Leaving the Netherlands and Moving On
Information on what to do when moving from the Netherlands; including notifying schools and residency officials, closing bank accounts, ending contracts for utilities and insurance, exporting cars and moving pets...
Whatever the reasons for leaving Holland and moving on elsewhere, there are a number of tasks to be completed before departure.
Anyone who registered with their Embassy on arrival in Holland now needs to advise them that they are moving on.
Deregister from your Netherlands address
Your name and address is recorded in the national database and is managed by your local council (gemeente). Depending on the system used by the council, you may be able to deregister online, however many councils require an in-person deregistration or in some limited cases by post or proxy (a person permitted to act on your behalf). Deregistration may generally be done up to a month before you leave, as long as you are able to supply an accurate departure date.
Return your resident permit
Your residency permit remains the property of the Dutch government and must be returned before you leave the country. This can be done at the nearest IND desk (some offices are by appointment only) or via post. The IND website has more information in English about how and where to return your Dutch residence permit
Give schools a reasonable amount of notice of a child's departure. There may be outstanding bills for school fees, transport or meals to be settled.
On registration at a new school in the new country a parent may be asked for a certificate stating the latest grade passed by the child. Request this from the school when giving notice of departure. Dutch schools will normally be happy to provide a summary of a child's progress and up-to-date test results. They will usually do this in English, if asked.
Leave a forwarding address for any correspondence.
A lease can, in theory, be for any fixed period, although it is common in the Netherlands for it to be for an indefinite period. If the notice period is not stipulated, it is automatically one month. Check the rental contract for the notice period and any other relevant clauses.
Standard practice is normally to have paid at least the first month's rent in advance, along with a deposit (Borg) equivalent to one or two months' rent. If the property was rented through an agency, it will probably be holding this deposit. Contact the agency to find out if the deposit can be offset against the last month or two of rent.
The landlord or agent may need to visit and inspect the property prior to departure. There is often an inventory that needs to be completed.
Information regarding the property will need to be prepared; the agent will do this as well as viewing the property in order to value it.
Viewings are arranged by the agent as part of their service and they will almost always accompany potential buyers. There is no requirement for the vendor to be present at these viewings if for example they have already left the country.
Once a sale is agreed, completion should be relatively straightforward. Sometimes a deposit is paid - particularly if the process is expected to take more than eight weeks.
House and other insurance policies can be cancelled when the policy-owner is leaving Holland for good and in some circumstances a partial refund may be due. When cancelling your Dutch insurance policies, it is strongly recommended to phone the relevant companies at least one month before departure. While some companies allow a policy to be cancelled online, there is usually a 30-day notification period required in order to avoid the cost of an extra month's premium. Some companies only accept cancellations by post.
As with any house move, there are utility bills to be settled and meters to be read. If meters are not outside the property, access will be required.
Bill totals are estimates based on the previous year's consumption for the property and discrepancies between estimated and actual usage are normally reconciled at the end of the year. However when moving, this should all be sorted out and a final bill or refund arranged.
Leave a forwarding address with all the companies involved.
Electricity and Gas: Simply contact the supplier in question with a reasonable amount of notice so that final accounts can be settled. The new tenant/owner may be choosing a different supplier.
Water: Water bills are sometimes paid by the landlord in rental properties. Water is supplied by local water boards and it is necessary to contact the correct one for the area so that they can prepare a final account based on consumption.
Telephone and Internet: This service may have been provided by one of a number of suppliers. They need to be contacted and final accounts settled for line rental and call charges.
Health Care and Social Security
Any private health insurance cover which has been in force may need changing or cancelling. Ensure that Dutch health insurance remains valid until arrival in the new country of residence.
Having left Holland, cover by the Dutch national insurance schemes ceases. Contributions will also stop and normally it is no longer possible to build up pension rights under the AOW after emigration (previously accumulated AOW pension rights remain valid). These may be transferred in many cases within EU countries.
However, there are situations in which one can remain covered by Dutch national insurance schemes after emigration.
- For more information on Dutch tax after leaving the Netherlands, consult the Dutch Tax Administration website
Anyone who has received dental or medical treatment while in Holland should ask for records to be forwarded to their new practitioner. It is normally possible for these details to be provided in English.
It is also necessary to contact the local Social Insurance Centre (SVB) particularly if in receipt of any benefits. A remigration grant is sometimes available for those returning to their country of origin.
- For more details on migration grants and social security payments, see the SVB
Business and Tax Issues
A Dutch bank account should be kept open for a short period to settle final bills (in Euros). Any direct debits in place should be cancelled. Many banks allow clients to close accounts and change addresses online. If this service is not available, accounts should be closed in person or by sending a letter via registered mail.
Credit card companies will also need to be notified of a new address for statements.
Those leaving the Netherlands may still need to pay tax in the year following emigration. However, the rules relating to refunds and payments are quite complex.
- For tax information relating to emigration from the Netherlands, visit the Dutch Tax Administration website
The Dutch postal service (PostNL) is one of a few providers that can provide a mail redirection service. It is best to arrange this for just a short period of time as it is fairly expensive
- More information from PostNL on forwarding mail to an address outside Holland (in Dutch)
Vehicles and Driving
Vehicles purchased in Holland or which have been re-registered there will need to be officially exported from Holland and imported into the new country of residence if being kept.
- In order to cancel a vehicle registration number, contact the Dutch Road Transport Directorate (Rijksdienst voor het wegverkeer, RDW)
Dutch vehicle registration must be cancelled before relocation irrespective of whether the move is to a country within or outside of the EU. If the registration is not cancelled, road tax is still payable.
Moving outside the EU may or may not involve payment of import duties. Contact the Embassy or Consulate of the new country of residence for information.
There is no refund available for any vehicles taxes paid for the year.
Vehicles will still need to carry valid insurance while being exported. Dutch companies will provide evidence of no claims bonus if requested.
Not everyone will have changed their driving licence to a Dutch one. But if this is the case it may be necessary to apply for a new licence on arrival in a new country (depending on licence arrangements between that country and the Netherlands).
Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of quarantine. Their move will almost certainly require documentation and possible additional vaccinations or similar medical treatment.
- Access-NL publishes a comprehensive printable checklist of everything that may need to be handled before leaving Holland (PDF)