If you are moving abroad, there is a lot you will have to arrange beforehand. Many of these things are difficult to do from another country. Check what you need to arrange with the Dutch authorities before you leave the Netherlands. This will save you a lot of time and effort.
What to arrange: the essentials
Before you leave the Netherlands, be sure to:
Whether you need a visa depends on where you are moving to.
- If you are moving within the EU or the Schengen area you do not need a visa.
- If you are moving to Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St Eustatius or St Maarten you do not need a visa.
- If you are moving to any other country outside the EU, you may need a visa. Find out more from the embassy or consulate of the country you are moving to.
Applying for a visa
Be sure to apply for your visa in good time. Exactly what you will need and the duration of the application process varies by country. Apply for a visa from the country’s embassy or consulate in the Netherlands.
If you don’t already have one, apply for a DigiD before deregistering from your municipality. It’s easier to apply for a DigiD from the Netherlands than from abroad. You can use your DigiD to log in to Dutch government websites, even from abroad. Furthermore, you can manage online affairs with organisations in other European countries affiliated with European login (eIDAS).
If you are going to be living outside the Netherlands for more than 8 months, you must deregister from the Dutch municipality in which you live. You should do this sometime in the 5 days before you leave.
Find out from the municipality where you will be living abroad how to register as a new resident. Sometimes you will need proof of deregistration from the Netherlands.
Check whether you can travel to the country you are moving to on your Dutch ID card. If you can’t, you’ll need a passport. You can apply for a passport at the municipality in which you live.
Countries you can travel to on a Dutch ID card (information in Dutch)
If your passport or ID card will expire soon, renew it before you leave the Netherlands. Applying for a Dutch passport or ID card abroad often takes more time and money and requires more effort. You may also have to travel some distance to arrange everything.
Applying for a passport or ID card (information in Dutch)
Check whether your Dutch driving licence is valid in the country you are moving to.
If your driving licence will expire soon, renew it before you leave the Netherlands. You can do this at the Dutch municipality in which you live.
Renewing your driving licence (information in Dutch)
Other things to consider
What else you will need to arrange before moving depends on your situation. For example, do you receive Dutch state pension (AOW)? Do you have children that will be moving with you? Do you have a car? See what you will need to arrange and what options are available:
Continuing to receive Dutch state pension abroad
Whether you can continue to receive Dutch state pension abroad depends on several factors, including which country you are moving to.
If you live outside the Netherlands, you usually do not build up Dutch state pension. Each year you are not insured means less Dutch state pension when you retire. You can avoid this by taking out optional insurance with the Social Insurance Bank (SVB).
Whether you can continue to receive child benefit after moving abroad depends on which country you move to and where you work.
Supplementary child benefit
If you are entitled to child benefit abroad and you meet the requirements, you may also be eligible for supplementary child benefit.
If you will be using childcare in the country you move to, you may be eligible for childcare benefit. Please note that the provider you use must be registered in the Foreign Childcare Register.
If you receive sickness or incapacity benefit from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), you may in some situations be able to continue receiving your benefit abroad. This depends on a number of factors, including which country you are moving to. Find out what your options are:
If you receive unemployment benefit and go to another EU or EEA country or Switzerland to look for work, you may be able to continue receiving your benefit for up to 3 months. Find out what your options are:
Dutch health insurance
Moving abroad may have consequences for your health insurance.
If you can keep your Dutch health insurance outside the Netherlands and you meet the income requirements, you can usually also receive or continue to receive healthcare benefit.
If you receive surviving dependants benefit, whether you can continue to receive it abroad depends on several factors, including which country you move to.
If you move outside the Netherlands and die abroad, your surviving dependants will not usually be eligible for surviving dependants benefit unless you are insured under the surviving dependants benefit scheme. Even then, your surviving dependants will need to meet certain conditions.
Would you like your child to have Dutch language and culture lessons after you have moved? For example, because you are temporarily going abroad and want your child to be able to reconnect easily with education in the Netherlands after you return? There are various ways of doing this.
Are you going to study or do an internship abroad? Then have a look at the steps you need to take.
Repay student debt
Do you have a student debt with DUO? How to repay your debt from abroad depends on the country you are moving to.
Taking your car with you
Do you want to take your car with you when you move abroad? In that case, you should first deregister the car from the Dutch vehicle registration system. This is called exporting. After that you can register the car in your new country of residence. You will then receive number plates from that country.
Are you temporarily going abroad with your car? Then ask your insurer if you can take the car with you and remain insured for any damage during that period.
Leaving a car behind in the Netherlands
If you are leaving your car behind in the Netherlands and don’t plan to use it for a while, you can suspend the vehicle registration for 1, 2 or 3 years. During that period you do not need to pay any road tax. A safety inspection and third-party insurance for the car are neither necessary.
Having Dutch documents legalised
Sometime you need to show your official Dutch documents abroad. For example, your birth certificate, your marriage certificate or a health declaration. If you wish to use such documents outside the Netherlands, you will probably need to have them legalised. This enables you to prove that the document in question is authentic.
Using Dutch diplomas abroad
Depending on your situation, there are several steps you will need to take before you can use your Dutch diploma outside the Netherlands.
Consult the checklist for travelling abroad or download the Travel App. The app includes useful information about luggage, travelling with medicine and debit cards.
Know what the travel advice is for the country you are moving to. A change in the colour code may affect your studies abroad.
Check the travel advice for the country you are going to (information in Dutch)
Register for the Information Service of the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country you are moving to. This will help you stay up-to-date on the security situation there. It is also a source of tips and advice.
Register for the information service (information in Dutch)
After you move
Find out from the municipality where you will be living abroad how to register as a new resident. You cannot register with the Dutch embassy, but you can sign up to the embassy’s Information Service.
Sign up to the Information Service (information in Dutch)
After moving abroad there may be other matters to arrange with the Dutch authorities. For example, filing your income tax return. It’s also important for you to know that there are situations in which you can lose your Dutch nationality, and what those are. Find everything you have to arrange from abroad.
Do you want to vote in the Dutch elections from abroad? Register yourself as a Dutch voter outside the Netherlands via the Municipality of The Hague.
Moving back to the Netherlands
At some point in the future you may decide to move back to the Netherlands. If you do, there will be many things to arrange, some of which may involve waiting times. You should therefore find out before moving abroad everything you will need to arrange if you return to live in the Netherlands in the future.