Moving to the Netherlands: Things you should know before you immigrate to the Netherlands

Before you consider moving to the Netherlands, there is a lot to find out about this tiny nation in the heart of Europe. Even though many people instantly think about cheese and tulips, the Netherlands has so much more to offer.
But before we start, you might have heard people referring to the Netherlands as Holland. What’s up with that? Well, North Holland and South Holland are actually two provinces of the Netherlands. Before the Netherlands was officially founded, it was these two provinces that represented what we know as the Netherlands today. Nowadays these two provinces still cover the Randstad, which is the economic heart of the country.
Join us when we dive into Dutch customs, laws, and regulations. With the guide below you will be 100 % ready to start your new undertaking in the Netherlands.

International removals to the Netherlands with Eurosender

It comes as no surprise that many are considering moving to the Netherlands from the USA, or any other country. The Netherlands is known for its tolerance and liberal laws. You will be amazed to see how open and sometimes blunt the Dutch can be. Once you are used to that, you will experience the dynamics of one of the most successful countries in the world. A nation of inventors, the Netherlands is home to the development of Bluetooth, Wifi, CD/DVD/Blueray, the microscope, brandy, and an endless list of other things. On top of that, the Netherlands has some of the most picturesque landscapes in the world. Filled with windmills, cows, and tulips along with traditional and modern architecture, a trip through the Netherlands is like a trip through time.

Have you ever wondered why people from the Netherlands are called Dutch and not for example Netherlanders? In Old English the word Dutch means foreigner. Long ago the English used the word Dutch for people from the Netherlands and Germany. Over time they started calling the people from Germany Germans, but they continued calling folks from the Netherlands Dutch. This never changed and that is why we call people from the Netherlands Dutch until now.
Before you get your suitcases ready, you need to know at least some basic info about your new destination. In the table below you find all the essential details about the Netherlands.

CapitalAmsterdam, which, with 850.000 inhabitants is also the largest city in the Netherlands.
TimezoneIn the Netherlands, there is one time zone UTC+1 and Daylight Saving Time UTC+2
CurrencyEuro (€)
PopulationThe Netherlands has a growing population of some 17 million inhabitants.
How do you call someone from the Netherlands?Dutch
Official languageThere are 2 official languages in the Netherlands: Dutch and Fries(only spoken in the province Friesland)
International dialing code+31
Emergency number112
DrivingOn the right side
TippingNot obligatory, though it is common to tip 10% for good service in a cafe or restaurant.
Unusual factThe famous Dutch tulips actually originate in Turkey.

When you are relocating from the USA to the Netherlands, there is lots of stuff you need to think about. The paperwork, finding employment and a place to live, making new friends and sniffing up the new cultural environment. On top of that, you will have to get all your possessions overseas, which may seem like a daunting task. However, international removals the Netherlands is much easier with the assistance of Eurosender. We can help you get your belongings to your new neighbourhood in the fastest and most reliable way. Just place your order online and you will immediately see how long it takes and how much it costs. When your shipment is bigger than the standard dimensions, feel free to contact us for an individual offer at any time. Our team of logistics experts will then find you the best option within the courier companies we work with. This way, you will not pay a cent too much and your items will have a fast and safe trip.

Living in the Netherlands

Just like in every other country, living in the Netherlands has its own peculiarities. Most of them you will only understand once you have definitely moved there, but let’s have a look at some things other immigrants in the Netherlands noticed.

  • The Dutch and their bicycles are like a Siamese twin, they take their bicycles everywhere. You can even see people with foldable bikes on the bus, tram or train. No matter rain or shine, the Dutch never give up on their 2 wheelers.
  • You might wonder why Dutch sports teams always play in orange and why it is the national colour of the country. The reason for this is that the family name of the royal family in the Netherlands is “van Oranje” which means: “from Orange”. Therefore the Dutch cherish orange more than any other colour.
  • There are no taller people than the Dutch. For years they have been ranking number one on the list of countries with the tallest people. The reason for this is is not entirely clear, but a balanced diet and perhaps some genetic advantage, are sometimes mentioned as the causes. Another reason which is often heard is that the length is caused by the high-quality dairy products you can find in the Netherlands.
  • “Oliebollen”, you have probably never heard of these treats but they are world famous in the Netherlands. However, you will only find out what they are when you travel to the Netherlands around New Year. These deep-fried dough balls, sometimes filled with apples and raisins, are a traditional treat for New-years eve. In most cases, they are only available between 1 December and 1 January.

Visa Regulations for the Netherlands

Within the European Union, there is free movement of capital, products, people, and services. This means that citizens from EU countries can freely move to the Netherlands and start working without a work permit.
When you are not from an EU country, there are 2 categories:

  • Countries that are exempt from Schengen visas. This means you can stay in the Netherlands without a visa for 90 days. the list of these countries includes The USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, New-Zealand, Japan, Mexico, etc.
  • Countries whose citizens need a Schengen visa. Some of the countries that fall in this group are Botswana, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Russia, and many others.

You can apply at the local Dutch embassy in your country or in of the neighbouring countries when there is no Dutch embassy in your country.



Healthcare in the Netherlands

It is mandatory to have private healthcare insurance for every person living and having employment in the Netherlands. Failing to have this can get you fined. The monthly fee for it is somewhere between €100-120. However, the standard insurance also requires out of pocket payments for some services. Besides the standard insurance, it is possible to take out additional insurance for things such as dental care, physiotherapy, etc.
When you want to apply for Dutch healthcare insurance, because you are living or working in the Netherlands, you need to have a Dutch ID number first. This is called Burger Service Nummer (BSN). With his BSN you can then apply at a private insurance company. You can take the standard insurance, plus additional insurance if you require that. When all that has been set up, you will have to register at a local doctor. This doctor (a general practitioner) will be your go-to person, who can direct you to a specialist if needed.
You might find that some of these doctors have a waiting list, so start early with your preparation.

School and education

The school system in the Netherland is pretty straightforward. In general, education is compulsory until children are 18 years old, though there are few exceptions. At the end of primary school, children do a test (CITO test), which determines the level of secondary education they will attend.

Elementary school5-12yes
Secondary school12-16 (preparation for college) 12-17(preparation for bachelor degree education) or 12-18 (preparation for Master degree education) yes

After finishing secondary school you can go on to study at a college or university. Keep in mind that there are separate facilities for bachelor education (HBO) and master education (university). Every student has the right to a grant for four years. The amount of this grant depends on the income of the parents and the need for housing when you want to study in another city. There is also a possibility to take out a student loan against attractive rates.

The job market in the Netherlands

The Dutch economy has been steadily growing since the global economic crisis. Unemployment has dropped and the demand for skilled workers has intensified. The ageing of the Dutch population has also had an effect on the need for more workers from abroad.
So, when you have the skills that are in demand and you are from within the EU, you have a reasonable chance to find a job. When you are from outside the EU, you will have to apply for a work and residence permit. In most cases, your employer will assist you with this.
Some of the areas that are perspective, are IT, finance, logistics, construction, and medicine. For many jobs knowing English will be sufficient, though it is still highly recommended to learn Dutch.

Property information

On average, rent in the Netherlands has gone up with 10% over the last year and it is expected that this trend will continue. With a growing number of inhabitants but with the number of new buildings lagging behind, this is a logical consequence. Traditionally rent prices are the highest in the Randstad( a territory in the West of the country, that includes Amsterdam and Rotterdam), but rising prices have now expanded to other parts of the country as well. This doesn’t only affect working people, among students, there is a real housing crisis. Already struggling to offer housing to Dutch students, with many foreign students also looking for a place to live, the problem is likely to stick around for some time.

Cost of moving to the Netherlands

At Eurosender we frequently get questions such as: How much is shipping from the USA to the Netherlands? or: What is the cheapest way to move furniture to the Netherlands? Of course, it is hard to give a general answer. The average moving costs to the Netherlands depend on several factors such as the distance, the dimensions of the shipment(s) and the speed with which the delivery has to take place. When you want to save on the cost of moving house to the Netherlands, Eurosender helps you do that. With our wide-ranging network of the best and biggest courier companies in the world, we guarantee the cheapest and most reliable delivery for your items. So, place your order now online or ask for an individual offer.

Cost of living in the Netherlands

The cost of living in the Netherlands is rather high In general only Scandinavian countries and Switzerland is more expensive in Europe. With prices being so high, it is possible that you might not able to survive on your budget. So here are a few tips to save on your expenses.

  • Buy a subscription for public transport, which is much cheaper than single tickets. You can also save up to 40% when you travel by train during certain hours (i.e. not in rush hour)
  • Buy food on markets as the prices are often lower than in supermarkets. An even better idea is to visit the market just before closing time, as the sellers will give huge last-minute discounts.
  • Use budgeting apps.
  • Keep an eye on the promotions in the supermarket.
  • The Dutch are known as being economical. A good example of this is that most people bring their own lunch to work. This will save you money and you know exactly what you eat. A traditional Dutch sandwich is usually covered with peanut butter or chocolate sprinkles, which are not only tasty but also inexpensive.

Driving in the Netherlands

When you have a driving license obtained in the EU, you can freely drive in the Netherlands. Citizens from other countries can drive for 6 months in the Netherlands and after, they should apply for a Dutch driving license. When you are travelling from the USA you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) which you can get for about $20-25.
Other things you have to keep in mind are:

  • Car insurance is mandatory.
  • Headlights are obligatory after nightfall.
  • Bikes and scooters always go first.
  • Speed cameras are everywhere. So, it is possible to collect multiple fines in one trip.
  • Every passenger plus the driver have to wear seatbelts.

See the most popular destination from where you can move


Over the last few years moving to the Netherlands from Australia has become more popular. Australians have various reasons for relocating to the Netherlands. Of course, there are people who want to experience the land of their ancestors, as there are many Dutch immigrants in Australia. Others want to start their European adventure in the most liberal country in Europe. Another reason for many is the change in the landscape. Being one of the most densely populated countries in the region, The Netherlands offers a wide variety of landscape. However, don’t expect any mountains. As you may know, the Netherlands actually means “the Low Countries”.
Whatever the reason for your move to Amsterdam or any other Dutch city, Eurosender helps you get your personal belongings safely to the other part of the world. When you have any questions about our services, feel free to contact our friendly Customer Service, which is ready to help you in 15 languages.



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Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.