Among the EU member countries, you have many options on where you can work as a German citizen. From an international environment to a fun and colourful culture, the Netherlands has much to offer people coming from other EU countries who want to relocate for work. If you are considering relocating to the Netherlands from Germany, here is a list of things you should be aware of before your move.
Preparing for the Move
You do not need a visa or a residence permit to reside in the Netherlands if you are a German citizen or a native of an EU member country. You can stay in the Netherlands for as long as you wish provided you have a valid ID.
Although you do not need to report to the IND, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service, if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for longer than four months, you need to visit and register at your local municipality within five days of your arrival. This is crucial for two reasons. Upon your registration, similar to a Social Security ID (Sozialversicherungsnummer), you will be provided with a citizen number, BSN. You will need this number for many official arrangements and when dealing with all Dutch authorities. These arrangements include working in the Netherlands, visiting the doctor and hospitals, for child benefits, and enrolling children in school. Secondly, you must register at the local Personal Records Database (BRP). You can get more information about this registration through your municipality.
Note During your immigration process, you will often need to file documents. It is important to pay extra attention to the document specifications requested from you.
If you stay in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, you need to register in a database for non-residents. You can register as an RNI at municipalities, that is at the Non-residents Records Database. Again, after your registration, you receive your BSN number. If you would like to inquire about more information specific to your case about your immigration, this government survey can provide a helpful roadmap for your journey.
Tip With your BSN number, you can apply for a DigiD, a form of digital identification. You can use your DigiD to access government websites, access information and manage everyday governmental matters.
When relocating from Germany to the Netherlands, finding housing will be one of the most important tasks. The housing market in the Netherlands, especially in major cities, can be competitive. Keep in mind that it may take time to find the ideal Dutch home for you. For this reason, you may consider temporary housing during the first weeks of your move. During your search for your new home, it is always wise to prioritise your preferences, be open-minded, and act decisively.
The Dutch education system is quite similar to the German education system. After primary school, an exam is taken by the children to determine which path they will take for secondary school. There are three streams of secondary school, each of which prepares children for a different level of higher education. In addition, there are also different international schools. These offer different diplomas, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the European Baccalaureate.
The Netherlands and Germany share a lot, aside from a border. Both countries are known for their great work conditions, work-life balance, and overall success in new tech and agriculture industries. Although, as a German, you can easily find similarities in cultures, such as the common love for a good glass of beer and football; the Dutch culture also has unique qualities to offer people relocating from Germany.
Many international companies are deciding to locate their head offices in the Netherlands. Also considering the Dutch’s high English proficiency rates, finding work as an English speaker is one of the easiest options you have throughout Europe. Furthermore, as a neighbouring country, many companies in the Netherlands will hire people, especially with German writing and speaking skills. These three points make relocating to the Netherlands a desirable, achievable, and enjoyable opportunity for Germans. In addition, because of the high percentage of internationals and expats residing in the Netherlands, most companies offer a diverse and multicultural work environment.
Good-to-Know Many German speakers who learn Dutch report the similarities between the two languages. Even though you will get along smoothly only with English, this brings in another advantage for Germans moving to the Netherlands, as it is often relatively easy to learn the language.
Furthermore, the quality of life in the Netherlands is a significant selling point for expats relocating to work. According to the World Happiness Report, the Netherlands ranked as the fifth happiest country in the world, while Germany ranked sixteenth. Pretty close!
In the graph below, you can see different concepts valued in work life compared between the Netherlands and Germany.
Germany vs the Netherlands, source: geerthofstede.com
Cost of Living
Similar to Germany, the cost of living will depend on where you live in the Netherlands. Because of the housing crises in major Dutch cities, it may be trickier to find a house, especially within a budget. As the housing prices are higher in the central city areas and big cities, many residents will choose to live outside these areas in order to cut down on rent expenses. This is quite manageable in the Netherlands since the country is quite small. With its praised public transportation system, commuting to the city centres or other cities in the country is often fast and easy.
Tip Dutch cities are some of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. If you want to avoid public transportation costs, opt for cycling!
Healthcare in the Netherlands
The Dutch healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world. Similar to Germany, taking out healthcare insurance is mandatory for all residents in the Netherlands, but the type of insurance depends on your employer and your needs. With your health insurance in the Netherlands, you can visit your local general practitioner (GP). After work hours and during weekends, you can visit out-of-hours GP service (huisartsenpost) for urgent, not emergency, health matters. For emergency health cases, you can visit the local hospital.
Note To visit your local GP, you will need to register at their office prior to your appointment. Registering as soon as possible after your arrival in the Netherlands is advised.
Upon your arrival in the Netherlands, you may realise that the Dutch are famously direct but also friendly. Similar to German culture, they do not care for sugarcoating and value sincerity, which is a quality most people appreciate. Within Europe, the Dutch are also praised for their efficiency in a friendly way, especially during official interactions. The Dutch will genuinely try to help you with any situation if they can. This outgoingness is what makes moving to the Netherlands such a smooth journey. Making friends and acquaintances will often not be an obstacle as long as you socialise and join their customs, like after-work drinks (borrels) or dressing up in orange during the infamous King’s Day celebration.
If you are interested in expanding your horizons and experiencing new cultures, relocating to the Netherlands from Germany may be the perfect option for you. Although not too dissimilar to the German work culture, working and living in the Netherlands will bring new opportunities and exciting adventures while offering a high quality of life and good working conditions.
Here at Jimble Destination Services Provider, we provide support at every step of your relocation journey. Are you relocating to the Netherlands from Germany for work? Or perhaps you are considering relocating to Berlin. Contact us to talk to one of our specialists, or visit our website to find out how we can help you have the best relocation experience.