involved with registering and receiving a BSN directly via your local municipality. However, highly skilled migrants or EU citizens using the services of IN Amsterdam are required to pay the appropriate service fees.


All children born in the Netherlands immediately receive a BSN when their birth is registered with the Department of Civil Affairs. Find out more about registering a birth.

More information

Learn more about the citizen service number (BSN) on www.government.nl.