Regardless of whether you have an EU passport or not, if you are going to be living in the Netherlands (for the first time) for more than 4 months, you will need to register for your Citizen Service Number: BSN.
BSN Appointment at Gemeentes:
You need to register for your BSN at your local Gemeente within 5 days of your arrival in the Netherlands. This can either be at the Gemeente where:
- your work address is located (if you have permission from your employer to use their address),
- your short stay accommodation or people you’re staying with are located (if you have permission from them to use their address) or
- the property you’re renting (if you have a rental contract) is located*.
*Note: if you sign a rental contract before your BSN appointment and it’s in a different Gemeente you’ll need to cancel your existing appointment and make a new one at the relevant Gemeente.
Many Gemeente are struggling with the backlog of appointments and some have moved these registrations for expats over to Expat Centres that work in their areas, for example, Utrecht’s Expat Welcome Centre now manages the BSN appointments for the Utrecht, Amersfoort, Woerden, and Oudewater Gemeentes – at no additional fee (read on for explanation).
There are 11 expat centres across the Netherlands each serving a certain area but all focused on helping expats and relieving the burden from local Gemeentes. Service offerings at these centres can vary and additional service costs may apply.
In the case of IN Amsterdam for example, they are an expat centre that caters as an additional service desk where you can register your BSN and collect your residence card – for a fee. It specifically caters for the following gemeentes: Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere, Diemen, Haarlemmermeer, Haarlem, Hilversum and Velsen.
One of the selling points of using a expat centre is that though you may pay a fee for their services you will walk out with your BSN from the appointment (some Gemeentes, not all, will mail it to you in the week[s] following your appointment). But, Expat Centres themselves are also struggling with a backlog of appointments and you might be looking at similar waiting times as the Gemeentes themselves (up to 6 weeks) in certain areas. You’ll either need to make your appointment as far in advance as possible or hope for a cancellation.
IND Appointments at IND Lokets and Expat Centres:
Currently, you can only collect your residence permit from the location specified in the letter from the IND (the one chosen by your company when they applied for your residence permit/visa), this means, due to circumstances, that you might not always we able to make use of Expat Centers as a one-stop shop for IND and BSN appointments. These are the current general IND locations where you can collect your residence permit:
- Utrecht (they’re closing it 31 March – your company will need to choose another location)
- Rotterdam (they’re closing it 25 May – your company will need to choose another location)
- Den Haag
- Den Bosch
If you’d like to have your residence permit sent to an expat centre then your employer needs to select that specific location option (they’re seen as separate from the general IND loketen listed above): https://ind.nl/en/Forms/7511.pdf
Documents for BSN:
It is important to note that there may be differences in the requirements for documents used for your visa application vs. the requirements for the documents you need for your BSN. But, regardless of whether you’re applying for your BSN via an expat centre or a gemeente, the documents for your BSN will stay the same and are required. For example, you are still required to bring (for everyone):
- an unabridged birth certificate* with apostille regardless of your age. According to IN Amsterdam this is “applicable for children, European citizens and their partners (EU and non-EU), self-employed entrepreneurs and startup professionals and people with an orientation year residence permit.”
- An unabridged marriage certificate*, letter of no impediment (for unmarried couples), divorce decree, adoption certificate or family book. Even if the partner is not joining, a marriage needs to be registered. These documents will also need to be apostilled.
- Proof of address (as listed above)
- Valid Passport
*According to IN Amsterdam: “The certificates need to be presented in Dutch, English, French or German. Otherwise, a translation by a sworn translator is necessary and authentication may be required. Please note that authentication refers to apostille or double legalization.”
If you don’t believe you’ll have your unabridged birth-/marriage certificates with apostille ready in time for your BSN appointments, the Gemeentes, have been lenient and will allow you to present your unabridged birth-/marriage certificates with apostille within 3 months of your first appointment. You will need a new appointment for this.
IND and BSN appointment dates:
Bookings on short term notice are getting far and few between for both BSN and IND appointments. And, you won’t always be able to make an appointment for your BSN online which means expensive international calls on top of having to wait to be attended. Expat Property Brokers will arrange these appointments for you as part of our Expat Service (which includes collecting you from the airport, arranging a bank appointment to open a bank account and getting a TB test appointment at your local Gemeente). But for us to be the most effective and to arrange the most ideal appointment dates for you we’ll need to know your arrival time is and what address to use (ie. which Gemeente you need to register with) as soon as possible. The sooner we’ll be able to schedule your appointments in advance. Convenient, right?
Speak to one of our Expat Service Agents today for more!
Copywriter: Lerize Weatherhead
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