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Municipal registration

When you arrive in the Netherlands, the first step is to register with the Dutch authorities. When you register, you receive a BSN number. You will need a BSN number to open a Dutch bank account, obtain health insurance, or get paid by your employer. Read about how to register and why it is important.

When do I need to register?

If you are coming to work or live in the Netherlands, you must register within five days of your arrival with the municipality where you will be living. Registering with a municipality is a legal requirement in the Netherlands. After registering, you will receive a BSN (citizen service number). This is a unique personal number used to process your personal data. The number is issued only once. You will need the number for working in the Netherlands, for opening a Dutch bank account and for taking out Dutch health insurance. 

Short and long-term stays

Staying less than four months

If you are staying in the Netherlands for less than four months, you don't need to register with the local municipality. However, if you are staying in the Netherlands for less than four months, but require some sort of relationship with the Dutch government (to pay taxes, for example), you can still register and obtain a BSN through the RNI process.

Staying for longer than four months

If you are moving to The Hague region for longer than four months, you must register with your local municipality. This is called BRP registration. The BRP is a database that is used by all Dutch governmental institutions, and you will not be able to access Dutch government services without being registered in the BRP. Once you have registered in the BRP, you obtain a BSN tax number.

Immigration to the Netherlands

Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland have the right to live and work in the Netherlands without applying for any kind of immigration permit or visa. They do need to register with their municipality once they have moved.

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is responsible for assessing and granting residence permits (verblijfsvergunningen) and/or visas for people of other nationalities. There are several options for immigration to the Netherlands, each with its own conditions and requirements. Learn about the permits available to migrants.  

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Municipal registration procedures

If you are a family member of someone that already has a residence permit in the Netherlands, a European Labour Migrant or Asylum Seeker, you can complete your municipal registration via the website of the municipality you live in: If you work for an international organisation, company, NGO; charity, or other organisation that is on the IND's list of recognised sponsors, and you will live in one of the municipalities of The Hague, Delft, Rijswijk; or Leidschendam-Voorburg, you can complete your municipal registration appointment here

Next steps

Citizen service number (BSN)

Once you register with a municipality in the Netherlands, you receive a BSN. Find out more about this tax and ID number here.

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