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Old Mar 24th 2016, 10:23 pm   #1
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Smile Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Hi everybody!

Later this year I am relocating to Amsterdam from the UK. I am an EU citizen, and I know I don't need a work permit in order to live and work in the Netherlands. However, I am aware that I require a Burgerservicenummer to work.

I know that to get a BSN you need to make an appointment that falls within 5 days of your arrival to the country. I also know that you need proof of a permanent address to register for a BSN, and not all landlords are able to let you register using their address. The trouble comes when prospective landlords need to see proof of income. How am I supposed to provide this when I don't have a job because I don't have a BSN because I don't have a place to register at within 5 days? I am a little stumped with how to get around this 'catch 22' situation!

Has anyone had experience with this? How did you get around it? Is the BSN absolutely vital to employers in the Netherlands? Also, can the municipality find out if i've been in the country for more than 5 days before my appointment?

Lots of questions! I would really appreciate some help.

Cheers
-C
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Old Mar 25th 2016, 9:31 am   #2
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

They will normally accept your payslips from previous UK employment.

BSN is important, you don't exist without it.
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Old Mar 30th 2016, 8:19 pm   #3
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Thanks for your reply!

That's good to hear.

In regards to another of my questions, will the municipality really be able to tell if i've been in the country for more than 5 days before my BSN registration?
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Old Mar 30th 2016, 9:32 pm   #4
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

The problem you'll have is that if you don't have a BSN number, it makes it difficult with any other Government departments (tax/doctors/bank/registering a car). The only problem you'll have at the Gemeente is getting told off by a civil-servant, but they can't shoot you for it (I think).
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Old Mar 30th 2016, 11:14 pm   #5
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Ok great, thought so!

Really appreciate your help. I know these are basic things I need to sort but it helps to get a bit of advice from someone else
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Old Mar 31st 2016, 9:20 am   #6
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

You must also be aware that unless you apply at the "IND" Immigration Service for a residence permit (yes, you should apply for one even though you are an EU citizen) you may be denied certain social security and health coverage. It might disappear in a few years anyway, as I always ask why I need one, but I would advise you to get one. It also states your entitlements regarding residence and employment in NL and is used as a formal identity document besides Passport and NL drivers licence.
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Old Mar 31st 2016, 10:51 am   #7
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

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Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
You must also be aware that unless you apply at the "IND" Immigration Service for a residence permit (yes, you should apply for one even though you are an EU citizen) you may be denied certain social security and health coverage. It might disappear in a few years anyway, as I always ask why I need one, but I would advise you to get one. It also states your entitlements regarding residence and employment in NL and is used as a formal identity document besides Passport and NL drivers licence.
That's not what the IND website (link) says; has something changed recently? I recall having to do it when I first moved to Holland in 1994, but it changed for EU citizens some time after that. Everybody still has to register with the Gemeente, but as far as I'm aware, that's it.
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Old Mar 31st 2016, 11:35 am   #8
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Looks like it changed in January of 2014..so nice of them to let us know!! Grrrrrrrrrr...

https://ind.nl/Documents/Open%20brief.pdf

I stand corrected..!
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Old Mar 31st 2016, 12:14 pm   #9
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

You can get a temporary BSN as a jobseeker without a rental contract as a short-stay migrant.

This page should help (don't worry, it's in English)

Registering for a short stay in Amsterdam | I amsterdam

Should you be lucky enough to find a job and, employment contract in hand, a rental agreement, you then need to go back to the gemeente and register as a resident at your new address.
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Old Mar 31st 2016, 2:07 pm   #10
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

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Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
Looks like it changed in January of 2014..so nice of them to let us know!! Grrrrrrrrrr...

https://ind.nl/Documents/Open%20brief.pdf

I stand corrected..!
People from Croatia still need it (according to that letter you linked to).

Wasn't that the sticker they put in your passport that said you had no right to Social support?
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Old Mar 31st 2016, 8:41 pm   #11
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

In my case it was a residence card.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 5:22 pm   #12
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Hey everybody, thanks for your input

So from the posts i've read, I can forget about the IND and related information you have provided?

Can anyone share stories of their first-hand experience? I would appreciate hearing from you if you've been through this process. In what order did you go about things, how long did it take?

Thanks
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 6:09 pm   #13
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Don't think I can add much to what I've already said; my experience was from 1994 when we first moved to Holland; since then, we moved back to the UK with my job. My daughter moved back to Holland six-months ago, but she has a Dutch passport and speaks and writes it like a native, so didn't have to go through the hoops you will.

Assuming you've got a job arranged, or have recognised qualifications, the only strong advice I can offer is to learn the language. Most (not all) Dutch can speak English to varying levels (my mother in law couldn't speak a word of it), but all life around you is in Dutch (signs in shops, information in the doctors, bus/train timetables).

If you have any specific questions, please come back and I'm sure that those of us who still live there can offer some thoughts.

Word of warning - there is loads of advice on the internet, some of it good, some of it dreadful - there is no comeback for you should you follow bad advice.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 6:10 pm   #14
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

The regular order of things is job first, everything else later.

Focus priorities here: two big problems are 1) job, and 2) somewhere to live (especially if you're aiming for A'dam) - everything else can be handled later. In the first post, you imply that you don't have a job, which is why you'll find it hard to obtain a rental, and I wholeheartedly agree that this is going to be your issue and that you need to have a considerable amount of money behind you for to tide you over while you search for one.

How hard you will find it, I don't know. You might be PhD or Masters educated which will be a big help (but you would in that case be looking to be recruited from abroad for the 30% tax break, so I guess not). Or you are half-educated (a bachelors won't go far in that level of job role without fluent Dutch unless you're in IT or Oil), or unskilled and will be competing with non-western-Europeans for zero-hour jobs where there is no future and no guarantee you'll have enough money to meet your bills.

Do NOT overestimate how welcoming the Dutch are when they discover that you are simply yet another economic migrant (which is exactly what you are while unemployed - sorry!). I've said many times I wish I'd had a euro for every broke Brit or Irish I've seen go home with their tail between their legs (or Aussie on a work holiday visa, if they were equipped with just one language)... It's NOT easy! Even those jobs advertised for 'English speaking' expect you to have enough conversational Dutch for 'gezelligheid' in the lunchpauze.... and if you aren't a cosy fit to their group you'll be cut out.

You can start reading here for practical help rather than experience

Register at Amsterdam city hall as a temporary migrant. I posted the webpage above with the address.

Advantages:

** You get the BSN (yay!) which means you can open a Dutch bank account.

** You are classed as a tourist - this is NOT a bad thing because it means you're covered with your EHIC temporarily and don't need to fork out for Dutch basic health insurance (at around €90 per month). Note: the day you either register as a resident, or you start work even part-time, you NEED to find and pay zorgverzekering or they will fine you and pursue you for the backpay when they catch up with you, which they always do.

IND, as you see, isn't even worth mentioning n the scheme of things. As long as the UK is still in the EU, Dutch law is superceded by EU law that says you can stay and work. But there are still obligations which you would do well to ask us about in future if you get confused.

Last edited by Red_Wine_Fairy; Apr 5th 2016 at 6:15 pm.
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Old Apr 5th 2016, 6:14 pm   #15
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Default Re: Burgerservicenummer Catch 22!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Wine_Fairy View Post
.....

You can start reading here for practical help rather than experience

Register at Amsterdam city hall as a temporary migrant. I posted the webpage above with the address.

Advantages:

** You get the BSN (yay!) which means you can open a Dutch bank account.

** You are classed as a tourist - this is NOT a bad thing because it means you're covered with your EHIC temporarily and don't need to fork out for Dutch basic health insurance (at around €90 per month). Note: the day you either register as a resident, or you start work even part-time, you NEED to find and pay zorgverzekering or they will fine you and pursue you for the backpay when they catch up with you, which they always do.

IND, as you see, isn't even worth mentioning n the scheme of things. As long as the UK is still in the EU, Dutch law is superceded by EU law that says you can stay and work. But there are still obligations which you would do well to ask us about in future if you get confused.
Now that is really good advice!!!
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