Soft Landing

Register with the Municipality of Amsterdam

As a tenant of accommodation in Amsterdam, you are legally obliged to be registered with the municipality in which you live. You must therefore be registered at the address where you actually live. The municipality regularly checks whether the registrations still correspond with the actual residential addresses. If this is not correct or if you live illegally, the municipality has the possibility to hand out penalties. 

You need the registration for the following services

  • Creating a passport, an identity card or a driving licence. 
  • Voting in the elections
  • Provision of allowances
  • Collecting taxes
  • It is important for the police, ambulance and fire brigade to have an overview of the household when they have to act in case of an emergency. 

Students can drop in to register as a resident at any City Office within 5 days of arrival, Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 18.00. Thursday from 08.00 to 20.00. 

What you need to bring to the municipality:

  • A valid proof of identity: a passport or an ID card (not a driver’s licence).
  • Proof of an Amsterdam address. For example the rental contract, or an Address registration permission form (PDF) signed by the main occupant and a copy of his or her proof of identity.
  • Proof that you are a student at a Dutch school or university: a student card (studentenkaart) or proof of registration (bewijs van inschrijving).

Depending on your housing situation, you need to bring:

  • If you own your own house: the proof of purchase (koopcontract).
  • If you rent your home: the rental contract (huurcontract), or an Address registration permission form (PDF) signed by the main occupant and a copy of his or her proof of identity, such as a passport or an ID card.
  • If you live in an institution, for example a nursing home: an Address registration permission form (PDF; in Dutch) signed by the institution.
  • If you do not have a home address, for a postal address (briefadres): an Address registration permission form (in Dutch) signed by the main occupant and a copy of his or her proof of identity, such as a passport or an ID card. A postal address enables you to temporarily receive mail at the address of someone you know.
  • If you do not have a European nationality: proof that the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has approved your stay.

For more information about supplies and services in Amsterdam and other opportunities in this beautiful city, check out the following website.

The BSN (burgerservicenummer) social services number (or what was called the Sofi or Social-Fiscal number) is a very important personal code and with that a bureaucratic issue that internationals in the Netherlands have to deal with.

A BSN (burgerservicenummer) literally translates to ‘citizen service number’, a unique registration number for everyone who lives in the Netherlands. The BSN will facilitate any interaction with the Dutch authorities: starting a job, opening a bank account, deducting your taxes and social security contributions, using the healthcare system, applying for benefits, announcing a change of address etc. It is also used to combat identity fraud and misspelled names.

How to apply for a citizen service number?

You will receive your BSN when you register with the municipality (gemeente) of the area you will live in. Everyone who lives in the Netherlands, either for all or a significant part of the time, needs to register with their municipality within five days if they are planning to stay for more than four months.

When registering and thus receiving your BSN, EU citizens will need to provide a valid proof of identity (such as a passport, not a driver’s licence) and their address to be registered, while for non-EU expats other documents (such as your residence permit and employment contract etc.) have to be presented too.

What do you do if you have lost your BSN?

Lost your BSN number? No worries, you can find your number on a number of official documents, such as:

-Tax assessments or return letters sent to you by the Dutch Tax Office

-Your Dutch identity card / passport

-Your Dutch driver’s licence

If your identity document does not state your BSN number, simply go to the Dutch municipality where you are registered and request your BSN number there.

For more information, check out the website of I Amsterdam!

Bank

As an international student coming to the Netherlands, it is very important to create a Dutch bank account. Many shops do not accept credit cards and because of the current technology, cash is no longer often used as a means of payment. 

When opening a Dutch bank account, there will never occur any problems when paying your groceries. The condition to open an account is that you live in the Netherlands and are registered with a municipality. In addition, you must have a Citizen service number or a residence permit. If you are not registered at a municipality and you do not have valid identity papers, it is impossible to open an account. 

As an international student you may have to go to one of the offices of the bank to close your account completely.

General Practitioner

There are loads of different General Practitioners (GP) in Amsterdam. To know the closest General Practitioner in your area, search on Google for GPs in your area. For example, “General Practitioner in Amsterdam East”. Then a list of GPs in your district will be shown. You can also find GPs in your area on this website. The UvA also provides information about GPs. Click here for more information.
The health care system in The Netherlands might be different than what you are used to. For more information about insurances, go to this website. 

What documents do I need to register at a Dutch GP?
Transferring from one GP to another is very easy. Just fill in a few forms and a few days later all the data is transferred. What you need to fill in:
– Information about your previous General Practitioner
– Personal information, so your name, address, etc.
– Your Citizen Service Number (BSN in Dutch)
– Details about your health insurance

https://www.huisartsenamsterdam.nl/international/
This is a general practice in the centre of Amsterdam. The practice cooperates with the UvA and the HvA, which means that every student from these institutes can contact this general practitioner. Here they specialize in students, taking into account the body of students but also the lifestyle of the student. They are specialised in burn-outs, travel advice & vaccination, birth control, drugs, STD’s etc.
They also give a lot of attention to E-health. On the internet it is possible to follow training, carry out tests and follow therapy. Finally, the GP also looks at the mental aspect of the student. Registering takes little time and is very user-friendly.

Studentist

This is the dentist for students in Amsterdam. It is possible to register online and schedule appointments. The dentist is also located near several university buildings
It’s incredibly easy to switch to this dental practice. First make an appointment online and on location all papers will be filled in and will be sent. It takes little time to make the switch between dental practices and all the administration is largely done for you.

Lastly, Studentist indicates to be very cheap and especially younger dentists work at this practice.

Click here to go to their website.

ACTA

ACTA is a knowledge institute where research is carried out, students are educated and 350 patients are cared for on a daily basis. ACTA even ranks among the top 5 dental research institutes in the world. The institute is a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. 

Also dental care is available at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), where treatment is provided by university dental students who are supervised by qualified dentists.

Treatments can take slightly more time because they may be carried out by several students, but the cost is lower (65% of the normal fee, on average).

A selective examination will be carried out before you can register at ACTA in order to establish whether you are a good candidate for treatment by students. It is possible that you will not be admitted to ACTA as a patient.

For more information about ACTA, click here

Click here to see what the UvA recommends.

Prepaid or contract

You can choose between a contract (Abonnement) or a prepaid card. The prepaid option is easier to get and there are cards available with internet included which will save you roaming costs. You can top it up with cards from the supermarket or online.

A contract will usually work out cheaper if you know that you will use your mobile often and will stay in the country for a year or more. In order to sign a contract you’ll need:

-proof of identity

-an address

-an official bank statement 

& bank account details.

If you have an unlocked phone, it’s also possible to buy only a Dutch sim card.

Roaming in the Netherlands

Recently the roaming rules changed within the EU. The new “roam like at home” rules mean that when you use your mobile phone while travelling outside your home country in any EU country you don’t have to pay any additional roaming charges. The new rules are intended for people who visit a country for a short period of time – it is not meant to be used for permanent roaming . If you are planning to stay for a longer period in the Netherlands, we strongly advise against roaming since you can get a big fine if you get caught.