NL Expat Survival Guide 2014

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This newly updated guide provides a selection of essential information for new expats to the Netherlands. For the readers convenience, the Survival Guide is divided into several sections (relocation, families, banking, housing, taxes, insurance, education, employment, healthcare, transport). The content covers all topics relevant to relocation and settling in. Basically, it is the recipe for a happy expat.

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<ul><li><p>NP 1THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 2014 | WWW.EXPATICA.COM</p><p>INTRODUCTIONYOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO LIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS</p><p>FOR MORE INFORMATION PLUS DAILY DUTCH NEWS IN ENGLISH VISIT WWW.EXPATICA.NL</p><p>RELOCATION | Survival checklist</p><p>; Mandatory registration; Res</p><p>idence permits; </p><p>Relocation service providers;</p><p> Special needs.</p><p>FINANCE | Bank accounts; Taxatio</p><p>n; Insurance; Financial service</p><p> providers.</p><p>HOME BASICS | Utilities: gas, wa</p><p>ter, electricity; Communicatio</p><p>ns: telephone, </p><p>mobile, internet, TV; Post offic</p><p>es.</p><p>EXPATSURVIVAL GUIDE</p><p> 2014</p></li><li><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>orientation tours settling-in services</p><p>immigration servicesfinancial management </p><p>home finding</p><p>people relocating people</p><p>Relocation isnt just a question of finding a house, especially for international expatriates! Its about creating an enjoyable life in a brand new culture for themselves and their families. Our professional staffs main priority is to make the difference between a normal service and a successful new start. By taking a proactive approach and having the right skills, they take care of the expat through the entire relocation process. This enables an employee to focus on his/her new job, quickly and stress-free and generates a healthy return on investment for the company he/she works for.</p><p>We can make your and the expats life a lot easier!</p><p>More information +31 (0)70 301 13 66 or go to www.eurohome-relocation.com</p><p>Peter Smith, IT manager, relaxes in the sun with his family after moving from Amsterdam to Moscow.</p><p>Member of Voerman Group</p><p>ERS_Adv_Int_Job_Fair_A5.indd 1 30-07-13 15:30</p></li><li><p>1THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 2014 | WWW.EXPATICA.COM</p><p>WELCOME TO THE NETHERLANDS!</p><p>Published October 2013</p><p>Expatica Communications B.V. Wilhelminastraat 152011 VH Haarlem Netherlandsexpaticaservice@expatica.com--www.expatica.com</p><p>Editorial: Casey MarriottLayout &amp; design: Benjamin LangmanPublisher: Antoine van VeldhuizenAdvertising sales: sales@expatica.comDistribution: survivalguide@expatica.com</p><p>All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publisher. Requests for permission should be addressed to Expatica Communications BV, Wilhelminastraat 15, 2011VH Haarlem, the Netherlands.</p><p>Expatica makes great effort to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this guide. However, we do not take responsibility for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, which result from its use, and make no warranty of claims as to the quality or competence of businesses or professionals mentioned. Users are advised to take care when selecting professional services and to use common sense when adjusting to life in a new country.</p><p>2 &gt; INTRODUCTION</p><p>4 &gt; SURVIVAL CHECKLIST</p><p>6 &gt; RELOCATION: What kind of residence permit? </p><p>Expat centers; Relocation service providers. </p><p>12 &gt; SPECIAL NEEDS</p><p>14 &gt; FAMILIES: Family reunification permits; </p><p>Au pairs; Childcare; Child benefits and allowances; </p><p>Family activities.</p><p>17 &gt; HOUSING: Renting; Buying; Popular expat </p><p>locations: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, The Hague, </p><p>Amstelveen, Utrecht and Rotterdam.</p><p>34 &gt; FINANCE: Bank accounts; Tax; Insurance; </p><p>Financial and tax advisors. </p><p>40 &gt; EDUCATION: Primary, Secondary and higher </p><p>education; International schools</p><p>56 &gt; EMPLOYMENT: Work permits, Employment </p><p>law; Working culture, Finding a job. </p><p>68 &gt; HEALTHCARE: Health insurance, Healthcare </p><p>system; Having a baby; Health services.</p><p>74 &gt; HOME BASICS: Utilities; gas, water, electricity; </p><p>Communications: telephone mobile, internet. TV; </p><p>Post offices</p><p>76 &gt; TRANSPORT: Driving; Public transport.</p><p>78 &gt; CONTACTS AND CALENDAR: Emergency </p><p>numbers, Public holidays, Groups and clubs.</p><p>84 &gt; ADVERTISERS INDEX</p><p>Moving abroad is an exciting, life-changing experi-ence. That is, once the practical aspects are settled. It first can be a daunting process while you try building a new life in an unknown language and culture. Where do you begin? </p><p>The Expat Survival Guide assists your first essential steps: finding a home and job, organising visas and finances, and enrolling your child(ren) in school. It offers practical information on getting started in the Netherlands and directs you to the people, compa-nies and institutions that can help you along the way.</p><p>As the growing pangs subside, our online site www.expatica.com complements this guide with relevant news in English, weekly features from expats, and essential lifestyle information for getting out in the Netherlands. Youll find plenty of support with our housing and job searches, ask-the-expert section, free classifieds, A-Z listings, events, dating, and a thriving online community. </p><p>ENJOY THE NETHERLANDS!The Expatica Team</p><p>This guide is published by Expatica.com, a leading media organisation providing a complete resource for international living.</p></li><li><p>WWW.EXPATICA.COM | THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 20142</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>INTRODUCTIONThe Netherlands consistently ranks among the top places in the world to live and work in.</p><p>It may be a small country in size, but certainly not in impact. Famed for its liberal social policies, mari-time trading traditions, battles to hold back the sea, robust multiculturalism and leading technological communications, the Netherlands is a mosaic of cultural intrigue. </p><p>Living standards are high; the OECDs Better Life Index shows high rankings for life satisfaction and work-life balance in the Netherlands. Dutch chil-dren, likewise, are ranked as the happiest in the developed world, topping two surveys conducted by UNICEF.</p><p>To newcomers, Dutch society might seem open and informal, but some complex social rules are at play. Ostentatious behaviour is frowned upon, egal-itarianism is valued and Dutch people like to be as normal as possible, according to Martijn de Rooij, author of The Dutch I Presume? The Dutch saying Doe maar gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg (just act normal, thats crazy enough) is an anthem against eccentricity.</p><p>No Dutch city has yet reached a million inhabitants and each retains a unique character and architectural style. The capital is something else entirely, and in terms of atmosphere and attitude, Amsterdam and the Netherlands could be two different countries.</p><p>International residents tread a well-worn path to the Lowlands. Out of a population of almost 16.8 million people, more than three and a half million have a foreign background (statline.cbs.nl). This multi- ethnic characteristic of the countrys population has historic roots stretching back several hundred years, though most rapid changes in population demo-graphics have come about in the last 40 years. </p><p>Foreign policy has impacted domestic politics in recent years, causing two governments to collapse in the space of around two years. The last collapse in April 2012 resulted from a breakdown in coalition support over a budget plan to steer the Eurozones </p><p>fifth-largest economy back below the EU deficit ceiling of three percent, still projected to sit at 3.3 percent in 2014. </p><p>Nicknamed the land of compromise due to the Dutch governments traditional reliance on a coa-lition of two or more parties a majority coalition formed for the first time in the last general election. The Netherlands strengthened its stance on aus-terity in the September 2012 elections with large gains achieved by pro-European parties, with the central-right liberal VVD taking 41 seats and the social-democratic labour party PvdA winning 39 seats. In contrast, losses were incurred by the previous coalition party, Christian Democrat (CDA), and its supporter, Geert Wilders Freedom Party (PVV), a nationalistic party known for its right-wing focus.</p><p>With Mark Rutte continuing as prime minister, a coalition with Diederik Samsoms PvdA gives the current Dutch government a comfortable majority to pass budget cuts, although further opposition support is needed to pass laws in the Senate. Recent economic downturn, however, has seen a large shift in public opinion towards cuts of up to EUR 6 billion planned for 2014. </p><p>Change followed from politics to royals, with Queen Beatrix abdicating in 2013 after a 33-year reign. The Netherlands national celebration, Queens Day (Kon-inginnedag), was particularly celebratory as it was tied to the coronation of the first Dutch king in 123 years. As Europes youngest monarch, King Willem-Alex-ander pledges to modernise the royal image, even forgoing the traditional your majesty if people want.</p><p>Now the Netherlands biggest national celebration will be Kings Day, breaking the traditional date of April 30, which has honoured the previous Queen Julianas birthday since 1949, to celebrate the kings birthday on April 27. Regardless, the ubiquitous oranjegekte (orange madness) will surely take over, where people wear orange shirts, hats, dresses and wigs to celebrate while enjoying the annual free </p><p>INTRODUCTION</p></li><li><p>WWW.EXPATICA.COM | THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 20142 3THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 2014 | WWW.EXPATICA.COM</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>market (vrijmarkt), as its the one time when people can set up shop without a trading license. </p><p>Culture and quality living combined make the Netherlands an attractive place for expats, who are are an intrinsic part of the countrys knowledge-based economy. The Dutch people are generally receptive, curious, cultured and friendly. </p><p>English is widely spoken a survey by Education First ranked the Netherlands as third in the world for its English proficiency as a second language but this can be a drawback for those learning Dutch. With many international companies headquartered in the Netherlands, there are plenty of employment opportunities.</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>Population: 16,779,575 (January 2013 cbs.nl)Density: 496/km2 (the highest in Europe) Administration: The constitution dates mostly from 1848, and revisions undertaken in 1983. Parliament consists of an upper chamber (eerste kamer) of 75 members elected by provincial councils and a lower chamber (tweede kamer) with 150 members elected every four years by proportional representation.The cabinet is the executive body and its constituents cannot be members of the cabinet and parliament at the same time.Monarchy: The House of Oranje-Nassau has governed the Netherlands since 1815 and King Willehm-Alexandar, born 1967, was crowned this year, along with his Argentinean wife Maxima, who will serve as the queen consort.Landscape: A fifth of the Netherlands is reclaimed from the sea </p><p>(polders) and about a quarter of the country is below sea level. There are 20 national parks and a few modest hills, with the countrys highest point reaching 322 metres in Limburg.Agricultural facts: The Dutch cow is a revered milk machine, producing 35 litres a day. Tiny Netherlands is one of worlds top three largest agricultural producers, and responsible for just over 20 percent of the worlds potato exports. Media and culture: The Netherlands has the highest museum density in the world, with nearly 1,000 institutions. The television programme Big Brother is a Dutch invention and Paul Verhoeven is known internationally for his direction of RoboCop and Total Recall.Design: Dutch icons of style are nurtured in the revered Design Academy Eindhoven and the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, attracting large ratios of international students. Dutch design is admired for its minimalist, quirky and often humorous qualities.</p></li><li><p>SURVIVAL CHECKLIST</p><p>WWW.EXPATICA.COM | THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 20144</p><p>SURVIVAL CHECKLISTBefore the fun of exploring begins, there are some essential tasks to get through when you first land in the Netherlands.</p><p>Use this checklist alongside the information set out in this Expat Survival Guide to help simplify easing into the Netherlands. More information is provided on www.expatica.com.</p><p>REPORT TO IMMIGRATIONYou must register with the GBA at your local town hall within three days of arrival. If you need a resi-dence permit, make an appointment with the IND quickly. Get ready for lots of paperwork and make sure your documents have all the right stamps. If youre not sure which permit you need, we provide a quick overview on page 8.</p><p>EXPAT BENEFITSFind out if you are eligible for the Dutch 30 percent ruling and use the services of the various expat centres to help you cut through the red tape on page 38.</p><p>OPEN A DUTCH BANK ACCOUNTOpening a Dutch bank account will make your life easier (see page 34). Youll need your passport and/or residence permit, burgerservicenummer (BSN), proof of address, and evidence of income, such as an employment contract or payslip.</p><p>FIND A HOMEOur Housing section on page 17 will help you decide whether to rent or buy, and offers tips on dealing with housing agencies and where to live in the Netherlands.</p><p>HOME BASICSAfter finding your home, youll need to sort out a broadband connection and water, electricity and gas services. We list the major suppliers and several useful websites to help you get connected on page 74.</p><p>EDUCATIONShould you send your child to a local or international school? What learning opportunities are available to expats? Get the lowdown on education (onder-wijs) in the Netherlands on page 40.</p><p>JOB HUNTINGIf youve got a work permit (or dont need one), youre ready to begin. Sign up with agencies that specialise in finding work for expats or start your search online. We offer job-hunting tips and infor-mation on Dutch labour law on page 56.</p><p>HEALTHDo you know what to do in an emergency or how to find a hospital, doctor or midwife? Did you know it is compulsory for residents to take out the Dutch health insurance Basisverzekering? Our Health sec-tion guides you through the Dutch health system on page 68.</p><p>GETTING AROUNDFind out about Dutch driving rules and regulations, if you can exchange your driving license, and how the Dutch public transport system works on page 76.</p><p>MEETING THE COMMUNITYIf youre finding everything a little overwhelming, take heart: many others have been in the same position and made it through! Get out there, get active, and read out about groups, clubs and best places to make new friends for extra support on page 80!</p></li><li><p>5THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 2014 | WWW.EXPATICA.COM</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>Settling in, simply.Were here to make it easier for highly skilled migrants like yourself to work and register in the Amsterdam area. Qualifying companies can start the paperwork before arrival and a single visit to the Expatcenter will complete the process. Whats more, our website has loads of valuable information on a wide range of topics including housing, education, taxes and healthcare. </p><p>The cities of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere and Haarlemmermeer are working with the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) to bring you the Expatcenter services. </p><p>To learn more please visit: </p><p>www.expatcenter.com</p></li><li><p>WWW.EXPATICA.COM | THE NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE 20146</p><p>RELOCATION</p><p>RELOCATIONRegulations and procedures f...</p></li></ul>