Moving to the Netherlands

How to register when staying in the Netherlands

Kubus houses in Rotterdam

Are you an expat moving to the Netherlands to work or study? In this article, we provide a compact overview of the first steps after arrival in the Netherlands. 

As EU citizen living in the Netherlands, you are legally required to register with the municipality in which you live.

There are two different types of municipal registration. Where you need to register depends on your situation and the length of your stay in the Netherlands.

(1.) Your stay is less than 4 months. 

(2.) Your stay is longer than 4 months.


(1.) Stay up to 4 months: 
If you stay in the Netherlands for four months or less to study or work and keep your residence in your own country,
you can register as a non-resident in the Non-residents Record Database (short RNI), using your address abroad. This is possible within one of the following 19 Dutch municipalities with such a special reporting office:





Den Haag
















(2.) Stay of 4 months and longer:

If you move to the Netherlands for more than 4 months and you have a permanent residence here, you need to register within that municipal office (gemeente) within five days of arrival. At some municipal offices you can also make an appointment for the registration online in advance (afspraak maken voor eerste inschrijving).

What do I need to register in a Dutch municipality as an EU citizen?

To register for the new residence (angifte eerste inschrijving uit het buitenland), you need to bring:

  • your valid Identity card or passport
  • your original (international) birth certificate in Dutch, English, French or German (or a translation by a sworn translator) and authenticated if required (these certificates can be submitted within three months of the appointment)
  • your rental/tenancy agreement of your new address (huurovereenkomst) issued in your name or a comparable proof of the new residence, e.g. proof of ownership of the apartment.
  • If you live for subletting, you will need a written declaration from the main tenant that you live at this address, as well as a copy of the landlord’s ID card.


Partners and children must also be enrolled in the municipality in person if they stay in the Netherlands for more than four months. In this case, you will also need an original marriage certificate, adoption certificate, family book or former residence permit (translated and authenticated where required). Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland do not need a residence permit.

For all necessary documents, it’s best to check with the municipal office in advance. 

Once you are registered, you will be given a Social Security Number (‘Burgerservicenummer’, shortly BSN), which everyone in the Netherlands needs when working or studying here.  The BSN is important in many cases, for example when you enroll in health insurance, apply for a job or when you pay taxes.


In addition to this registration with the municipality, you may also need to apply for the appropriate permits,
for example, a residence permit or a work permit.
More information about registering as a resident and non-resident in a Dutch municipality can be found here: (only available in Dutch)


If you are moving to another municipality in the Netherlands, this registration process must be done again within your new municipality.
Make sure you will be deregistered at the municipality you are leaving from. A move to a new address in the same municipality must also be registered. Often this can be done online.


For more information for expats moving to the Netherlands, visit the website of your municipality.

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