Registration is a more thorough affair in the Netherlands than in many other countries. Most foreign nationals moving to Amsterdam will have to register with both the IND (Imigratie – en Naturalisatiedienst) and the local municipality (gemeente). Any work permits and residence permits will be issued by the IND. Because the IND will need to approve your residency, it is recommended that you register with them first, before approaching the local municipality.
Registration with the IND
EU and EEA citizens, as well as those eligible for the highly skilled migrant (kennismigrant) permit can now go straight to the Expat Centre (see “Registration with the Expat Centre” below) in southeast Amsterdam to handle all of their registration.
Everyone else, including students, will have to make an appointment with the IND (call 0900-1234561) before visiting their offices to register. The purpose of your stay in the Netherlands will determine the documents you need to bring to this appointment so be sure to ask when you call. A good general rule is to be over prepared. The IND may ask that you simply bring your passport and an offer of employment or enrollment in a university, but on the day you may be asked for more. It is best to double check, and bring everything you think may be relevant. In many cases you will be asked for:
- valid passport,
- proof of an offer of employment or enrollment papers for a university,
- proof of income such as bank statements,
- additional passport photos,
- marriage certificates (if applicable), and
- proof of health insurance in the Netherlands (see section on ‘Insurance’).
All documents should be in Dutch, German, French, or English, or translated by an officially approved translator of the Dutch court.
Registration with the Municipality
A central office on Stadhouderskade (Dienst Persoons – en Geo-informatie) handles all initial municipal registrations. If you change accommodation at a later date you will need to register at your local office (stadsdeelkantoor), but the first registration has to take place at this central location. They will ask for your passport and proof of address. Though waiting times can be long, the actual meeting with the officials tends to be very brief. Any family members you bring with you to Amsterdam will need to be present also, even the ones who are not yet old enough to walk. It is also mandatory to de-register when you leave Amsterdam.
The municipal authorities also issue BSN numbers (Burgerservicenummer), the Dutch social security number. You will need this to apply for employment, to open an account with most banks, to keep your taxes in order, and to claim social benefits.
The Dienst Persoons – en Geo-informatie
More information is available on their website http://www.amsterdam.nl/dpg. Opening times are generally Monday to Friday 08:30 to 16:00
Registration with the Expat Centre
For highly skilled migrants (kennismigrant), the relatively new Expat Centre offers a one-stop solution to registering in Amsterdam. Your employer will need to initiate this process before you register. You and your employer will need to complete relevant forms from the IND. Following return of these forms, the IND will then process your request and pass on your information to the Expat Centre.
Four weeks later you will receive a confirmation of appointment from the Expat Centre, inviting you and, if relevant, your family members to an interview. You must bring the letter confirming the appointment, as well as any other documents requested. The appointments are usually quite brief.
Aside from registering you with the IND, the Expat Centre will also register you with the local municipality, and provide you with a BSN number (both will follow by post after the appointment).
For more information on this procedure visit http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/living/
World Trade Center Amsterdam
Strawinskylaan 39 (second floor)
1077 XW Amsterdam
Telephone +31 (0)20 254 7999