FAQ: How to Support Your Employees with Relocation to the Netherlands
Relocating employees to the Netherlands as part of your international hiring efforts can be really stressful for you and your new colleagues. Although each situation is unique, you can help make this process easier by providing answers to frequently asked questions.
1. What documents do you need when moving to the Netherlands?
If you will be living or working in the Netherlands for more than 90 days and you are not a national of an EU country, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, or Switzerland, you will usually need to apply to the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country for a provisional residence permit (MVV) and a residence permit.
To qualify for a residence permit with the purpose of staying as a “Highly Skilled Migrant”, employers must start an entry and residence procedure at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) on behalf of prospective employees. When the application has been received, highly skilled migrants need to submit biometric information (i.e., photo, signature, and/or fingerprints) at the Dutch embassy or consulate abroad. The IND will process the application within 90 days.
2. What does it take to relocate a family?
If your partner is going to live together with you in the Netherlands and does not come from a country that belongs to the European Union or the European Economic Area or Switzerland, they are legally obliged to apply for a residence permit and report their presence to the relevant authorities. After receiving an entry visa, they can take up employment or self-employment. If you are moving with your children, you can either send them to an international or a local school. In case you want to bring an animal to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU, make sure it has a microchip, is vaccinated against rabies before 12 weeks old, and has a health certificate signed by a veterinarian.
3. What is DigiD and why do you need it?
In the Netherlands, a type of online ID called DigiD (short for Digital Identification) enables access to several services and official websites. It resembles a digital passport or driver’s license. You are required to apply for a DigiD in order to do your administration online. This involves paying your taxes, requesting benefits and allowances, and looking up your Dutch pension, among many other things.
4. What types of accommodation can you find on the Dutch rental market?
The Dutch rental housing market is divided into two sectors: social housing and private housing. Social housing can be rented from housing associations and is meant for people with lower incomes. The rent must be kept below the limit of 808.06 euros in 2023 and is subject to income criteria. If you want to rent from a private landlord or a rental agency, the value of the property is not determined by the housing valuation system and there is no cap on the maximum rent.
5. What is the average apartment rental cost in the Netherlands by the city?
The average cost of renting a room in the Netherlands reaches the estimated value of €1,887, with Amsterdam being the most expensive city to live in. For instance, the price of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center varies from €900 to €1,750 per month. Monthly rents in Rotterdam and The Hague are slightly below the average rental price in Amsterdam by nearly two times. For those who want to save on living expenses whilst staying close to the capital, smaller towns such as Amstelveen, Hilversum, and Zaandam are attractive options to consider, with prices ranging from €650 to €900 per month.
6. What do I need to know about Dutch health insurance?
You are required to apply for standard health insurance within four months from the moment you start work. The average basic health insurance accounts for €135 per month and covers essential medical care, such as visits and treatments by a general practitioner (GP), hospital care, pharmaceuticals, or medical costs incurred abroad. For benefits such as physiotherapy, pregnancy care, or travel vaccinations, you must take out additional insurance.
7. Why is it important to open a Dutch bank account?
Dutch consumers mostly pay with debit cards. To prevent a declined credit card, you are advised to open a private bank account with banks such as ABN AMRO, ING Group, or Rabobank. You may then use your Dutch bank account to pay for your health insurance, receive allowances such as housing and healthcare, close deals with subscriptions, get your salary, pay bills or access various cultural discounts.
8. How does public transportation work in the Netherlands?
In Dutch cities, the bus, tram, and subway are excellent modes of transportation. Both the affordability and the excellent infrastructure in Holland make it simple and comfortable to move from one place to another. Before you start using public transport in the Netherlands, it is important to know that you can pay with a contactless debit card or credit card or buy an OV-chipkaart (a contactless smart card system that can be purchased at stations, supermarkets, or newsagents).
9. What are the tax benefits for foreigners in the Netherlands?
The so-called “30% ruling” may be awarded to a foreign worker employed in the Netherlands if certain requirements are satisfied. According to this decision, the employee may receive a tax-free reimbursement equal to 30% of their active employment income. The tax-free allowance is seen as payment for the costs employees are incurring by working outside of their country of residence.
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