New in the Netherlands

Dear parents and carers,


Welcome to the Netherlands. We would like to give you an overview of some handy tips on residency, living, healthcare etc. in the Netherlands. If you cannot find the information you want, please try the FAQ.

Residence permit


If you are not from the EU,

EEA or Switzerland and

you are planning to stay

longer then 3 months,

you need to apply for a

residence permit. Different

requirements apply to different nationalities and reasons for coming, so check with the IND; Department of Immigration and Naturalisation for an overview. You can download more case-specific brochures on the IND website too. After 3 months of living in the Netherlands you need to register at the local council (GBA or gemeente):

BSN Number


Everyone residing in the

Netherlands should have

a registration number or 

BSN (Burgers Service

Nummer). This will be

required to open a bank

acount, get insurance etc.
To obtain a BSN for yourself and all your children under 16 you should make an appointment at the City Hall. The one in Breda is located on Claudius Prinsenlaan 10, 4800RH Breda. You’ll find more information about the documents required and make an appointment on



Remember that the

Netherlands is one of the

countries with the highest 

population density,

therefore finding

affordable accomodation

can be a difficult task but not an impossible one! We suggest you plan this in advance and check on the open market.


Most apartments are offered through real estate agents who usually charge a fee of one month’s rent plus taxes for their services. In addition, you will have to pay between one and two months’ rent as a deposit to your landlord. This charge may be higher if you decide to rent a furnished (gemeubileerd) apartment. Rental prices vary depending on location.


Here are some links that might help you:

For your information you can also rent some furniture while you get your own or wait for yours to arrive:



There are a few banks in

the NL that offer

international services in

English to their clients.

The most popular ones are:

Credit cards are not widely used in the Netherlands and generally not accepted in supermarkets and small shops. Your bank will issue a Maestro debit card with a personal identification number to be used everywhere in the Netherlands.
Opening a bank account will require some formalities and it is not always possible to do so within the first days. So make sure you have enough cash, a credit card, or access to a bank account from your home country.

Expat websites




Holland Expat Center

I am Expat




Every adult living in the

Netherlands must have

a basic health insurance.

For children under 18

this basic health

insurance is free of charge.

Therefore they do not need their own policy, but must be named on their parents policy. Do read carefully what is and what is not included in your basic policy. For example; children’s braces are not covered and need additional cover per child. Here you can find more information about the Health Insurance companies in the NL or you can compare prices and services in this app:


Once you have your Health Insurance policy you must find your nearest family doctor (Huisarts) and make an appointment to be registered as a patient. This is very important as otherwise you will not be able to get any medical assistance.

The huisarts (GPs) are responsible for gathering all your medical records and the gatekeepers to all the other types of medical treatment. They can deal with routine health issues, perform standard gynecological and pediatric examinations, and refer you onto other services, including hospitals, specialists, home midwifery and physiotherapy.
For more information:


Pharmacies (apotheek) sell prescription-only drugs as well as over-the-counter meds, vitamins, baby items, homeopathic products and medical equipment for home use. For standar medicines such as aspirine, paracetamol and so you can buy them without prescription at any supermarket or convenience store. 


The Netherlands have an extensive immunization program to protect children against infectious diseases. You will be receiving a letter from the GGD (the Dutch Public healthcare organization) upon arrival where they will ask you to send all current vaccination information regarding your children (copy of your vaccination card). They will let you know by letter of any other vaccination your kids will be needing and will also communicate an invitation with information of what, where and when your kids will be getting these new vaccinations. They are all provided free of charge and through invitation by the GGD.

How to get a Family Doctor 


In order to apply for a

GP you'll need to have:

1. BSN number.

2. Dutch Health

Insurance or an

International one with coverage within the Netherlands


Once these two steps are covered you'll need to register straight away with a family doctor that has availability to accept you as a patient (otherwise you won't be able to go when you need)

In this website you can find information in English of available GPs within Breda:

Each GP has a list of patients and may not accept any new ones, don't worry!! this is the normal practice in the NL. If this occurs to you, they are obliged to give you the contact of another GP that will still have available space for you and your family so you can register.

At the GP office and sometimes on their website you'll get further information on what you'll need to do to registration, usually they'll be asking you for:

  • Valid ID

  • Health Insurance

  • Previous Medical records

  • Registration form

  • Sign a form to accept that your records may be shared with other doctors if needed.

Ask them to give you information and sign you up at the nearest Apotheek to retrieve your prescription when necessary.

Dental care:

The same rules apply to get your own dentist in the Netherlands. Remember that your Health Insurance policy doesn't cover all your dental care and you may have to pay an extra coverage.

You can find your nearest dentist on the following link:

What to do in case of a

medical "emergency" 


In the Netherlands the 112

emergencies number 

and the urgencies at the

hospital are only for

life threatening emergencies!!! So please use them wisely otherwise you'll find yourself paying for a service you won't be needing or waiting longer than needed in the hospital.

In case of a standard medical emergency  such as high fever, vomiting, an injury or something similar, the protocol is:

- If it happens within working hours (8/9 a.m. - 5/6 p.m.) call you own family doctor. They'll attend you immediately and will tell you how to proceed.

- If it happens out of working hours please call the General Doctors Emergency Post HAP (Huisartsenpost) 076-525800 they will tell you what to do, where to go or will send you someone to your house to attend you.


Some family doctors have also their own Emergency number after working hours so you can ask them when registering.

Emergency Services and Hospitals (Breda)


The emergency number for police, fire or ambulance is 112 .

Emergency doctor’s services 076 – 52 58 500 .

Emergency hospital Amphia Ziekenhuis

Molengracht 21, 4818 CK Breda

Other hospital Amphia Ziekenhuis Langendijk 75, 4819 EV Breda

The non-emergency police number is 0900 8844.

Waste Collection


In the Netherlands

different municipalities

follow different

procedures and systems

when disposing normal

everyday waste. However

garden waste and other organic materials such as vegetables and fruit should be deposited in the provided dual brown container’s ‘GFT’ (groente-fruit-tuinafval)’ part. The rest of your waste, except paper and board card, should be deposited in the ‘RSTV’ (restafval) part of your dual container. Paper and card board (papier en karton) should be deposited in the green container. This container is collected once a month.

On yearly basis municipalities all over the Netherlands publish a calendar with the time-table of the pick up dates and the addresses of the waste separation and recycling stations. In case you don’t have one it can be requested at the Municipality. There is now an application also available for smart phone users: Afvalwijzer or DeAfvalApp


Other wastes have to be deposited at the waste separation stations. In general there are 3 different categories; wit glas (white glass), bont glas (coloured glass), and plastic. You can find these stations around the city and near most shopping areas.

Chemical wastes such as paint, batteries and oil and other large household debris such as furniture, appliances and HiFi/computer equipment have to be disposed at the milieuparken (waste disposal stations). The recycling station in Breda can be found at Spinveld, 9 and it's open from Mon-Sat 8:30 until 16:00.

Unwanted clothing can be disposed in special containers, generally placed by local organizations and most often located close to a shopping area.


For more information regarding garbage collection and recycling:



You can bring your pets

to the Netherlands as

long as they are

correctly vaccinated, 

have a legal passport

and are identified with a

microchip. The conditions depend on the type of animal and country you are coming from. For more information:

Once in the Netherlands most cities charge you with a pet tax that should be paid on an annual basis. For more info and download the documents for West Brabant follow this link:

There are many veterinarians in the Breda area you can Google your nearest one: dierenarts or dierenartspraktijk. Here are some of the available ones:

Dogs are often taken to walk in parks where they can run and play without a leash. These parks are clearly marked.

Bringing your car


If you are moving from

a EU country and would

like to bring your own

car, you need to know

that you can only drive it

under any EU country registration for three months. After that period all expats have to register and get Dutch license plates.

In order to do that, two different taxes have to be paid:

Private motor vehicle tax (BMP) This tax that accounts for the import of the car depends on many factors and can get quite expensive. If you've lived for more than 12 months in a EU country and your car has been in your possession for at least 6 months you can claim that your car is part of your "removal goods" and ask for an exemption. Just remind that you won't be able to sell it within 1 year.

Here you can find all the information as well as the exemption documents and procedure.

Road tax (Motorrijtuigenbelasting) The amount of road tax depends on (vehicle) weight and fuel type (diesel is more expensive). To calculate the exact amount you have to pay check the road tax calculator that can be found here (in Dutch).

In order to be issued with a Dutch vehicle registration certificate a vehicle requires also a technical inspection to ascertain that it complies to Dutch safety and emissions standards. The inspection is made at an RDW authorised test centre (RDW-keuringsstation).

Once all the procedure is done you can issue your new license plates. In Breda tis can be done at Brezan