Traveling to a place you’ve never been to can be fun and exciting, yet somehow kinda scary. But what more when you’re moving there? Living in a new city – or a different country – is a big step. Lucky you! Moving to Amsterdam is easier than you think, especially with this handy checklist to guide you.
So what are you waiting for? Here’s a quick guide for expats moving to Amsterdam.
Gather All The Needed Documents
The first thing you should do when planning to move to Amsterdam is to prepare and gather all the documents needed by immigration.
Since Amsterdam is an EU country, you can’t move there unless you are already a citizen. If you’re a non-EU citizen, you need to get sponsorship or attend university after applying for a Dutch visa. Although you can visit Amsterdam even if you’re a non-EU citizen, applying for a visa still depends on what country you’re from.
- Proof of identity (e.g., birth certificates, marriage certificate, and other legal documents)
- Entry visa
- Residence permit
- Work permit
Keep in mind that in some cases, the Dutch immigration might request legally translated documents even if it is already in English. All documents must also be officially authenticated. (Related: 11 Things To Do Before Moving To Another Country)
Know the Cost of Living
Living in the Netherlands is pricey in general. In the capital city of Amsterdam, you can expect the cost of living to be even more expensive.
The average rent in Amsterdam is around 1,587€ for a single bedroom apartment. Groceries for two people can cost up to 250€ to 300€.
When it comes to transportation, the public transport system in Amsterdam will not disappoint you. But again, it’s costly too.
Fortunately, you can avail of a monthly subscription that will cost you only around 95€. If you’re not always on the go and won’t use the train often, then you can forget about it and go with day-tickets for 3€.
Finding Work in Amsterdam
Seeking a job in a foreign country is always challenging, but it is never impossible. With an unemployment rate of 3.5%, your chances of landing a job are pretty high.
If you’re moving to Amsterdam because of a job relocation or perhaps, because of love, then lucky you! But if not, then it would be best to familiarize yourself with the employment market in the city before you move.
Start searching for job postings online, contact local recruitment agencies, and make a CV that will match the local style. There are various options available for everyone, including expats like you.
Learn Their Language
While most locals are fluent in English, it is still best to learn their language so you can easily adapt and quickly settle into Dutch society. There are books you can find to the nearest bookstore, or you can download a mobile app where you can practice their words and grammar.
Find Housing in Advance
Amsterdam is pretty overpopulated, so expect that finding a house to settle can be tricky and challenging. Whether you’re an expat, a native, or even a student, you’ll very likely to experience difficulty searching for a place to live in the city.
Pro tip: Start your search in advance. There are lots of houses and apartment rentals posted online.
The Bike Is a Must
Once you arrive in Amsterdam, you will realize that cycling is a huge part of Dutch culture. In fact, there are plenty of cycle lanes around the city. But take that as an advantage. Bikes are cheap, and almost everyone in Amsterdam is not fond of four wheels.
Get A Health Insurance
We all know that health is wealth, so getting yourself health insurance is essential. Also, it’s mandatory in Amsterdam, so you need to have one within four months of your arrival or once you secure a job.
Get Yourself A Cheap Calling Plan
Since living in Amsterdam can be costly, you need to find other ways on how you can save money. If you have loved ones you’ll leave behind once you move to Amsterdam, you can still quickly call them without paying for expensive roaming services. There are international calling apps that allow you to make cheap international calls for as low as $0.001 per minute. Apps like MyLine also lets you call from Amsterdam to any parts of the world even without an internet connection. (Related: Call Apps That Work Without Internet)
Drugs are Illegal
Contrary to popular belief, drugs in Amsterdam are illegal. Marijuana may be allowed for a small portion in some coffee shops, but it is definitely banned in public places.
These are a few but important things to know when planning to move to Amsterdam. Did we miss anything? Share us your thoughts!
About The Author
As a parent who’s always on a budget, Franchette Agatha Jardin loves blogging and sharing some cheap but quality lifehacks. That includes making international calls, especially when she needs to contact her family abroad.