Ex-pats working in the Netherlands cycling in the city

Ex-pats working in the Netherlands


As if relocating to a whole new country isn’t exciting enough already, making arrangements to live and work in the Netherlands as an ex-pat, can and will be challenging right from the start. The moment you’ve come to an agreement with your new employer in the Netherlands, you can buckle up for another adventurous bumpy ride. But hey, who said bumpy rides (and adventures) aren’t fun?

Cost of living

Before all the excitement, you might want to have an idea of the cost of living in the country of your professional dreams. The most interesting countries for your career development are not necessarily the best for your wallet. Websites like Numbeo or Expatistan give you an accurate idea of what to expect. Both sites offer the possibility to compare the standards among different cities, even to your current home town.

HousingITH blog Expats in NL | Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

The fastest way to arrange for a safe and comfortable place to live is when you’re actually already around. Knowing someone who already lives in your soon-to-be-new-hometown, could help you save a lot of trouble. Plan a sleepover, or book an affordable Airbnb for a week. Subscribe to every Facebook group where rooms and apartments are being offered for rent, but please don’t overlook the reviews. Attend as many viewings as possible, be reasonably critical about the overall state of the facility and the neighborhood. Be prepared to pay 2-3 months of rent ahead, and you may find yourself sending out relocation messages to your friends and family pretty soon.

Highly skilled migrants

To work in the Netherlands as an ex-pat, you’ll have to obtain a residence permit first. If both you and your new employer comply with certain conditions, you can apply for a Highly Skilled Migrant status. This saves you the trouble of having to arrange a work permit for yourself and your partner and enables you to trade your foreign driving license for a Dutch one, without having to redo the test.

Income tax benefits

Another interesting thing about working in the Netherlands as a Highly Skilled Migrant is that you can benefit from a special tax facility. If you meet the requirements to qualify as a Highly Skilled Migrant, you might very well be eligible for an income tax reduction of up to 30% to compensate for extraterrestrial costs you may have.

Getting all the required paperwork done timely already starts while you’re still in your home country. You may need to have your diplomas and other documents legislated and validated with the IDW, in order to get approval from the Dutch governmental institutes. In some cases, you’ll first have to find a sworn translator to translate your official documents into Dutch, English, French, or German, before you can actually start the whole procedure.

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