Monday, June 24, 2013

DAFT: Municipality Registration

Dutch Immigration Part II

It's not as ominous as it looks here...

When I moved to the Netherlands, I was also moving in with my boyfriend so I was lucky enough to be able to skip the hunt for housing. If you intend to reside in the Netherlands, you must, like any Dutch resident, register with your city (gemeente). The guideline is to do this within 3 business days of moving.

To accomplish this I made sure to have my passport, birth certificate,
and the documentation of where I was residing (in my case, my documentation was my boyfriend and his declaration that it was okay for me to share his address). I went to the city offices (gemeentehuis) without needing an appointment. I spoke to the receptionist and she handed us a couple forms and gave us a number to wait. The forms were in Dutch so it helped to have a personal translator. I filled in my personal information while my boyfriend filled in the form stating I was moving to his residence.

We were called to an office in the back. The clerk wasn't very comfortable speaking in English, but she made every effort to be helpful and got help from other clerks or had my boyfriend translate for her. We handed her our forms, my passport, and the birth certificate. She made a copy of the passport and returned it. The forms and birth certificate were placed in the appropriate files to be processed.

After that I waited for a couple days until I received a copy of the file they made for me in the mail. At the top I found my BSN (Burgerservicenummer), which is your personal number you will need to do things like open a bank account, register your business, and for the IND application. A couple weeks later I got a notice that I could pick up my birth certificate from the city offices.

Next: KVK Registration


  • US Passport
  • Birth Certificate and Apostille
  • Documentation of Address
  •  BSN



  1. Hi Shannon
    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience! It's all quite helpful :) I am wondering me and my husband intend to move by next year..what kind of business have you opened? we have been noticing that we will need a LOT of start up money to open our shop (Lebanese dairy and desserts). Is it easy to get bank loans in Holland? Did you face such a problem?
    Thanks again! :)

    1. My business is bit different than yours. I'm an artist and I didn't need much start-up money so I didn't get any bank loans. I'm afraid I don't have much advice for your situation! Maybe try asking your question on one of the forums for expats, such as Expatica:

  2. Hello Shannon,
    First of all, thanks for sharing your experience. I do have a question. On The website, it says that besides all of use documents, there is also a 'current work contract' required. None of the resources that I have explored (including yours) mention this, which makes sense: you cannot have a work contract if you are eventually applying to be a single-man business.

    1. Yes, that does seem to be a catch-22! I did not need a work contract, but I didn't register in Amsterdam. I would try to contact the city offices, explain you are moving there under the DAFT to start your own business, and ask what you need to bring to document your employment plans. Best of luck!

  3. Thank you for this blog it is saving my life at the moment! Question is I will also be moving with my BF. Does your BF own or rent. I am afraid that I wont be able to use my BF's address. He rents in a rent controlled apartment. Any advice on this?

    1. I had no problem moving into the apartment my boyfriend rents :-) Your boyfriend can always check if the rental organization would need to register a second person moving in, but in my experience the city didn't care about that sort of detail.

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  5. Hi, I understand that DAFT is for people starting their own business in The Netherlands, but I'm curious if your DAFT visa will allow you to find a job after it is granted?

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