Moving to the Netherlands

   expats in the NetherlandsMoving to The Netherlands

Things to know before moving to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country located in Western Europe with territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, bordering Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. In the Caribbean, it consists of three special municipalities: the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba. The country’s official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland, and English and Papiamento as secondary official languages in the Caribbean Netherlands. Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are recognized regional languages (spoken in the east and southeast respectively), while Dutch Sign Language, Sinte Romani, and Yiddish are recognized non-territorial languages.

The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. Amsterdam is the country’s most populous city and nominal capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States-General, Cabinet, and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe, and the busiest in any country outside East Asia and Southeast Asia, behind only China and Singapore. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands and the third busiest in Europe. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD, and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organizations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed ‘the world’s legal capital.

expats in the Netherlands

Why should you consider moving to The Netherlands?

The Netherlands is the 16th most densely populated country in the world and the 2nd most densely populated country in the European Union, with a density of 521 km2 (201 sq mi). Nevertheless, it is the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture, and inventiveness

The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalized abortion, prostitution, and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in Civil Law in 1870, though it was not completely removed until a new constitution was approved in 1983. The Netherlands allowed women’s suffrage in 1919, before becoming the world’s first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy had the eleventh-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness. In 2020, it ranked eighth on the human development index and fifth on the 2021 World Happiness Index.

expats in the Netherlands

General tips

What people who move to this country like the most is the friendliness of the people. The Dutch are people who are always ready to help foreigners, and they will do everything in their power to try to understand you, even without you knowing their language. Even without asking for help, they are kind enough to try to fix your problem. If you know English, life will be easier there. Although Dutch is the official language, English is spoken by practically 100% of the population, so you can communicate easily and also apply for jobs with a medium level of English.

  • One of the things that stands out the most is that people cycle everywhere, so if you get used to it, it will be a very healthy and relaxing way to get around. In addition, it will also affect your pocket, since gasoline today is at exorbitant prices. This Dutch mania means there is less pollution in the streets, so you will breathe cleaner air.
  • The Netherlands is the perfect country to meet new people, especially if you are young. There are numerous activities and events dedicated to youth, and partying in the Netherlands is also a unique experience, especially in its capital Amsterdam.
  • The good news is that the Netherlands does not impose rigid rules for the importation of personal effects. They can enter the country without major problems or taxes. However, if you want to bring food, it can be a bit more complicated, since the country has significant restrictions on this. Other good news is for nationals of EU / EEA member countries and Switzerland. And it is that, regardless of the regulations that apply to third-country nationals, the one that applies to the Swiss and those of the EU / EEA is more lenient. They are allowed to import more alcohol and tobacco and have no restrictions on bringing money.
  • Moving to the Netherlands with pets is also easier if you move from another European country. For anyone moving from outside the EU / EEA or Swiss borders, getting the necessary vaccinations and tests can take a few months. Free borders allow Europeans to take care of the move of their pets in a matter of a few weeks.
  • When relocating to the Netherlands, you will most likely move to an unfurnished location as they are the most common option. Therefore, taking your furniture is not a bad idea. However, in that case, it may be important to choose a suitable warehouse for your belongings. This way, you will be ready to make your new home as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands.

expats in the Netherlands