Although The Hague is the political capital of the Netherlands, and thus the seat of the Dutch government, Amsterdam is the country’s nominal and cultural center. With a little over 2 million inhabitants living in its Metropolitan Area, it is the biggest city in the Netherlands as well as the one counting the highest number of foreign visitors each year. Many of them are expats like you, who move to Amsterdam for a longer stay. In fact, the city has one of the biggest expat communities in the country.
Most expats enjoy their new life in Amsterdam, thanks to the picturesque charms of its crooked streets, tree-lined canals, and famous museums. The balmy summer months offer plenty of opportunities to explore the public parks, take boat rides on the canals, or go on bicycle tours with your international friends. Of course, you have to deal with some organizational matters first.
For EU/EEA nationals, a move to Amsterdam is hassle free. They only need their passport or national ID to enter the country. People from outside the EU, however, often require an entry visa (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf — MVV). Entry requirements vary depending on your country of origin. If in doubt, consult the IND Residence Wizard to determine which kind of visa you need, or get directly in touch with the nearest Dutch mission abroad.
Non-EU residents who come to Amsterdam to find a job also require a work visa. This is usually organized by your employer. The company will have to prove to the UWV Werkbedrijf that you are the only candidate qualified and willing to fill this position. You can arrange for your work permit after your arrival in Amsterdam as well. However, please be aware that this may take up to three months.
Non-EU/EEA nationals need to apply for a residence permit (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf – MVV)) if they move to Amsterdam for a period of longer than 3 months. You can apply for this permit with the Vreemdelingenpolitie (alien police). Residence permits are usually valid for one year.
Moreover, you have to register with your municipality after moving to Amsterdam. This is also the case if you are an EU/EEA citizen. Highly skilled foreign workers can usually register at the Amsterdam Expatcenter in the WTC building located in the Zuid district.
Everyone else needs to register with the administration office in the district where they live. You have to present your passport, the rental agreement or sales contract of your accommodation as well as birth and marriage certificates. Contact your municipality beforehand and inquire about the necessary documents.
If you want to bring your beloved pet along when moving to Amsterdam, you need to abide by new EU regulations. For instance, your dog or cat needs a pet passport and a microchip to identify it beforehand. You also have to provide recent proof of a rabies vaccination in order to move to Amsterdam with your pet.
If your pet is younger than 12 weeks, a vaccination is not necessary. Smaller pets, like rabbits, hamsters, mice, or birds also need a certificate of origin and health when moving to Amsterdam, but rabies vaccinations are usually not required. You just need to prove that your pets are free from any diseases.
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