Home Living in the Netherlands Expat checklist when moving away from the Netherlands

Expat checklist when moving away from the Netherlands

Expat checklist when moving away from the Netherlands
Image: Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/family-unpacking-after-moving-4569340/

Noooooo… don’t leave us behind! Where else could possibly be better than this? The windmills, the tulips, the beer, the canals, the bike life, the stroopwafels… oh dear.

Don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you too much, we are here to help! Here is all you need to know when moving away from the Netherlands. (Don’t forget to come back to visit, or move back altogether.)

TIP: If you are moving away due to your employer relocating you, they may be able to help you with your move. This includes things such as arranging your removal company, ask them beforehand or you’ll have to foot the bill yourself!

Before you start

Plan, plan, plan! This is key when you’re planning on moving away from the Netherlands. Don’t assume that something won’t take very long, always assume the opposite so then you don’t get caught out.

As soon as you know that you are going to leave the Netherlands, you need to make a list — or refer to this one — and get straight to it. I know it seems like a chore, but the faster you do it, the better. Don’t leave anything to the last minute, this is very important (playing the mother role here)!

Take some time off work if you can, make a plan, utilise it and don’t forget to organise your removal van, gather lots of boxes, and start packing stuff. This is the perfect opportunity to de-clutter your things too!

Remember that once you inform the government that you are leaving any benefits will be stopped.

You can also organise for the post office to forward all of your post to your new address!

Phone calls you need to make

I hope you like speaking on the phone because a lot of phone calls need to be made! This is the boring bit of moving away from the Netherlands, but it has to be done.

TIP: some of these services request that you let them know in writing, no less than a month before, so get straight to it and call up right away!
    You’ll need to call your:
  • Gemeente to organise an appointment to de-register (legal requirement!). You’ll need to bring legal documents such as passport, old and new address and date of departure. Some municipalities do also let you de-register via internet nowadays.
  • Internet provider to have your internet disconnected the day you leave.
  • Telephone provider to have your phone disconnected the day you leave.
  • TV provider to cancel your contract with them.
  • Gas, electricity and water providers and tell them that you are leaving the property.
  • Insurance companies: such as healthcare, house and car insurance and inform them so they stop billing you.
  • Subscription services you have in the Netherlands if you won’t need them any more, such as a gym membership.
  • Dentist or doctor if you are leaving and need medical records or new medication
  • Bank and tell them that you are leaving. Close the account if it is no longer needed (remember to do this after you have paid everything and you have been paid your wages etc.)

Don’t forget to call a removalist company too, to organise the actual move of your goods from your house.

People to write to

Time to get pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. You also have to do a bit of writing when moving away from the Netherlands.

  • If you’d prefer, you can de-register via mail. The date it is received is the date they will assume that you have de-registered
  • Email your landlord and let them know that you are leaving. Ideally, this should be done a minimum of one month in advance, as set out in your contract
  • Email your mortgage provider, if you own a house and are leaving the Netherlands (this needs to be done ASAP)
  • If you have children you need to write to the school/nursery and let them know that your child will be leaving

Important things to remember

  • Your bills will follow you to your new country, do not leave anything outstanding! This includes if you forget to cancel a subscription, you owe the government money or you need to pay a bill from an energy provider
  • You need to let your landlord know in advance that you are leaving (a month’s notice is usually written into your contract)
  • You need to let anyone who works for you know that you are leaving well in advance (babysitter, cleaner, etc.)
  • Cancel your Dutch car registration (take it off your name) if you are taking it with you or selling it on
  • Make sure to sort any issues out with pets if you want to take them back with you
  • Leave the Netherlands on time! Once you’ve de-registered, you are down as having left the country

There’s your checklist to ensure that your move goes smoothly. Don’t forget to do what we said on the list, or you could be in trouble! Not only is the move itself hard, but what about the cultural differences? (Doei doei stroopwafels).

Know anyone who has moved from the Netherlands and is missing it like hell? Let us know in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2018, and was fully updated in March 2021 for your reading pleasure.
Feature Image: cottonbro/Pexels



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