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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What documents should I bring with me to The Netherlands?
  2. How do I find a doctor and /or a dentist?
  3. Can I bring my pet?
  4. I've just moved to the temporary flat and it doesn't have a telephone line, how can I order one?
  5. I need a list of internet cafes' in The Hague
  6. Could you tell me how to separate the rubbish for recycling?
  7. Can I use my driving license in the Netherlands?
  8. How to import my car?
  9. What is a BSN (ex-SOFI) number and do I need one?
  10. I am from a non-EU country. Can I work in the Netherlands?
  11. My partner works for Shell on EBAS terms, and I have already received my BUPA card. I started working and I would like to know if I need to have a Dutch Health Insurance?
  12. We are a non-married couple. Are the C&D services available for me?
  13. SVA: what costs can I claim with Spouse Vocational Assistance?
  14. SVA: I am an expatriate partner/spouse, how do I make claims with the SVA?
  15. Job search: I am an expatriate partner/spouse just arrived in the Netherlands and I am very keen to work. What kind of C&D services are available for me?

1) What documents should I bring with me to The Netherlands?

It is advisable to get the documents required for your residence registration: birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, non-marriage/single status certificates, death certificate and adoption papers. These documents need to be certified by means of an apostille or double legalization (dubbele legalisatie). The following countries do not require apostilles: Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, The Netherlands Antilles, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Documents issued in the United States must have an apostille, whereas double legalization is required from Canadian citizens. These documents must be written in Dutch, French, English or German. If they are in any other language, you will need a sworn translator to translate them.

2) How do I find a doctor and /or a dentist?

On your arrival, Settle Services B.V., a professional relocation company contracted to Shell, will find you (and your family) a doctor (General Practitioner (GP)) and a dentist in the area of your temporary accommodation as well as in the area of your permanent residence.

Tel: +31 (0)23 5344188; Fax: +31 (0)23 5345917; E-mail: settle@settleservice.nl; website: www.settleservice.nl.

3) Can I bring my pet?

If you wish to bring your cat or dog with you to the Netherlands it will need its own pet passport. A recognised vet in the country you are moving from in order to obtain the passport must examine your pet. There is no quarantine necessary as long as your pet is healthy and vaccinations are up-to-date. However, specific requirements for your pet's health certificate should be obtained from a Dutch consulate in your home country. If you wish to import a bird into the country, contact the Council on the Importation and trade of Endangered Species (CITES), on +31 (78) 639 53 95 (only on weekdays from 2 to 4 pm). For further information see www.cites.org.

4) I've just moved to the temporary flat and it doesn't have a telephone line. How can I order one?

Casema

The Hague Online is an official Casema provider and they can help you to get a line. Contact person is Billy Allwood (he speaks English) and can be reached on 070 356-2202 or mob. 062 806 7635 ('tilll 6 pm), email: casema@TheHagueOnLine.com.

KPN

To get your home telephone connected, you can visit the nearest KPN Primafoon shop, for details or call 0900-0244 (and select option 1). To purchase a phone, you will need proof of identification and residence permit or employment statement from your employer. If you are not from the EU, you will be asked for a deposit of significant amount in order to obtain a telephone number. This deposit is fully refundable and will be transferred into your bank account after six months. Some Primafoon models also include a telephone answering machine, but instructions will be in Dutch.

Note: The contract KPN sends in the mail must be signed and returned with a passport photocopy. If this is not done, KPN will disconnect its services after a few weeks.

Basic phone services come in two categories: analogue (less expensive but slow if you wish to use the Internet) or ISDN (faster but more expensive; needs extra equipment and professional installation).

5) I need a list of internet cafes' in The Hague

Library - Bibliotheek Part of the Stadhuis complex - big white modern building

Spui 68, Tel 070-3534479, Mon-Thu 10AM to 8PM, Fri 12PM to 8PM, Sat 11AM to 5PM, Sun 12PM to 5PM

Telfort (also telephones / mobiles etc)

Grote Marktstraat 51 (on the corner of Wagenstraat) in the Centre, Mon-Sat 9:00-18:30, Thu 9:00-21:00, Sun 12:00-18:00 hrs

NUL 70 Café Restaurant

Denneweg 27, 2514 CC Den Haag, Tel 070 361 67 65

Internet Café Den Haag

Elandstraat 48, 2513 GT. Tel. 070 363 62 86, open daily from 15:00 pm - 24:00 pm, closed on Saturday.

6) Could you tell me how to separate the rubbish for recycling?

For all information please check www.denhaag.com.

7) Can I use my driving license in the Netherlands?

EU license holders DON'T have to exchange their licenses (unless the license is older then 10 years), and other license holder MUST.

See also: http:ww.rdw.nl/nl/voertuigeigenaar/het_rijbewijs/een_buitenlands_rijbewijs/Gebruik_buitenlands_rijbewijs.htm

If you come from outside the EU or the EEA (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), you can still have your driving licence exchanged, if you come from one of the following countries: Andorra, Taiwan, Israel, Japan, Monaco and the Netherlands Antilles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

You can have your driving licence exchanged at any of the sub-municipal offices

What should you bring along?

At least the following:

- valid proof of identity

- your valid foreign driving licence

- two identical passport photographs

- a Certificate of Suitability, issued by the Central Department of Driving Licences (CBR)

- a special (green) application form

- a valid residence permit

If your driving licence was not obtained in the EU or in one of the countries mentioned above, you cannot have it exchanged. You will then almost always be required to redo the driving test.

If you work at an international organisation in The Hague or hold diplomatic status, then you and your immediate family do not need to exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch one.

8) How to import my car?

If you reside in the Netherlands and drive a vehicle with a foreign registration, you may have to pay a Passenger Car and Motorcycle Tax (BPM) assessment. You are most likely better off going through the import procedure. Importing a car from abroad is a bureaucratic, but relatively straightforward procedure involving Customs and the RDW, which also operates a number of inspection and testing stations throughout the country (the closest station to The Hague is in Schiedam).

If you have purchased a car, motorcycle or trailer abroad, you must make a number of arrangements before the vehicle can be used on Dutch roads:

You must have a Dutch registration number for your vehicle and the associated registration certificate and number plate(s);

You must have paid the appropriate road tax; You should have arranged statutory third-party liability insurance for your vehicle.

You can find more information about importing vehicles on the website www.douane.nl/english of the Douane (Dutch Customs) or by downloading www.douane.nl/download the brochure ‘Taxation on cars and motorcycles (BPM): When do you have to make your own BPM declaration?' This brochure is available only in Dutch from Dutch Customs. Section 4 tells you what to do to ensure that the vehicle displays the right number plates.

Would you like to know more about your vehicle and registering it in the Netherlands? The RDW offers visitors to its website the opportunity to download brochures in English, French and German. Click here www.rdw.nl/nl/beroepsvervoer/ for the English-language webpage of the RDW. The RDW registers the details of vehicles, their owners and the documents that have been issued, such as vehicle and driving licences. This involves the provision of information on such matters to other parties.

Visit the website www.verkeerenwaterstaat.nl/english/ of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management to learn the basic information you need to know as a driver and car-owner, including vehicle testing, tax, insurance and registration.

9) What is a BSN (ex-SOFI) number and do I need one?

A BSN number stands for Burger Service Number, a Dutch Social Security number also used for tax filing purposes. This number is required for starting a (temporary) job in a Dutch company; however, it is also requested when registering for a school, opening a bank account, applying for Dutch child benefits, etc. The number is issued by the Belastingdienst (National Tax Authority).

Even if you think you'll never need it, a BSN number can come in handy. So it is advisable for each family member to request his own BSN number.

The procedure for acquiring a BSN number:

First call the toll-free number 0800 - 0543 (free of charge). You will hear a Dutch recording, which offers you a number of options. Please first choose Option 4, then Option 1, then finally Option 4 to request a BSN number. Your call will be forwarded to a national call centre. They will ask for your name, date of birth and telephone number. Then they will send instructions by email to your regional office (The Hague). This office will call you within two working days for an appointment. Each applicant needs to appear in person at this appointment.

For EU citizens: Registration in the GBA is not absolutely necessary. Please take along a valid passport to the appointment.

For non-EU citizens: You will need to take along a valid passport with a valid residence permit (sticker or card).

10) I am from a non-EU country. Can I work in the Netherlands?

You are eligible to work without work permit if your spouse or partner is employed by Shell under the new residence permit category of 'Knowledge Migrant Worker' ( kennismigrant ).

11) My partner works for Shell on EBAS terms, and I have already received my BUPA card. I started working and I would like to know if I need to have a Dutch Health Insurance.

It is necessary to inform ZKA about the preferences (dormant policy, for example). It is also recommended to inform the employer about the Basis policy arrangements, to avoid duplication.

12) We are a non-married couple. Are the C&D services available for me?

Our services are available for all partners of expatriate Shell employees, irrespective to the terms and conditions of the assignment. SVA applies only for employees on Local+ and EBAS terms.

13) SVA: What costs can I claim with Spouse Vocational Assistance?

Generally speaking, items which are expected to have a positive impact on your employment prospects or ongoing mobility are eligible for the Spouse vocational assistance.

Here is a list:

  • tertiary education, professional skills courses and conferences e.g.open university and courses at other higher education establishments, PC courses, 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language' (TEFL) courses, etc.
  • intensive language tuition: directly linked to improving employment prospects.
  • business start-up advice or courses: how to set-up your own business, including one time professional tax advice on the implications of running a business or being self employed in the host location.
  • job search, career counselling and job market 're-entry' programmes
  • translation and evaluation of diplomas
  • preparation of Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) or personal resume
  • mandatory professional fees: for maintaining professional accreditation.

14) SVA: I am an expatriate partner/spouse, how do I make claims with the SVA?

You can't make the claim. Your husband/partner, as a Shell employee, can make the claim by downloading an electronic SVA claim form from the Shell in the Netherlands HR website http://sww02.europe.shell.com/sinhr/index_uk.htm

15) JOB SEARCH: I am an expatriate partner/spouse just arrived in the Netherlands and I am very keen to work. What kind of C&D services are available for me?

The C&D team can give you information and guidance on planning your job search, on developing a clear picture of your career goals. The team can also advise you on improving your CV and cover letter, networking and interview skills.


 

 
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The information given by Outpost is based upon the gathered personal experiences of expatriate families. Therefore, you will appreciate that Outpost cannot accept any liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or information given.

Source of images : Global Outpost Services & the Outpost network and www.thehague.nl
Updated : May 23, 2007