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Frequently asked questions about emigration

Planning your emigration is no mean feat: indeed, you’ll need to arrange your move, locate a home, find a job or start your own business, make new friends and much, much more. Fortunately you needn’t “reinvent the wheel”, as countless emigrants have happily gone before you. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about emigration.

Tips for emigration

1. When must I deregister from the Netherlands?

If you’re planning to leave the Netherlands for 8 months or longer then you must deregister from the ‘Nederlandse bevolkingsregister’ at least 5 days prior to departure. Remember to ask for a deregistration certificate, as you’ll require this as future proof of emigration.

2. Which public authorities must I notify about my emigration?

Many public authorities are automatically notified when you deregister from the bevolkingsregister. You can also follow this up with a letter or email to ensure that your new address is well known to all of the relevant authorities. The tax authorities, for example, will require your new address in order to send an M form, whilst the AOW will need it to make sure that you receive your Dutch state pension upon retirement abroad.

3. How expensive is emigration?

Your final emigration costs will naturally depend upon a number of different factors, such as your country of emigration, who you’re emigrating with and what you plan to take with you. For tips on successfully managing your emigration costs, please refer to our useful blog: “How to keep your emigration costs firmly under control.

4. Which is the best country to emigrate to?

The most suitable emigration destination rather depends on why you want to emigrate in the first place, and what you hope to find in your new country of residence. If you’re looking for inspiration, then please refer to our informative blogs: “Top emigration countries for happiness” and “Most popular emigration countries for young Dutch adults”.

5. How can I best prepare my children for emigration?

Emigration is a huge step – not only for you, but also your children. If you want to guarantee your family emigration goes as smoothly as possible, then please refer to our helpful blog: “Emigrating with children.”

6. Can my dog or cat emigrate with me?

In most cases your dog or cat may accompany you to your new country of residence, although some nations make it more difficult than others. In addition, many airlines impose special requirements for those wishing to fly with their dog or cat. For more information and tips, please refer to our blog, “Emigrating with your dog or cat“.

7. Is there an emigration checklist that I can refer to?

If you’re about to emigrate then you’ll want to make sure that you don’t overlook anything important. Our handy “Emigration Checklist” will help to ensure that you’re sufficiently prepared!

8. How can I renew my Dutch passport abroad?

In order to renew your Dutch passport abroad, you’ll need to visit the nearest Dutch embassy or consulate. Alternatively, you can renew your Dutch passport at Schiphol airport or a number of other border municipalities.

9. How can I renew my Dutch driving license abroad?

Many Dutch emigrants mistakenly believe that they can renew their Dutch driving license at the nearest Dutch embassy. However, if you live in a country within the EU / EEA you’ll need to swap your Dutch driver’s license for a foreign one instead.

10. Where can I buy Dutch products abroad?

Whilst you might be able to buy some of the most popular Dutch products abroad, you can additionally stock up on all of your favourites by ordering them online. Leading online Dutch supermarket, Holland at Home, boasts an extensive range of typical Dutch products available for international delivery at highly competitive prices.

11. How can I raise my children to be bilingual?

Children pick up new languages extremely quickly, making bilingual parenting far less daunting than it seems. For a wealth of useful tips, please read our blog: “Tips for raising bilingual upbringing.

12. How can I watch Dutch TV abroad?

There are several options for watching Dutch television abroad – if you benefit from a Dutch subscription for example, you can watch Dutch TV via satellite. Alternatively, you can watch Dutch television over the Internet. For more information, please read our blog: “How to watch Dutch television abroad”.

13. How can I meet other Dutch people living abroad?

Although the Netherlands is a very small country, you’ll find Dutch compatriots virtually all over the world! In fact, many foreign countries even boast a number of Dutch clubs and associations where you can enjoy a convivial drink or celebrate special Dutch events, such as King’s Day and Sinterklaas. For a comprehensive list of Dutch clubs and societies abroad, please click here.

14. What should I do if I feel homesick after emigration?

Even if you’re happy living abroad, you’ll likely suffer from occasional pangs of homesickness. For tips on how to effectively manage these, please refer to our supportive blog: “Feeling homesick after emigration? Top 10 tips for managing heimwee”.

15. What should I do if I want to remigrate?

First read our blog “Feeling homesick – should you stay or should you go?” If you still wish to return home, then our blog: “Planning a successful remigration” will prove invaluable!

Please note: the above information is for informative purposes only and may therefore be out of date – please always refer to the relevant websites and official bodies to ensure that you are correctly informed.

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.

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