Join now
Log in Join

Moving to Rotterdam?

Join InterNations to meet other expats where you live and read more articles like Moving to Rotterdam with relevant information for expats.

Rotterdam at a Glance

Moving to Rotterdam

Rotterdam is an important port city, with a diverse and international population, a favorable position that guarantees a mild climate, and a rich economic and industrial history: moving to Rotterdam can thus be a good choice for expats! Get first insights on the city, the climate, and visas.

About the City

The second largest city in the Netherlands, and home to Europe's largest working port, Rotterdam had almost a million inhabitants in 2014. Located in the South Holland province, it is situated within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea.

Often the city is considered as part of the Randstad, a conurbation consisting of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. Rotterdam is a very diverse city, with inhabitants from all over the world and a slightly higher number of foreign born (51%) than native (49%) citizens.

Most foreign-born people and expatriates in Rotterdam are from Suriname, Turkey, Morocco, and the Netherlands Antilles; the city also has large populations of Chinese, Serbian and Indonesian citizens. These figures reflect those for all of the Netherlands, where 47% of the population are of non-Dutch origin and have at least one foreign born parent.

The Climate in Rotterdam

Similar to the rest of the Netherlands, Rotterdam has a temperate oceanic climate, however, due to its location near the coast it experiences slightly milder temperatures than some areas further inland. In the summer months expatriates living in Rotterdam can expect an average temperature of around 17°C, but it can reach up to 22°C on occasion.

Winter temperatures tend to average between 3 and 4 °C, with occasional colder snaps and snow. Precipitation is most common in the winter months, although it does still rain in the summer - April tends to be Rotterdam's driest month of the year.

Visas for the Netherlands

Whether or not you will need a visa to move to Rotterdam depends on your nationality. As the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, EU citizens moving to Rotterdam will not need a visa to enter the country. However, if you are planning to stay for more than three months then you must apply for a residence permit by registering with your local municipality.

As the citizen of a non EU nation, you will need to apply for a visa before you arrive in the city, and then inform the Dutch Immigration Naturalization Service that you wish to apply for a residency permit within three working days of arriving. If you have your employment in Rotterdam already confirmed, then this will usually be done on your behalf by your employer.

Once you have lived in Rotterdam for five years under residency permits, you can then apply for permanent residency in the Netherlands.

For more info, you can also take a look at our guide on Moving to the Netherlands.

InterNations Expat Magazine