Emigrate to the Netherlands

⇒ Culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ School system

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

⇒ German agencies

⇔ BACK TO OVERVIEW⇔

The Dutch culture

The Netherlands is a fascinating country with a rich history, breathtaking landscapes and a unique culture that will surely interest you if you are interested in emigrating to the Netherlands. If you are thinking about emigrating to this wonderful country, we would like to give you an insight into Dutch culture to help you make your decision.

Diversity and tolerance: The Netherlands is known for its diversity and tolerance. Dutch society is cosmopolitan and multicultural. People from different countries and cultures live together peacefully here. The Dutch are generally friendly and helpful to foreigners and appreciate cultural diversity.

Quality of life: The Netherlands is known for its high quality of life. The country offers a well-developed education system, high-quality health care and strong social security. The infrastructure is well developed, so you can travel comfortably and explore many attractions. The Netherlands is also known for its cycling culture, and cycling is a popular and practical way to get around.

Work culture: The Dutch work culture is characterized by efficiency, punctuality and a good work-life balance. The Dutch are known for their professionalism and team spirit. Hierarchies in companies are often flat, and there is an emphasis on open communication and consensus building. Flexible working hours and part-time work are widespread in the Netherlands.

Leisure and culture: The Netherlands has a vibrant arts and culture scene. The country has a long history in painting, architecture and design. In cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague you will find numerous museums, galleries and cultural events. The Dutch also love to spend time outdoors. The coast and the picturesque landscape offer many opportunities for activities such as cycling, hiking and water sports.

Sense of community: The Dutch have a strong sense of community. The neighborhood plays an important role in daily life, and there is a culture of cooperation and mutual support. Regular social activities such as neighborhood meetings and events foster a sense of belonging.

The Netherlands is an attractive country to emigrate to, offering rich cultural diversity, high quality of life and an open, tolerant society. There are numerous opportunities to integrate into Dutch culture and live a fulfilling life in this diverse country. If you are interested in the Netherlands as your new home, you should prepare for the trip, learn the language and engage in an exciting cultural experience.

Die Niederlande sind für EU Bürger ein interessantes Land zum Auswandern

Climate

The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate characterized by mild winters, cool summers and relatively high rainfall. The climate is significantly influenced by the North Atlantic Current, which causes temperatures to remain moderate throughout the year.

Winters in the Netherlands are usually mild, but there may be occasional cold spells. The average temperatures in winter are between 2 °C and 6 °C. Snow falls regularly, but often does not stay for long. In the coldest months of January and February, temperatures can also drop below freezing.
Summers in the Netherlands are pleasant, but not excessively hot. The average temperatures in summer are between 17 °C and 20 °C. While July and August are the warmest months, temperatures rarely reach above 30 °C. The nights can be cool.

Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but the months from July through October tend to be somewhat rainier. The Netherlands is known for its changeable weather conditions, and it is not uncommon to see sun, clouds and rain alternating within a short period of time. Rain showers can occur suddenly, so it is advisable to always have an umbrella with you.

Due to the flat terrain and extensive waterways, the Netherlands is also strongly influenced by wind. Strong winds can occur, especially on the coast and in coastal areas. However, windy conditions are common throughout the country.

For some, this weather is a plus when thinking about emigrating to the Netherlands, for others it is not.

Language

The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch. If you are planning to move to the Netherlands, it is advisable to acquire a basic knowledge of the Dutch language, as this can make it easier to get started in society. However, it is worth noting that many Dutch people are also fluent in English, especially in urban areas.

School system in the Netherlands

The Dutch school system is characterized by high quality, a wide choice of educational pathways, and a strong emphasis on academic achievement. Students are encouraged to think for themselves, develop their talents, and pursue their interests.

  • Elementary School (Basisschool): Basic school is compulsory and usually starts at the age of 4 to 6 and lasts for 8 years. The elementary school is divided into two phases: the “onderbouw” (lower school) for children aged 4 to 8 and the “bovenbouw” (upper school) for children aged 8 to 12. Elementary school instruction covers a variety of subjects including reading, writing, mathematics, science, art, history, and physical education.
  • Secondary school (Voortgezet Onderwijs): After completing elementary school, students transfer to secondary school, called Voortgezet Onderwijs. Secondary school usually lasts 4 to 6 years, depending on the educational path chosen. There are different types of secondary schools:
  • VWO (Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs): The VWO is a high school educational program and prepares students for university studies. It lasts 6 years and leads to the completion of the “VWO Diploma”.
  • HAVO (Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs): HAVO is a general education program that prepares students for technical colleges. It lasts 5 years and leads to the completion of the “HAVO Diploma”.
  • VMBO (Voorbereidend Middelbaar Beroepsonderwijs): The VMBO is a pre-vocational education program that offers various vocational directions. It lasts 4 years and leads to the completion of the “VMBO Diploma”. The VMBO is further divided into four levels: Basic Empty Way (BBL), Cadre Empty Way (KBL), Community Empty Way (GL) and Theoretical Empty Way (TL).
  • Higher education: After graduating from secondary school, students have the opportunity to study at a college or university. Higher education in the Netherlands is internationally recognized and offers a wide range of degree programs.

There are also special schools such as international schools, special educational institutions for students with special needs, and language schools for non-Dutch speakers.

It is important to note that the Dutch school system can have regional differences and schools can have different pedagogical approaches. It is advisable to find out about the exact school system in your desired region if you plan to move to the Netherlands.

In principle, homeschooling or online schooling is also possible in the Netherlands.

Homeschooling: In the Netherlands, homeschooling is referred to as “onderwijs op andere locaties” (teaching in other locations). Parents can homeschool their children if they meet certain requirements. This includes, among other things, that parents are capable and qualified to provide instruction. They must also submit an application to local authorities and provide an educational plan that meets national educational standards. There are regular reviews of the progress and quality of homeschooling by the Inspectorate of Education.

Online school: Online schools, also known as “virtuele scholen”, are another option for attending school in the Netherlands. These schools offer virtual classes where students learn from home via the Internet. Online schools must also be recognized by educational authorities and meet national educational standards. Classes typically take the form of interactive online courses, streaming video, online discussions, and individual assignments. Students also have access to online learning materials and can communicate with teachers and classmates.

It is important to note that both homeschooling and online schools must meet certain legal requirements and be approved by the relevant educational authorities. Parents should therefore find out in advance about the exact legal requirements and procedures that apply to homeschooling or online schools.

In addition, the Netherlands also offers several other educational options, such as International Schools, where classes are taught in English or another foreign language. This is certainly important information if you are thinking of emigrating to the Netherlands with school-age children.

Tiere in den Niederlanden die Sie beim Auswandern sicherlich treffen werden

Healthcare system

The healthcare system in the Netherlands is considered one of the best in the world.

General health insurance: The Dutch health care system is based on a compulsory health insurance system that applies to all residents of the Netherlands. Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is required to have health insurance. Health insurance is offered by private insurance companies, but the government sets standards that all insurers must meet. Each insured person pays monthly contributions that are income-dependent.

Basic benefits: Basic insurance, also known as “Basisverzekering,” provides comprehensive coverage for medically necessary treatments. These include, but are not limited to, doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescription medications, emergency care, and some forms of dental care for children. The cost of basic insurance can vary depending on the insurance company and the package chosen.

Own risk: In the Netherlands, there is an annual own risk (“eigen risico”) that must be borne by the insured persons themselves. The own risk is usually a few hundred euros and refers to the first costs incurred for medical services during the year. However, there are certain services, such as visits to the general practitioner, that are exempt from this inherent risk.

Supplementary insurance: In addition to basic insurance, people in the Netherlands can also take out additional private insurance to cover extra services that are not included in basic insurance. These supplemental policies can cover dental care, alternative medicine, eyeglasses or physical therapy, for example. The costs and conditions for supplementary insurance vary depending on the insurance company and the package selected.

Health care and quality: The Dutch health care system provides high-quality health care. The medical facilities, hospitals and doctors’ offices are well equipped and at a high technological level. The doctors and medical professionals are well trained. Waiting times for treatments are usually short, especially for urgent medical care.

Access to health care: All residents of the Netherlands have access to health care, regardless of their income or insurance status. Emergency care is made available to all, regardless of their insurance situation.

Vaccinations and medical certificates

Currently, no mandatory vaccinations are required for entry into the Netherlands. Just make sure that the standard vaccinations are always up to date.

Tax system

The tax system in the Netherlands is quite comprehensive and consists of different types of taxes. Here are some of the most important features of the Dutch tax system:

  1. Income tax: Income tax in the Netherlands is calculated progressively, which means that the tax rate increases with higher income. There are different income brackets and tax rates, which are adjusted regularly. Employees pay income tax on their gross income, subject to various deductions and tax credits.
  2. Value Added Tax (BTW): Value Added Tax in the Netherlands is referred to as “BTW”. The general rate is currently 21%, and there are reduced rates of 9% and 0% for certain goods and services.
  3. Corporate tax: Companies in the Netherlands are required to pay corporate tax (Vennootschapsbelasting) on their profits. The corporate income tax rate is currently 15% for profits up to an amount of EUR 245,000 and 25% for profits above this amount.
  4. Capital gains tax: Capital gains such as interest income, dividends and capital gains are subject to capital gains tax (Box 3). Tax is levied on a lump-sum basis on a notional return on assets.
  5. Municipal taxes: In addition to the taxes mentioned above, municipalities in the Netherlands levy municipal taxes such as property tax (Onroerendezaakbelasting) and waste fees.

It is important to note that tax laws and rates are subject to change. If you need specific information about your individual situation or have questions about specific tax aspects, I recommend that you contact a tax advisor or the tax office in the Netherlands.

Economy

  1. Economic sectors: The Dutch economy is characterized by a wide range of sectors. The main sectors include trade, services, finance, logistics, agriculture, chemicals, electronics and high-tech industries. The Netherlands is also a major global player in exports.
  2. Export orientation: The Netherlands is known for its strong export orientation. They are one of the largest exporters in the world and have an open economy that depends heavily on international trade. Major exports include machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, food and agricultural products.
  3. Innovative strength: The Netherlands is a leading innovation location and invests heavily in research and development. The country is home to numerous technology companies, startups and research institutions that contribute to economic development and competitiveness.
  4. Economic forecasts: As mentioned above, my knowledge is based on information up to September 2021, and it is important to note that economic forecasts may be subject to constant change. At that time, moderate growth rates were forecast for the Dutch economy as a whole. However, factors such as international trade tensions, geopolitical events or economic developments in Europe and worldwide can influence the forecasts.

As it is very difficult at the moment to judge how the economic development will turn out in the Netherlands as well as in the other EU countries, we recommend to consult official economic reports, research reports or forecasts from recognized institutions such as the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) or other economic research institutes.

Rotterdam - eine wirtschaftlich starke Stadt in den Niederlanden - Perfekt zum Auswandern

Prices by index

Price developments in the Netherlands compared with other EU countries may be influenced by various factors, including the general economic situation, consumer behavior and regulatory policy. It is important to note that prices can change over time. In this context we would like to refer to the website Cost of Living. Nevertheless, we provide you with some information about the prices.

  1. Cost of living: The cost of living in the Netherlands is generally somewhat higher than in Germany. In particular, rents, health care and certain services may be more expensive. However, there may be regional differences and prices may vary by location.
  2. Taxes: The Netherlands has a higher VAT rate than Germany. The general VAT rate in the Netherlands is 21%, while in Germany it is 19%. There are also differences in tax rates for certain goods and services.
  3. Energy and fuel costs: Energy and fuel costs in the Netherlands can tend to be higher than in Germany. This may affect the price of electricity, gas, gasoline and diesel.
  4. Income and purchasing power: Income levels and purchasing power can vary by occupation, sector and individual circumstances. However, there is no uniform answer as to whether prices in the Netherlands are higher or lower overall compared with Germany.
Real Estate

Real estate prices in the Netherlands have risen significantly in recent years. Especially in metropolitan areas like Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, prices are high. However, there are also regional differences, and real estate prices can vary by location.

Factors that have influenced housing prices include high demand for housing, limited supply, low mortgage rates, and a robust economy. However, it is important to note that prices may change over time and that my knowledge is based on information through September 2021.

As far as forecasts are concerned, it is difficult to make accurate predictions about the future development of real estate prices. The market can be affected by a variety of factors, including changes in economic conditions, changes in interest rates, supply and demand conditions, and political and regulatory actions. If you want to get information on current forecasts for the Dutch real estate market, I recommend consulting current market reports from real estate experts or research institutes.

It is possible to purchase real estate in the Netherlands as an immigrant. The Dutch government does not normally impose specific restrictions on the acquisition of real estate by foreigners. However, you must follow the general regulations and requirements for purchasing real estate, such as financing, regulatory compliance, and applying for a residency permit, if applicable. It is advisable to consult with a real estate agent or real estate law professional in the Netherlands for accurate information and assistance in purchasing a property as an immigrant.

Wir helfen Ihnen gerne bei der Suche nach einer Wohnung oder einem Haus. Click here for our real estate listings.

Company foundation

The Netherlands offers EU citizens attractive conditions for starting a business. With a strong business environment, favorable framework conditions and various support measures, the country is a promising location for start-ups. Through careful planning, compliance with legal requirements, and taking advantage of funding and support opportunities, EU citizens can successfully start a business in the Netherlands and realize their entrepreneurial goals. However, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the current regulations and developments and, if necessary, to seek professional advice in order to make the incorporation process smooth and successful.

Company formation requires registration with the Dutch Trade Register (Kamer van Koophandel or KvK). This must include information about the business, the business owner(s), and any other required documentation. Depending on the type of business, additional permits or licenses may be required. It is advisable to find out in advance about the specific requirements for the particular industry or job.

Visa

For citizens of the European Union (EU) as well as the European Economic Area (EEA), special regulations apply to freedom of movement within the EU and the EEA. EU citizens have the right to free movement, which means that they can in principle travel, work and live in other EU and EEA countries without a visa. This means that EU citizens do not need a visa to enter or settle in Norway. However, it is advisable to register with the local authorities within a reasonable time after arrival if the stay is longer than 90 days.

Non-EU citizens: Citizens from countries outside the European Union usually need a visa to enter and live or work in Norway. The type of visa depends on the purpose of stay:

  1. Tourist visa: If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and want to travel to Norway to visit the country, you usually need to apply for a tourist visa. This visa allows you a short-term stay for tourist purposes.

  2. Work visa: If you want to work in Norway as a non-EU citizen, you usually need a work visa. This visa is usually issued in conjunction with a work permit applied for by your future employer.

  3. Study visa: If you want to study in Norway as a student from a non-EU country, you need a study visa. This visa allows you to stay in the country for the duration of your studies.

  4. Residence visa: If you want to live in Norway for a longer period of time, you may need a residence visa. The exact requirements depend on several factors, including your personal situation and the type of stay you plan.

It is important to note that visa requirements can vary and depend on several factors, such as the applicant’s nationality, purpose of stay, and agreements in place between countries. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the official websites of the Norwegian embassies or consulates in your home country for accurate and up-to-date information on visa requirements for Norway.

Security in the country

The Netherlands is generally considered a safe country with a low crime rate. However, the safety situation may vary depending on the location and circumstances. Here is some information on the various aspects of security in the Netherlands:

  1. Crime: The Netherlands has a comparatively low crime rate compared to many other European countries. Most tourist areas and urban centers are safe for visitors and residents. However, it is advisable, as in any country, to take certain precautions to protect yourself from pickpocketing or other minor crimes. It is recommended to keep an eye on personal belongings, use public transportation and stay on well-lit streets, especially at night.
  2. Demonstrations: The Netherlands has a long tradition of freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration. As a rule, demonstrations in the Netherlands are peaceful. However, some demonstrations may lead to riots or confrontations with the police, especially if violent riots occur. It is recommended to find out about planned demonstrations before traveling and to avoid crowds if they are considered unsafe or violent.
  3. Riots: Occasionally, riots may occur in the Netherlands, particularly in connection with certain social, political or sporting events. These riots may involve vandalism, property damage, or violent altercations. It is important to follow the instructions of local authorities and police and stay away from such situations.

As with any travel or stay abroad, it is advisable to follow current travel advisories and safety information provided by your own government or embassies. In addition, it is advisable to check local media and official Dutch government channels for any safety concerns or warnings.

German representations in Belgium

Address:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany The Hague
Groot Hertoginnelaan 18-20, 2517 EG Den Haag
Phone: +31 6 22 45 98 41
Website: www.den-haag.diplo.de

Address:

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany Almelo
Bedrijvenpark Twente 445,
7602 KM Almelo
E-Mail: almelo@hk-diplo.de
Phone: +31 546 72 79 49

Address:

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany Groningen
International Welcome Center North (IWCN),
Gedempte Zuiderdiep 98,
9711 HL Groningen
Netherlands
E-Mail: groningen@hk-diplo.de
Phone: +31 50 36 77 197

Address:

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany Maastricht
Avenue Ceramique 226
6221 KX Maastricht
E-Mail: maastricht@hk-diplo.de
Phone: +31 43 763 0330

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