Moving to Netherlands

Did you know that the Netherlands is known for its safety and tolerance toward expats?

If so, chances are that this is one of the reasons why you’re thinking about moving to the Netherlands. Some of the reasons why expats enjoy this country are that the work-life balance here allows them to enjoy both excellent career opportunities and an engaging environment. 

What’s more, the Netherlands offers a sophisticated organization and infrastructure. And the fact that you can speak English everywhere in the country makes it simple to integrate with the culture more easily.

So, if moving to the Netherlands is an attractive idea, and you desire to initiate a new phase of life in a steadily perfect environment, we’re here to help! IMovingTo will streamline your international moving experience and ensure it’s entirely delightful.

Brief Overview of Dutch Culture & Social Life

The Netherlands is a liberal nation with a progressive attitude. The Dutch are generally known for being direct, pragmatic, and tolerant.  They are usually highly friendly, polite, and hospitable as well.  

They follow the rules, maintain conservatism, and pay particular attention to small details. The Dutch pride themselves on being sensible, diligent, and well-organized. They appreciate that foreigners also try to respect their social and cultural characteristics.

However, it should be noted that it may take some time for your new colleagues and neighbors to warm up to you, as the Dutch are quite introverted regarding communication. Meanwhile, you can connect with people going through a comparable change in the vibrant ex-pat community the Netherlands is known for.

The Dutch take considerable pride in their cultural heritage, and the government is constantly involved in supporting all forms of art. It can be said that cultural diversity is clearly expressed in Dutch characters.

Do I Need to Learn the Dutch Language?

The majority of people in the Netherlands are able to communicate in English, with estimates of their ability varying from 90% to 93% of the overall population.

Technically speaking, the Dutch language requirement is not necessary since many businesses and organizations in the Netherlands provide opportunities for English-speaking expats. 

However, learning Dutch will not only make it easier for you to acquire a job and enable you to interact with colleagues and neighbors, read signs, and get help if you ever get lost. Furthermore, due to its position between German and English, Dutch is perhaps the easiest language for English speakers to learn.

How to Apply for a Dutch Visa?

If you decide to relocate to the Netherlands, you should apply for a long-stay visa, also known as a provisional residence permit (MVV). On the other hand, you do not need a Dutch visa or residence permit to move to the Netherlands if you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or a Swiss national, but you will still need to register with the local authorities.

The Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country is where you can apply for a visa. The processing of a visa application, whether it’s for the Netherlands or another country, takes a little while. For this reason, you need to apply for the visa process in advance of your intended departure. The suggested time frame is at least 3 weeks before your trip.

Online application forms can often be requested and printed from the websites of Dutch embassies and consulates. Before submitting the application, you should fill it out and sign it. When applying for a Dutch visa, you must also provide a number of documents in addition to the application form.

Sorting Out Health Insurance in the Netherlands

Health insurance for you and your family should be one of the top priorities when moving to the Netherlands. The Dutch healthcare system is one of the most advanced in the world, and all citizens, including most expats, are required by law to get health insurance. 

The majority of treatments should be covered by insurance. Still, for expatriates, the variety of health insurance alternatives in the Netherlands can be overwhelming because so many companies seem to provide almost identical options.

After your insurance is sorted, consider finding a family doctor in the Netherlands as a priority. Why? Because family doctors conduct regular medical examinations and tests, and refer patients to specialists. 

Even in an emergency, you might need to call your family doctor and get a referral to avoid problems obtaining insurance to cover the medical procedure cost.

How to Manage Finances in the Netherlands?

Managing long-term earnings and meeting immediate financial requirements are crucial when moving to the Netherlands. Before relocating, exploring your economic alternatives, including retail banks and mobile banking services, is essential. Setting up a mobile banking account before your departure is also relevant.

You might also need to rapidly and simply transfer money abroad. As a result, the following payment options can be beneficial.

With money transfers available to over 150 countries and currency rates up to 8 times lower than those offered by banks, CurrencyFair enables you to avoid excessive bank fees. Wise is another provider of international money transfers available in 59 countries and offers transfers between international bank accounts up to 8 times less expensive than traditional banks.

Regarding taxes, it is essential to highlight that the Dutch system is straightforward, especially for expats. The Netherlands is a socially aware nation. Therefore, higher earners should consider paying higher taxes on their income. 

Keep in mind that your personal circumstances, a field of employment, residency status, and other assets and earnings directly affect your status as an expat in the Netherlands.

Customs Regulations and Allowances for the Netherlands

Customs in the Netherlands does not impose a tax on personal luggage. When traveling with medicine, make sure you keep it in its original packaging as you might be asked to provide a prescription and prove it is for only personal use.

You should also keep in mind that some medications, like strong painkillers and sleep-inducing drugs, may be classified as narcotics in the EU. When it comes to alcohol, don’t forget Duty-Free Customs customs allowances:

  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages (whisky, vodka, etc.);
  • 2 liters of sparkling wine;
  • 4 liters of wine;
  • 16 liters of beer.

 Furthermore, Duty-Free customs allowances for tobacco are the following:

  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 100 cigarillos;
  • 50 cigars;
  • 250 grams of smoking tobacco.

The following alcohol and tobacco goods can be imported with increased duty-free customs allowances by those moving from another EU nation. However, there are no restrictions for citizens of EU countries on how much money they can import. Additionally, they experience fewer limitations when bringing in motorcycles and cars.

Housing & Public Transportation

It’s difficult to find housing in the Netherlands. City centers frequently have small homes with narrow rooms that are relatively old. So, avoiding the center may be the best option for you if you like something more modern and affordable.

Renting your new house is usually your best choice if you’re uncertain of how long you’ll stay in the Netherlands. Of course, the price will vary depending on the home’s location, size, and quality. When searching for a home, one of the first places everybody looks is Funda. The vast majority of Dutch real estate listings are published on the website.

Even if you choose accommodation far from the center, it will be quite convenient to travel by public transport as compared to some other countries. Public transport in the Netherlands is quick, safe, and effective. A bus, tram, or train may take you almost everywhere in the country, and you can generally trust them to arrive on time.

The Netherlands’ Best Cities for Relocation

As the relocation destination is one of the primary aspects you need to acquire before your relocation, we have included a few of the cities where you can live in harmony after moving to the Netherlands.


Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is famous for its stunning canals, distinctive architecture, and exciting nightlife. Additionally, it’s a fantastic location to explore Dutch art and culture as the city has a long history that reaches back to the 13th century.


Rotterdam is a prestigious city in the Netherlands, known for pre-eminent Dutch contemporary architecture, Europe’s largest harbor, and a vibrant intellectual powerhouse. This city takes pride in being culturally diverse and far less expensive than Amsterdam.

The Hague

It is widely known for being the constant home of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice of the United Nations. Hague has plenty of opportunities to offer globally-minded individuals as global companies and delegations such as Shell and EPO are located here. Along with a picturesque and excellent shopping area in the middle of town, there are many bars and restaurants, numerous museums, and other attractions.

Pros & Cons of Moving to the Netherlands


Easy to navigate

You can go from one side of the Netherlands to the other in under three hours since the country is located on a very small territory. This is ideal if you want to explore your new environment since there is no need to take long car trips or internal flights. Additionally, everything is reachable by train, which is also pretty reasonable.

The Netherlands is located between Belgium and Germany, so if you’re looking for a cheap vacation or a fast weekend getaway, you won’t have to drive too far.

Great cycling culture 

The Netherlands is famous for its cycling culture.  Its citizens ride their bicycles outside in any weather. It is not only cost-free and healthy, but it is also a standard norm of the commute here. The Netherlands is the ideal place to discover your passion for cycling, thanks to the separate cycle lanes.


High taxes 

The Netherlands is well-known for having high tax rates on almost everything. In comparison to other European countries, income tax is relatively high. Additionally, you could discover that food and electronics are a bit expensive in the Netherlands. 

Due to a rather imbalanced supply and demand, rent prices are often quite high throughout the country. However, according to the general amount of employee payment, it can be said that income and expenditure are relatively balanced.

It is expensive to own a car 

In the Netherlands, having a car is obviously an expensive affair. Owning a car is pricey, and this applies not just to the price of buying it but also to the cost of refueling, maintaining, and insuring it. The reason is the Dutch government’s strategy to discourage people from driving cars.

Moreover, regulations prevent people from purchasing a less expensive car in Germany or other neighboring countries. So if you are considering saving some money on a car, keep that in mind.

Final Thoughts

Considering perfectly balanced work-life interdependence, effective organization, and excellent career opportunities, the Netherlands is indeed a preferred moving option for expats.

So, dare to seek new adventures in a new country, such as the Netherlands, and IMovingTo will assist you in receiving comprehensive guidance on all available international relocation services

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