Checklist for starting your career in the Netherlands

1. ID / Passport

When you come to the Netherlands, it’s obliged that you have identification document with you. A valid passport or ID-card (issued by an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland) shows that you have lawful stay and that you are allowed to work. However, doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s always convenient to have your valid passport with you.

2. Dutch Work Permit

This is an essential question that we received the most. The jobseekers often ask, ‘how can I get a Dutch work permit?’. According to Immigration and Naturalisation Service, only an employer can apply for a work permit(TWV). A jobseeker can not handle this matter themselves. For different types of work permit, you can look for all the answers on This is an official English page from Dutch Immigration Authority. Dutch work permit is not applicable for citizens from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. Citizens from these countries can start working in the Netherlands freely.

3. BSN Number

Before you start working in the Netherlands legally, you need to go to the municipality for your own BSN number. BSN, which stands for citizen service number, is a unique personal number in the Netherlands and is primarily intended for contact between citizens and the government. It’s connected with your employment, tax authorities and so on. In principle, a citizen service number is not changed once it is granted. The process of applying for BSN number is for free.

4. Health Insurance

Every individual who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard Dutch health insurance to cover the cost of consulting a general practitioner, prescription medication, hospital treatment, etc. A basic health insurance is least required. However, you can also choose a full subscription to cover the costs that are not included in the standard package. For example, the cost of consulting a physical therapist.

5. Bank Account

It is probably common knowledge, but we still get this question from time to time. Compared to other countries, the Netherlands is stricter regarding the issue of making ‘black money’. It means that you get paid by cash and don’t pay tax to the government. When you get the new job, the employers will ask you for your bank account number and put it in the contract.

6. Accommodation

Before you start working, it’s important for you to settle down in this exotic land. As an expat looking for accommodations in the Netherlands, you can check out websites such as As more and more adventurers coming to the Netherlands for work, a considerable amount of recruitment agencies are offering their employees jobs and accommodations at the same time.

Last Article : How to top a telephone interview

Next Article : Checklist for evaluating a good recruitment agency in the Netherlands

Discover Vacancies