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Moving to the Netherlands From South Africa

Costs, Living and Moving Checklist

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Discover everything you need to know about moving costs, visas, essential checklist, and even free moving quotes for moving to Holland from South Africa.

Cost to move to the Netherlands

The average cost of moving to the Netherlands from South Africa for a 3-bed house is between R108,800 – R155,000.

In this table you’ll find the average costs for differing household sizes:

Size of Household Cost of Move
1-bed flat R50,200-R78,500
2-bed house R72,900-R112,600
3-bed house R108,800R-R155,000
4-bed house R153,200-R207,300
5-bed house R191,100-R255,500

Disclaimer: These are estimates, several factors will influence the international moving costs.

As for the shipping times, you can expect to have your belongings around 6 to 10 weeks, depending on the size of the volume. Smaller moves will take longer, as they will usually be shipped in a shared container.

Check our furniture volume calculator to save time and money when requesting moving quotes.

Top Movers to the Netherlands

Are you searching for movers to the Netherlands? You’re in the right place. Take a look at the 3 best international removal companies from South Africa to the Netherlands:

1. Advance Worldwide Removals

The moving company offers both international and national services. They provide vehicle, pet and transport services as well.





What Customers Are Saying

Most users recommend the company, with overall positive reviews. They are claimed by their professionalism, good care of belongings and with a very good cost-effective ratio.

2. South African Relocations

The international relocation specialists offer comprehensive moving services, from piano, vehicle and art transport to excess baggage services.





What Customers Are Saying

Some customers mentioned their efficiency and good price. However, some others complained about their poor communication, customer service, and handling of their belongings.

3. Execu-Move

Providing international and national removals, these movers can take care of the whole process of your move – vehicle transport and transport are some of the services that can be included.


 Packing of furniture



What Customers Are Saying

Users are highly satisfied, appreciating their wide range of services and professionalism. Others report some negative experiences, mainly about damage in their items and customer service.

Request Free Moving Quotes to the Netherlands

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Moving Companies from South Africa to the Netherlands
Request up to five free moving quotes to do so.

Immigration to the Netherlands From South Africa

Understanding the visa procedures, requirements and every step regarding your process of moving to the Netherlands is key for you to embark on this journey.

Requirements to move to the Netherlands

Depending on your situation you must meet different conditions. However, there are some general requirements and documents that you need to prepare:

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Medical Documentation (including dental and immunizations)
  • University Degree(s) and qualification(s)
  • Police Background Check

Visa Application to the Netherlands from South Africa

You’ll need to apply for a visa to be able to move to the Netherlands. This will be in the form of an MVV (Provisional Residence Permit), a type of long-term entry visa, and a residence permit.

How can you apply? There are two ways:

  1. Apply directly at the Dutch embassy in South Africa
  2. Through a host in the Netherlands (workplace, educational institution) that can apply on your behalf.

Learn more about the details of how it works on the official page Government Applying for a long-stay visa (MVV) for residents of South Africa.

You can also make sure which visa you need by filling in the easy Do I need a visa for the Netherlands? form on the government page.

Moving Back to the Netherlands

If you’re moving back to the Netherlands and if you have Dutch nationality, you’re able to move back to the Netherlands without any issue.

Moving to the Netherlands Checklist

This section covers the most important things that you need to plan for before moving to the Netherlands in the form of a checklist!

  1. Important Documents

As we mentioned in the requirements, you’ll need to bring your important documents with you – passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and others.

  1. Packing Your Belongings

Trying to fit your life and home into boxes is not an easy task. We advise that you give yourself a month to pack and try to keep organised. If you would like more tips, then read our 7 tips for Packing up a house.

  1. Registering in the Netherlands

You must register in the Netherlands with your municipality within 5 days after moving. Once that’s done, you’ll be issued your Burgerservicenummer (BSN), a Citizen Service Number.

Your BSN is integral to paying taxes, healthcare, opening a bank account, and more. So, make it a priority. To register you’ll need to gather:

  • Passport
  • Application form
  • Original birth certificate (translated into English, French, German or Dutch and also legalised by the government or with an apostille)
  • Tenancy agreement/rental contract – If applicable, declaration by main occupant, rental contract or sales contract
  • A residency permit
  1. Getting Health Insurance in the Netherlands

You must know that it is compulsory to get health insurance. There are two types of health insurance:

  1. Compulsory basic insurance (basisverzekering): GP visits, hospital treatments and prescription medications. The average price is €130/month (R2,600)
  2. Additional insurance cover (aanvullende verzekering): physiotherapy, alternative medicine, dental or visual care. The price can range from €10 to €60 per month additionally to the basic plan.
  1. Setting Up Your Finances

If you’re planning on living in the Netherlands for a long period, it would be wise to open a Dutch bank account. Below are the top three banks in the Netherlands:

  1. Finding Accommodation

According to Statista, the average house price in the Netherlands in September 2023 was €422,000 (R8,600,00) and the rental prices were €1,400 (R300,000). However, the prices will lower or decrease based on their location and size.

Be aware that the Netherlands is going through a housing crisis due to the rising demand and housing shortage. Especially in big cities such as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, the lack of affordable apartments is also a main factor.

Moving to the Netherlands With a Dog

To bring your furry friend, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a pet passport
  • Be 15 weeks old
  • Be vaccinated against rabies
  • Be microchipped

These apply to dogs, cats and ferrets. If you want to bring a small rodent, fish, bird, rabbit, amphibian or reptile you’ll also need to have a pet health certificate signed by a veterinarian. Read more in detail on the Government page on Can I bring a pet from another country to the Netherlands?.

Cost of Moving Dogs From South Africa to the Netherlands

The average cost for moving your dog can range from R15,400 and R42,000 depending on the animal’s size and method of transport. Other costs can sum up, such as veterinary checks, passport or getting a microchip.

Living in the Netherlands

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the culture or what the living costs are like, read on to find out more.

Cost of living in the Netherlands

On average, the living expenses in the Netherlands are R50,500 per month with rent.

Numbeo indicates that consumer prices are 90.7% higher than in South Africa, especially in the larger cities. However, this is compensated by a much higher salary.

Below, we made a comparison of the living costs between Cape Town and Amsterdam.

Cost of Living in Netherlands vs South Africa

Metric Cape Town Amsterdam
3-bed appartement City Centre R21,240 R47,225
Price/m2 in the city centre R30,310 R142,580
Monthly utilities for 85m2 apartment R1,537 R2,995
0.5L of draught beer R35.00 R89.80
12 eggs R31.50 R44.20
Cappuccino R28.80 R60.00
Milk 1L R14.75 R18.80

Live and Work in the Netherlands

To receive a work permit, you will need to have already found work in the Netherlands and been sponsored by the company you will work for. Therefore, it’s important that you find work before you go.

High-skilled workers are in high demand in the Netherlands, especially engineers, IT specialists, and those working in the financial and business sectors. Also, you don’t have to worry about not speaking Dutch as most businesses work in English.

Jobs in the Netherlands for South African Citizens

There are many ways to find work in the Netherlands, below are a few websites that you can use:

Pros and Cons of Living in the Netherlands


 Safe and secure country
 High standard of living
 Work-life balance
 High-quality education system


 Rainy weather
 High cost of living
 Housing crisis
 High taxes

Things to Know Before Moving to the Netherlands

When moving abroad, you can expect to have some cultural differences. In that sense, you should prepare yourself for them!

Netherlands Culture and Traditions Facts

  • Dutch are very accepting and friendly but are also known to be quite direct at times.
  • Their cuisine is known for its simplicity. From their so-called treats Poffertjes and Stroopwafels to the raw herring.
  • On December 5th they celebrate Sinterklaas, a Dutch version of Santa Claus.
  • Their national holiday, King’s Day (Koningsdag), is celebrated on April 27th and is marked by people dressing in orange clothes – the national colour – and street parties and markets.
  • They are one of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, with an average of 4 cups per day.

Learning Dutch

English is widely used but learning Dutch is always a plus. Being able to speak Dutch will help you in nearly every aspect of life. If you already speak Afrikaans, the jump to Dutch isn’t too far, the languages are related after all.

Ready to move to the Netherlands?

Before you move on, we understand that you might be curious to learn more about the moving process, about which we have lots of great articles. Read the FAQs section below or check our articles to start reading more. Otherwise, veel succes (good luck) with your move!

Frequently asked questions

How to apply for a Netherlands visa?

How can I move to the Netherlands?

How to get a job in the Netherlands from South Africa?

How much does it cost to move to the Netherlands?

How much is health insurance in the Netherlands?