Initial registration in the Netherlands

Are you moving from abroad to the Netherlands? And are you planning to live here for at least 4 months? You are required to register in person with the municipality within 5 days after your arrival.

If you move to the Netherlands, you have to arrange a lot in the country of origin as well as in the Netherlands. The Checklist going to live or work in Nederland on the website of gives you an overview of all regulatory matters.

If you have a partner and/or children who have to be registered as well, they have to be present in person. This also applies if you deregistered before 1 October 1994 due to emigration.

Did you emigrate from the Netherlands after 1 October 1994?

Declare your intent of Resettlement after living abroad within 5 days.

Not a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland?

If you are not a citizen of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will have to report to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) before registering with the Civil Affairs Department.

Staying in the Netherlands for a period shorter than 4 months?

If you are temporarily working or living in the Netherlands, or are receiving a pension abroad, you will need a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN). You will be given one upon registration in the Non-residents Register (Register Niet Ingezetenen, RNI) in one of the 18 municipalities with an RNI registration service. For more information, you can consult the Rijksoverheid (National Government) website.


You can visit the Civil Affairs Department for your initial registration in the Netherlands. You are required to first schedule an appointment online. International students can also make an appointment for their registration in Arnhem. 

Schedule an appointment

Documents you must provide

When you register in the Netherlands, you will need to provide:

  • a valid proof of identity
  • a travel document or a different document that shows your nationality
  • your birth certificate
  • other source documents concerning juristic facts that have occurred after the date of departure abroad, such as a marriage certificate or a divorce certificate (complete with apostille or legalisation, see
  • documents that prove your occupation of your house or building. Examples include permission from the housing association, a tenancy agreement, a title deed or a statement from the principal occupant (pdf, 98 kB) with a copy of the proof of identity of the principal occupant
  • proof of deregistration if you are from Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Saba or St. Eustatius.

Foreign certificates usually have to meet certain legalisation requirements. If you are unsure about which documents to bring with you, please call the Customer Contact Centre at telephone: 0800 - 1809.


The municipality will complete your registration within 4 weeks after your declaration. For people who are neither a Dutch national nor EU citizen, the IND will first have to consent to the registration. You will receive a written confirmation from the Civil Affairs Department. This letter will also contain your citizen service number.