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Old Aug 18th 2017, 10:08 am   #1
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Default BSN?

Hi there
The place I'm living at tells me that a BSN number is not the same as registering as a citizen and I am very confused as I know registration is mandatory. Please tell me what's the difference between registering with the GBA and getting a BSN.
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Old Aug 18th 2017, 10:17 am   #2
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Default Re: BSN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by halesvd View Post
Hi there
The place I'm living at tells me that a BSN number is not the same as registering as a citizen and I am very confused as I know registration is mandatory. Please tell me what's the difference between registering with the GBA and getting a BSN.
Kind Regards
http://www.access-nl.org/living-in-the-netherlands/moving/registering-for-a-bsn.aspx
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Old Aug 18th 2017, 7:22 pm   #3
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Default Re: BSN?

A BSN is the dutch equivalent of a National Insurance number in the UK.

Registering with the Gemeente (GBA) is similar to going on the electoral role, but is a mandatory requirement, and is your entry on a database system that is shared by all government departments (from health to taxation).

That is the difference. I registered in the days when you had to go personally to the tax office to get your BSN (or SOFI as it was known back then) and had always thought it was an automatic part of the form-filling/registration process, but recent posts on here seem to indicate otherwise.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 12:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: BSN?

I also have a question about the BSN number: do you have to register at the town hall of your address, or will any town hall do?

I'm just asking this because my new company have already made an appointment for me to Amsterdam town hall which is nice of them but I've already told them that I'm not sure I will end up living there as a permanent address. They just said that they prefer their employees to live in Amsterdam. I on the other hand prefer not to live in a house share so if it means having to commute from another town then I'd rather do that.

Would that mean that, if I find my place in an other town, I'll have to ask them to cancel this appointment and make another one with the applicable town hall?
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 7:05 pm   #5
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Default Re: BSN?

I think this explains it: there are two offices in Amsterdam that deal with short term workers. I'd go to Amsterdam and register as a short stay just to get your BSN as you need to register within 5 working days of arriving. When you get your rental contract in your own name, then you have to register your new address at the gemeente in the town where your new address is.

It helps if I add the link

As for work preferring you to like in Amsterdam, then I'm sure that is their preference as you're close by and not relying on transport which could make you late in. But they don't get a say in it, just like employers everywhere

Last edited by Red_Wine_Fairy; Nov 16th 2017 at 7:11 pm.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 7:38 pm   #6
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Default Re: BSN?

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I think this explains it: there are two offices in Amsterdam that deal with short term workers. I'd go to Amsterdam and register as a short stay just to get your BSN as you need to register within 5 working days of arriving. When you get your rental contract in your own name, then you have to register your new address at the gemeente in the town where your new address is.

It helps if I add the link

As for work preferring you to like in Amsterdam, then I'm sure that is their preference as you're close by and not relying on transport which could make you late in. But they don't get a say in it, just like employers everywhere

"you need to register within 5 working days of arriving."
Whaaaat???

Is it not within 5 days of finding an address? The appointment organised by the workplace is more than a month after arriving - I guess they just presume that I will stay in Amsterdam. Nobody said anything about the 5 day rule and I didn't even know you could get a BSN number as a short stayer?

I'm so confused now.

To be honest I'm a bit annoyed that they specifically stated that they "prefer" people staying in Amsterdam, I felt like answering "well pay me enough then to afford to stay in bloody Amsterdam!" I don't want to be frowned upon and excluded from possible contract renewals and promotions as a result, I just need my space, exactly because that's how I'll be able to do a good job.
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Old Nov 17th 2017, 10:30 am   #7
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Default Re: BSN?

The requirement is to register at the local Town Hall where you are living within 5-days of arrival. It doesn't tie you there, if you subsequently move to a different address, then you "write yourself out" there and re-register at your new address.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 8:27 pm   #8
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Default Re: BSN?

If you are not working, then you have longer (ie. you can be in a holiday rental such as a hotel, hostel or airbnb) and then you get up to 4 months as a visitor/tourist and can enjoy the EHIC privilege, not register, etc. Cynic is being very clear (get used to that here - there is no kid-glove niceties in Holland).

The moment you undertake economic activity then they (dutch authorities) will class you as resident here - with the obligations such as health insurance obligation, that comes with it: that includes registering with the gemeente to get a tax number (which you employer believes they've helped you with, so that they can pay you. ( Like the UK, they can be fined for employing illegals, so they are in their view ensuring that you are legal!)

You will find many things bureaucratic to get annoyed with when you get here - its part of the journey when you move out of your comfort zone. Ignore those who would dictate what you do - it's your life and you can live where you want. I'd bet your employer is obliged to pay your travel but wont let you know until you hear it word of mouth from your colleagues.

Your first weeks here will be adrenaline packed. You will find somewhere, but it might not be your forever home. Question everything - bluntly. What's the cost? It is the only language the Dutch will want to avoid with an expat because they see them as fair game. They won't be expecting that level of Dutchness from an expat

I say that as someone who came here with a decent relocation package many years ago and was still lied to (which is why the wswonen website will guide you better than anyone else can). Trust your gut feeling and don't believe any agent unless they are a member of the NVM to whom they have professional responsibilities (these tend to advertise on Funda.nl but are rarely cheap as a result), and even then be cautious.

With time, you will become wise to the housing market, employment rights, and everything else. In the first year, you might end up paying a charity donations for something you thought was compulsory - that's just how it goes until you know a bit of the language

Last edited by Red_Wine_Fairy; Nov 18th 2017 at 8:30 pm.
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Old Nov 19th 2017, 12:22 pm   #9
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Default Re: BSN?

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In the first year, you might end up paying a charity donations for something you thought was compulsory - that's just how it goes until you know a bit of the language
I think that this applies to many places on this world. It is part of the "education fee" which you pay in order to get accustomed to your new living environment.
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Old Nov 19th 2017, 4:31 pm   #10
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Default Re: BSN?

Thanks for the advice. I don't mind the bluntness, I prefer that over fake politeness. So here's another question: if I don't register within 5 days of arrival because I can't for whatever reason (what if there isn't an appointment available or can't provide my documents in time), then can I get fined?

Of course I'll be economically active, I'll be working, starting pretty much right after I arrived. But I won't have a permanent address within the first 5 days, so am I even able to still register without one? If I can, then I want to of course, because I'd like to open a bank account so they can transfer my first salary and all the rest of it, but the appointment they requested for me is more than a month away of my starting date (and in the Amsterdam town hall which slightly concerns me as I'm quite actively looking to stay elsewhere due to my house-share phobia).

This totally confuses me.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 8:58 am   #11
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Default Re: BSN?

I guess you could register your (temporary) address and later on return to register a change in address. What is important to you and your employer is that you have that BSN number. Once you have that it won't change, even if you change address a hundred times.
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Old Nov 27th 2017, 6:56 pm   #12
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Default Re: BSN?

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I guess you could register your (temporary) address and later on return to register a change in address. What is important to you and your employer is that you have that BSN number. Once you have that it won't change, even if you change address a hundred times.
I'm in the country for about 30 hours... 3 days left if I want to keep by the rules. I still haven't done anything about the number because I don't have an address and I don't want to lie and say I'm only here temporarily when I know that I will stay for more than 4 months. I think I will wait until I have a normal address and then I will be able to register properly with the appropriate gemeente.
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 1:50 pm   #13
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Default Re: BSN?

You are confusing the two things. registering at the Gemeente (council) is purely to show you are here and where you are living. Basically a proof of address. Once you've got your flat or apartment, that's the time to do it, but even your temp. address can be registered for the time being to avoid complications.
Any time you move you must de-register at the responsible "Gemeente" and register with your new one if it's not in the same jurisdiction.

(You can thank Napoleon for all this bureaucracy.. luckily he didn't make it to England!! )

The BSN is a tax number, just like an NI number in UK. Once you have started work then you should apply for your number.
Once again, changes of address are relatively easy to fix.

Last edited by calman014; Nov 28th 2017 at 1:53 pm.
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 2:14 pm   #14
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Default Re: BSN?

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Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
You are confusing the two things. registering at the Gemeente (council) is purely to show you are here and where you are living. Basically a proof of address. Once you've got your flat or apartment, that's the time to do it, but even your temp. address can be registered for the time being to avoid complications.
Any time you move you must de-register at the responsible "Gemeente" and register with your new one if it's not in the same jurisdiction.

(You can thank Napoleon for all this bureaucracy.. luckily he didn't make it to England!! )

The BSN is a tax number, just like an NI number in UK. Once you have started work then you should apply for your number.
Once again, changes of address are relatively easy to fix.
Thanks, well I got even more confused Am I not going to get a BSN number when I register with the gemeente first?

I know you get the one number and it doesn't change, and you can change registered addresses hundreds of times, but I thought that at the first registration, you will be registered as a new resident and if you don't yet have one, you will also get a BSN.

I personally don't mind bureaucracy as long as the rules are clear but when you're new they never are eh!
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 4:32 pm   #15
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Default Re: BSN?

The BSN number is quite important; you can't get paid without one! Further, it allows you to register with a Doctor, register a car. Also, if you work in Holland, you'll be paying into the Social tax funds (unemployment, pension etc), again, you need the BSN for this.
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