Moving to the Netherlands

Last updated: Dec 2, 2019

If you’re planning on moving to the Netherlands, then we’ve got you covered. This page has all the information you will need to make your moving process simple and easy: visas, healthcare, work, housing and much more. Whether you’re looking for international moving quotes or need advice on the cost of an international move, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

How can I move to the Netherlands?

Moving to the Netherlands is quite complicated and comes with a lot of things that you need to prepare for and consider. This section explains the process of getting visas to the Netherlands, how to settle there and get a job! If you’re interested in finding a removal company to help you, take a look at our top 10 international movers list.

Visas to the Netherlands

If you want to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months, then you will need to get an MVV visa provided by the Dutch embassy or consulate in South Africa. This is a national visa in the form of a sticker in your passport and you must request this in person either at the Dutch embassy in Pretoria or the consulate in Cape Town.

It is recommended to schedule an appointment at least four weeks before you plan on moving to the Netherlands.

Work in the Netherlands

In order to be entitled to this visa, 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 if you’re planning on moving to the Netherlands, 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. There are many ways to find work in the Netherlands, below are a few websites that you can use:

Registering in the Netherlands

It is also very important that you register in the Netherlands with your municipality within the first four days after moving to the Netherlands. Once you have done this you will be issued your Burgerservicenummer (BSN), which is a Citizen Service Number. This is essential for you to get paid and to open a bank account in the Netherlands. Here are the documents that you will need in order to register:

  1. A passport
  2. A filled in application form.
  3. Original birth certificate (translated in English, French, German or Dutch and also legalised by the government or with an apostille).
  4. Tenancy agreement/rental contract. If applicable, declaration by main occupant, rental contract or sales contract

It’s important to note that you may also be required to have your work permit, which makes it even more important that you have your visa sorted!

Moving to the Netherlands

Living in the Netherlands

This section will provide you with more information on what living in the Netherlands is really like. 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

ItemCost in Cape TownCost in Amsterdam
Average Monthly Net Salary (after tax)16,163.74R41,240.26R
Rent for a one bed flat in the city centre10,713.33R24,708.76R
Meal in an inexpensive restaurant120.00R242.37R
Milk one litre12.94R17.42R

As with the majority of cities within a country, the cost of living in the Netherlands will vary depending on where you live. The figures above from numbeo.com shows a comparison of the living costs between Cape Town and Amsterdam. Overall, the cost of living in the Netherlands is higher than in South Africa, especially in the big cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.  However, this is compensated by a much higher salary, so it works out in the end!

Culture in the Netherlands

With any move abroad, you can expect there to be some cultural differences. So, when you’re moving to the Netherlands from South Africa, you should prepare yourself for a few differences. As mentioned before, English is widely used but learning Dutch is always a plus. The Netherlands is also not known for being a sunny country, however, it only rains 7% of the time in the Netherlands with the best times of year being between mid-April to mid-October. It is widely known that the Dutch are very accepting and friendly but are also known to be quite direct at times. Read this blog to find out more on what living in the Netherlands is actually like!

Moving to the Netherlands Checklist

This section has everything else you need to think about before moving to the Netherlands in the form of a checklist!

How much does it cost to move to the Netherlands?

Size of HouseholdTime to MoveCost of Move
1 bed flat6-10 weeks36,200R-61,500R
2 bed house4-7 weeks48,900R-81,400R
3 bed house4-7 weeks86,800R-142,600R

Above are the moving costs of moving from Cape Town to Amsterdam by sea. There are many factors that affect the cost of moving to the Netherlands, such as the volume or distance of your move. If you need some advice on how to go about transporting all of your belonging to the Netherlands, then take a look at our container shipping page where we break down prices and the different sized containers.

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Healthcare in the Netherlands

If you are moving to the Netherlands, then it is compulsory to get health insurance. There are two types of health insurance:

  1. Compulsory basic insurance (basisverzekering): approximately €100 p/m
  2. Additional insurance cover (aanvullende verzekering)

moving-to-the-netherlands

Housing in the Netherlands

Trying to find somewhere to live in Holland can seem near impossible, especially in the popular cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam! Which is why it’s important to start looking early! There are many estate agents that you can contact to help you buy a house. If you’re interested in moving your household belongings abroad, look at our top 10 international movers page. If you are looking to rent or share a flat, here are some online portals to help you find a room:

Banking in the Netherlands

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

You can easily create a bank account by either booking an appointment with one of the banks or just simply walking in and asking!

What Next?

Overall, we hope that this page has helped you become better informed about moving to the Netherlands.  You may find these pages to also be of interest to you: