Living in the Netherlands

Last update: 29 February 2024

You recently came to live in the Netherlands. You have some important matters to arrange after arrival. Find out what you have to do and what your obligations are.

Registration with municipality

Are you coming to live in the Netherlands for more than 4 months? Then you have to register with the municipality in the Personal Records Database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen or BRP). This applies to everyone. After this registration, the municipality will issue a Citizen Service Number for you (in Dutch: Burgerservicenummer or BSN). Go to for more information on the BRP

Legalised and translated birth certificate

A legalised and translated birth certificate is necessary to register with the municipality. Bring your birth certificate with you to the Netherlands. Ask the municipality which other documents are needed for registration. Find out more about the translation and legalisation of documents.

TB test

Have you indicated in the application that you will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment at the public health service (in Dutch: Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD). Do this within 3 months after you have received your residence permit. Take with you to the appointment:


Register for healthcare insurance

Everyone who lives in the Netherlands must register for healthcare insurance. Do this within 4 months after your arrival in the Netherlands. Go to for more information on healthcare insurance

Residence permit for study, Working Holiday (WHP/WHS) or cultural exchange

Do you have a residence permit for study, Working Holiday (WHS/WHP) or cultural exchange? Then  your foreign healthcare insurance is enough if it includes the Netherlands. Do you have a residence permit for study, WHS/WHP or cultural exchange but you will work in the Netherlands? Then you have to register for Dutch healthcare insurance. 

School attendance for children

In the Netherlands, children from 5 to 16 years have to complete compulsory education. This means that they must go to school. Does this apply to your child? Then register the child at a school. Go to for more information on the obligation to attend school

Civic integration in the Netherlands

Did you get a residence permit? In certain situations, you are required to learn the Dutch language and to learn about Dutch society and its labour market. This is called civic integration. Not everyone is required to integrate. Go to for more information about civic integration

Civic integration if applying for permanent residence permit or naturalisation

Do you want to become a Dutch citizen via naturalisation? Or are you going to apply for a permanent residence permit or a residence permit on ‘humanitarian non-temporary grounds after residing with a family member or relative for 5 years'? Then you must prove that you are civically integrated. Even if you were not initially required to take the civic integration examination. Read more about the civic integration examination as a requirement for a different residence permit or naturalisation

The Netherlands as your main residence

If you have a Dutch residence permit, your main residence must be in the Netherlands. This means that you live in the Netherlands and spend most of your time here. Will you go abroad for a longer period of time? Then the IND can decide to withdraw or to not extend your residence permit. Read more about main residence in the Netherlands.

Leaving the Netherlands

Are you permanently leaving the Netherlands? Then you need to arrange certain matters before you leave. Read more about Leaving the Netherlands.