Moving to the Netherlands
Your South African moving guide

If you’re planning on moving to the Netherlands, to enjoy a life in the Low Lands of windmills, frietjes (chips), and fietsen (bikes) then we’ve got you covered. Sirelo’s guide has the information you need to know about moving costs, visas, essential checklist, and even free moving quotes. We’re here to help you every step of the way and see you moving with a smile! 😊

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How much does it cost to move to the Netherlands?

If you’ve been thinking of moving to the Netherlands from South Africa, it’s likely that you’ve also given some consideration to the cost of a move. Fortunately, this is something we’ve pondered about too, given that we’re interested in helping people move.

From our research, we’ve found that the average cost of moving to the Netherlands form South Africa for a 3-bed house to be between R108,800R-R155,000. This is only an estimate as there are several factors that will influence the international moving costs

Since you might not have a 3-bed house, and we’d like to take a moment to exemplify that volume is a factor (and that we have a great volume calculator), here are the costs from moving to the Netherlands from South Africa for differing household sizes:

Size of HouseholdTime to MoveCost of Move
1-bed flat6-10 weeksR50,200-R78,500
2-bed house4-7 weeksR72,900-R112,600
3-bed house4-7 weeksR108,800R-R155,000
4-bed house4-7 weeksR153,200-R207,300
5-bed house4-7 weeksR191,100-R255,500

You might have noticed that a smaller move will take longer. The reason for this is due to smaller volumes will usually be shipped using a shared container. When a container is shared, that means you’ll need to wait for others, and this only adds time.

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Instead of calling hundreds of companies to find one that can help you move to the Netherlands from South Africa, which sounds like a pain, let us do the hard work! Fill in the form below and receive up to 5 removal quotes and make your move easy.

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Visas for the Netherlands

Unless you happen to be moving back to the Netherlands, then know that you’ll need to apply for a visa to be able to move to the Netherlands from South Africa. This will be in the form of an MVV, which is a type of long-term entry visa, and a residence permit.

As for applying, there are two ways to do this. You can either apply directly at the Dutch embassy in South Africa or a host in the Netherlands, such as a workplace or educational institution, will apply on your behalf. If you’re curious about how that works, you can read more on the Dutch Government website on visas.

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!

✔️ Important Documents

As you move to the Netherlands, you’ll need to bring your important documents with you. Otherwise, you might find it difficult when setting up your new life:

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

✔️ Packing

The next thing to check off your list is packing for your move. While it may seem like a small, simple task, it’s a bit more of a beast than that. You’ll need to try and fit your life and home into boxes. We advise that you give yourself a month to pack and try to keep organised. If you would like more tips, then read our expert moving guide!

✔️ Registering in the Netherlands

It is also very important that you register in the Netherlands with your municipality within four days after moving to the Netherlands. Once you have done this you will be issued your Burgerservicenummer (BSN), which is like a Citizen Service Number.

It is essential to do this as your BSN is integral to paying taxes, healthcare, opening a bank account, and more. So, make it a priority. Here are the documents that you will need in order to register:

  • A passport
  • A filled in application form.
  • Original birth certificate (translated in 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.

✔️ Healthcare

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)

✔️ Banking

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

✔️ Learning Dutch

If you want to move to the Netherlands from South Africa on a more permanent basis, you need to think about learning the language. 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!

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.

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. Also, 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!

Cost of living in the Netherlands

As with the majority of cities within a country, the cost of living in the Netherlands will vary depending on where you live. Below, we made 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!

MetricCape TownAmsterdam
3-bed appartement City CentreR21,240R47,225
Price/m2 in the city centreR30,310R142,580
Monthly utilities for 85m2 apartmentR1,537R2,995
0.5L of draught beerR35.00R89.80
12 eggsR31.50R44.20
CappuccinoR28.80R60.00
Milk 1LR14.75R18.80

Work in the Netherlands

In order 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 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:

Ready to move to the Netherlands?

Not that you’re at the end of the article, you should have all the information you need to make your move to the Netherlands successful. The land of tulips and windmills awaits you!

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. Click on the links below to start reading more. Otherwise, veel succes (good luck) with your move!