Back to City life

The ultimate guide for moving to Eindhoven

You have fallen in love with Eindhoven. We're not surprised. And now you want to move to this bustling city in the south of the Netherlands. It’s not always easy to get started in such a process, but with some tools you should be able to succeed. This guide takes you step-by-step through the major steps. Good luck!


Are you definitely moving to Eindhoven? Score! And do you want to know everything about Dutch culture, the weather and how to make new friends? Find the answers in our ultimate guide for settling in Eindhoven.

💡Check the Welcome to NL Relocation App for a handy checklist and additional information on moving to this region. The Holland Expat Center South is the source of information for internationals and their families in Eindhoven.

Part 1: The principles

Ah, the first steps. We have come to the principles. In short: The first things you need to arrange if you are going to move (or are thinking of moving) to Eindhoven. Think, for example, of an employment contract or registering with a college or university. No stress! We’ve listed all the things you need to think of:

  • Register with a college or university 
  • Employment contract
  • Residence permit
  • Diploma recognition

Register with a college or university: studying in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is the place to be for technology and design. Students from all over the world come to the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Design Academy Eindhoven for short or long term study. The Fontys Hogescholen also provides high-quality education and offers a wide range of Bachelor's and Master's programs. Read more about it and register through one of the educational institutions.

⏰  How long in advance?
Registration usually takes place four months before the start of the new college year. Start making inquiries in time!

Check the site of the Holland Expat Center South. This is the official governmental agency for expats. They also have a useful guide for international students

More about studying in Eindhoven Student guide Holland Expat Center South

Employment contract: working in Eindhoven

The Brainport Eindhoven region is known for being the largest technological manufacturing industry in the Netherlands. There are companies in this region like ASML, manufacturer of the machines that create 80% of all computer chips worldwide. Eindhoven is a breeding place for innovative startups and creative manufacturers. Are you looking for a job in IT or tech? Check here for all vacancies in the region!

How long in advance?

Do you want to stay longer in Eindhoven than 90 days or are you not from an EU/EER country or Switzerland? In that case, you will need to have a contract well in time before you apply for a permit. You should start this procedure, depending on your country of origin, one to four months in advance.

Check the site of the Holland Expat Center South. This is the official governmental agency for expats. Here you find a useful guide with all formalities.

Holland Expat Center South Tech vacancies

Residence permit

Do you want to study or work in Eindhoven? If you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you might need a residence permit. In some cases you don’t need a residence permit, for example if you are from another EU country.

How to get a residence permit? Your educational institution or employer will apply for your permit. For that reason, you need a registration from a college or university. Or an employment contract. Additionally, you might need a machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf (mvv) (Regular Provisional Residence Permit). This applies to most countries outside the European Union (EU).

Orientation year
Do you want to work here but do you not have a job yet? Then you may be able to use a 'zoekjaar’ (orientation year). This is a temporary residence permit for highly qualified persons for the purpose of finding a job. This may be in gainful employment or not.

Going to Eindhoven for your partner? When you meet the conditions you can apply for a residence permit. Different conditions apply if it concerns persons holding the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

⏰  How long in advance?

The Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) (Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service) will respond to your application within three months. So if you start preparing about four months in advance, you will have plenty of time.

Coming to the Netherlands for work Coming to the Netherlands for your partner

Useful: recognition of existing diploma

When you move to Eindhoven from a different country it may help to have your foreign diplomas evaluated. This can be useful for finding a job, but also for your next study or if you want to apply for a special 30% tax facility (30%-belastingregel). Good to know: No rights may be derived from diploma evaluations and the educational institutions themselves will in the end decide whether you will be admitted.

Diploma evaluation
Do you want to have your diploma evaluated? You should first find out if your profession is certified from the Nuffic, Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education. Certified professions include doctors, nurses or physiotherapists.

If your profession is regulated, you can apply for a European Professional Card or an EPC. You can do so here. Is your profession not regulated but do you still want to have your diploma recognized? Please go to the international credential evaluation site.

How long in advance?
It is not a must but it can be useful. It may take weeks to months to have your diploma assessed or evaluated.

Nuffic: working in the Netherlands Nuffic: studying in the Netherlands

Part 2: The preparations

Are you definitely moving to Eindhoven and have you arranged everything for your residence permit and/or Regular Provisional Residence Permit? Then you are ready for the next step: the preparations, or things to be arranged before you leave. Not unimportant at all.

How to find a place to live?

The Dutch housing market is not a joke. Whether you want to buy a house, rent an apartment or find short-stay accommodation, it won’t be easy. It can be useful to know where to look. And, as a matter of fact, it is useful to have a rent or purchase agreement for the next steps in this guide.

Rented housing
In the Netherlands there are two different ways to rent accommodation: social or private rental. Social housing can be rented through a woningbouwvereniging or woningcorporatie (social housing association), for which you must meet specific conditions. Private rented housing is also called non-subsidized housing. Private housing can be rented through independent landlords with their own rules and demands.

That means that you really do want to live in Eindhoven. Nice! Everyone can buy a house in the Netherlands; there are no specific rules for this. Do you want to get a mortgage? To get a mortgage you need to live and be registered in the Netherlands. It's a big step to buy a house. There are many rules involved in buying. Hanno has created a 10 Step Plan for an Expat Buying a House in the Netherlands.

Maybe you will only stay in the Netherlands temporarily, for example, for a few months. In that case, short-stay accommodation could be an option for you. It will save you from a long search to get a temporary tenancy agreement, but be prepared for the costs. Short-stay rental accommodation is not cheap. Are you interested? Start your search at The Social Hub and Holland2Stay.

How long in advance?
Sometimes you might find something quickly, and other times it takes longer. If you have planned your move to Eindhoven a while ago, we advise you to start looking for a new place to live now. Use hyperfocus and house hunting skills to be successful.

For students: tips to find a place to live Buying a house: 10-Step Plan for Expats

Registering with the municipality - part 1: Make an appointment

Have you checked all previous steps? Not long now before you make Eindhoven your official home. Next up: Register yourself with the municipality. Are you moving to the Netherlands from abroad? You can now make an online appointment.

Basisregistratie Personen (BRP) (Personal Records Database)
If you stay in the Netherlands for longer than four months, then you are legally obliged to register in the municipality’s Personal Records Database. You can do so with effect from the date of your rental agreement.  When doing so, you will receive a Burgerservicenummer (BSN) (Citizen Service Number), also called a personal identification number. You need this number, for example, to apply for health insurance or to arrange your tax matters. Your BSN will be sent to your address by mail within a few weeks of your registration.

Where to register?
Your place of registration depends on your home address. Do you live in Eindhoven, then register with the municipality of Eindhoven. Do you live in Aalst, Nuenen or any other municipality in the vicinity of Eindhoven? Then you should register there. 

Shorter stay
Do you intend to stay in the Netherlands shorter than three months (pity!), for example, to do your minor? In that case, you don’t need a residence permit if you are from an EU/EER country or Switzerland. Do you also want to work during this short stay? You can do so without a work permit if you meet the conditions. Do you want to stay longer than four months, and is it your first time living in the Netherlands? Go back to the above steps.

Have you scheduled your online appointment? Then just sit down and wait ... No, of course not! You still have plenty of things to do. If all went well, you have an appointment waiting for you on the Inwonersplein five days after your arrival at the latest. Are you moving with your family? Bring them along to the appointment! More information about the appointment is available in part two of registration with the municipality.

💡You can only register with the municipality with a valid home address.

⏰ How long in advance?
Do you have a valid home address? You can register with the municipality from the date of your rental agreement.

Making an appointment with the municipality Moving from abroad

Opening a bank account - Part 1: Orientation & making an appointment

It’s useful to have a Dutch bank account to receive your salary, pay your rent or mortgage, and all other transactions. The Netherlands is a country where we prefer to pay by bank card instead of carrying around cash. A handy fact to know.

Dutch banks
There are many different banks in the Netherlands where you can open a bank account. But some are slightly better in helping expats and others might better suit your beliefs. It’s up to you! We’ve listed a few below:

  • ING
  • Rabobank
  • SNS Bank
  • ASN Bank
  • Triodos

There are also digital banks you can use. Think of bunq for example.

Making an appointment
Have you found a bank that suits you? Time to schedule an appointment. It’s no trouble to make the appointment, but it’s handy if you have it already scheduled. Or maybe you can just walk in.

In part two of ‘opening a bank account’ we tell you more about the appointment and the documents you must bring.

How long in advance?
Great! It doesn’t always take months. With your mobile and your ID in your hand, you can open a Dutch bank account in no time at all. After just a few hours, you will be sent an account number. Would you prefer to go to a bank branch? That’s an option too, but it will take a little longer.

Part 3: The essential ‘to do’s’

Good news: You’re almost finished! You have a job or will (soon) start a study, you have a place to live and are registered with the municipality. Are you ready to take the next steps? This part covers the other online and offline matters that need to be arranged on arrival. Just check them off!

Registering with the municipality - Part 2: Make an appointment with the Inwonersplein

Your appointment is made and, if all goes well, it will not take long before you make your way to the Inwonersplein. To help you prepare, we have gathered some extra information for you.

The Inwonersplein
You can arrange all important matters at the Inwonersplein, i.e. registering with the municipality and collecting your driver's license and passport. The address of the Inwonersplein in Eindhoven is: Stadhuisplein 1.

Preparing for your appointment
It’s useful to prepare for your appointment. Bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • A valid passport
  • Original documents of events (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
  • Your rental or purchase agreement

Are you going to live with someone? Also bring the following:

  • A valid proof of identity of the owner/main occupant
  • A written statement of the owner/main occupant

Are you not from an EU country and do you not have a residence permit yet? Then please contact the Immigratie-en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) (Immigration and Naturalization Service).

💡You can only register with the municipality when you have a valid home address. 

⏰ How long in advance?
Do you have a valid home address? You can register with the municipality from the date of your rental agreement.

Moving from abroad Contact Inwonersplein

Maybe or not, you saw the DigiD mentioned already. DigiD stands for digital identity and can help you arrange your online matters (means of login recognized by the EU). However, it’s not compulsory to apply for a DigiD, but it makes things just a little easier. Many things cannot be arranged on internet without a DigiD. Examples of organizations that work with DigiD: national banks, health insurers and municipalities.

Before you can apply for a DigiD you must meet a number of conditions. You find them below. You can arrange your online application in two different ways: through the DigiD app or the website Are you not yet in the Netherlands but do you want to apply for your DigiD in advance? Different conditions will apply then.

Conditions for applying in the Netherlands

  • Registering with the municipality (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) (Personal Records Data)
  • Burgerservicenummer (Citizen Service Number)

If all goes according to plan, you will receive an activation code via email at the address you are registered in the BRP within three working days. Have you yet to receive it? Then you have probably received a desk code and within 30 working days, you will need to collect your activation code at the DigiD desk.

Conditions for applying from abroad

  • Dutch nationality or nationality from another country in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Valid passport or proof of identity of an EEA country
  • Burgerservicenummer (BSN) (Citizen Service Number)
  • Phone number 
  • Email address

You can apply for a DigiD if you meet these conditions. You will receive a so-called desk code to video call the Netherlands Worldwide. During this video call you will receive your activation code. 

Other European means of login
Perhaps you don’t have a DigiD, but a different recognized European means of login. You can also use this for arranging your matters online with many Dutch organizations.

How long in advance?
Applying for a DigiD is usually arranged within three working days.

Applying for a DigiD in the Netherlands Application from abroad

How to take out an insurance policy?

The Netherlands already proved to be a country of insurances. This is not surprising because in our small country, you can take out an insurance policy for many different things; even for your float (no joke). Only two insurances are compulsory. The two compulsory and most used insurance policies are listed below.

Health Insurance (Zorgverzekering)
As soon as you reside in the Netherlands, taking out a health insurance policy is usually compulsary. You can opt for a basic health insurance policy and choose additional health insurance at your discretion, including dental insurance. 

Car Insurance (WA-verzekering)
You will need third-party liability insurance when you own a car or wish to buy one. In other words: the damage you cause to another vehicle.

Optional insurances
As mentioned, you can take out insurance policies against numerous things. We have listed the insurances most frequently taken out for you:

  • Home insurance 
  • Home contents insurance 
  • Third-party liability insurance 
  • Life insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Legal expenses insurance

How long in advance?
Taking out a Dutch health insurance policy is compulsory in most cases. You should do so within four months.    

Everything about insurances Comparing health care insurances

How to find a local family physician?

Your first contact for health issues in the Netherlands is your family physician. ZorgKaart Nederland might be able to help you find a family physician in your area.

How long in advance?
The steps in this guide indicate that it might be more useful to first apply for your health insurance and to then look for a family physician (GP). This helps you prevent having to pay medical costs yourself.

Family physicians in your area

How to apply for a driving license?

Though you can easily reach most places in Eindhoven by public transport, it is sometimes useful to have a driving license. You may already have one and then you will need to know if it is valid in the Netherlands. If you have just arrived in the Netherlands, you can use your foreign driving license. How long exactly depends on the country where you obtained your driving license. You can convert your foreign driving license into a Dutch one with the municipality.

How to convert your driving license?
Do you want to convert your driving license? Then first find out which regulations apply to the country where you obtained your driving license. Apply for conversion with the municipality where you are staying. Has your application been approved? Bring a valid proof of identity, pass photo and your original driving license to your appointment with the municipality. If you cannot convert your driving license, you will need to do a practical and theoretical exam. You can do so with the CBR (Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing). 

💡It’s not permitted to drive on public roads while your driving license is being converted. You risk a fine if you do so.

How long in advance?
The conversion of a foreign driving license to a Dutch driving license should be done within three weeks.

More information about conversion Make an appointment with the Inwonersplein

Mobile provider

Most providers offer free sim cards for prepaid phones. If you want to conclude a contract for a mobile phone, you need to be registered at a Dutch address, have a bank account, and proof that you are 18 years or older. All mobile numbers in the Netherlands start with +316.

How long in advance?
As quickly as possible, or not?

More about Dutch providers

Deel 4: Follow-up

You've made it. The last steps in our guide will follow after this intro. Everything you must not forget to do during your stay. It might not be fun to arrange these things, BUT after this, you will have time to settle in Eindhoven and enjoy the city in full glory. It’s worth it. Promise! 

Gas, water, light (G/W/L) and waste 

The best way to practice waste segregation and the location from where it will be collected depends on the district where you live. Enter your address in Cure for information about your street. Are you living in Eindhoven? You will be sent the Cure Milieupas (Environmental Card) automatically. It gives you access to two recycling centers to bring your bulky trash and small chemical trash. You also use the card to access the underground containers for household trash. The latter only applies if there are underground containers in your street.

Electricity and gas
The energy sector is privatized in the Netherlands, so it’s up to you to decide which energy supplier to choose. If you are renting, the choice usually has already been made for you. If that’s not the case or you are buying a house, you must choose the supplier yourself. Comparison sites helps you make a choice. The electricity frequency is 50Hz and 230V. The plug has two long round pins.

It’s easy to arrange a water connection: only one water company is active in each region. In Eindhoven and its vicinity, it is Brabant Water. You can register as a new customer  online. The water from the tap is very clean; you can drink it everywhere in the Netherlands.

⏰ How long in advance?
Your energy contract and water connection usually take a few weeks to start. That’s why it’s best to arrange this before you move. You can conclude an energy contract up to three months from the key handover.

More about energy Registering with Brabant Water

Taxes and benefits

In the Netherlands, you pay your taxes at both national and regional level. In addition, there are various benefits and financial allowances for costs of rent, care and, education.

National taxes
If you earn money in the Netherlands, you must pay tax. You do so by making a tax return. Taxes are levied by the Belastingdienst (tax authorities). Depending on your situation, there are various taxes. If a company employs you, you must pay wage tax and national insurance contributions, for example, in addition to income tax. If you have your own company (this applies to freelancers, too), you have to pay sales tax and income tax.

In many cases, foreign employees can use the 30% facility. This facility allows you to not pay tax on maximum 30 per cent of your income. In this way, the Dutch government compensates foreign employees for the extra expenses they need to make to be able to work in the Netherlands (for example, travel expenses and additional living expenses. Conditions provide that explicit expertise is required (expertise) requirement) and that the person has an employment contract.

Naast werkgerelateerde belastingen zijn er meer belastingen die op nationaal niveau worden geheven, bijvoorbeeld milieubelastingen. 

💡Further information about the Dutch tax system and how to make your annual tax return is available on the site of the Belastingdienst (Dutch tax authorities).

Provincial and local taxes
The Belastingdienst is not the only party in the Netherlands that collects taxes. Provinces, municipalities and water boards also do so.

In addition to its tax system, the Netherlands also has an extensive benefits system. Benefits are meant as financial allowances towards health insurance, rent or childcare, for example. Depending on your financial situation, you may for example be eligible for rent or health care allowance. All parents/carers in the Netherlands can apply for children’s allowance for children up to the age of 18. Are you a working parent? You can apply for childcare benefit as an allowance towards childcare costs.

💡More information about benefits and how to apply for them is available on the website of the Belastingdienst (tax authorities).

 How long in advance?
Is there a blue envelope on your doormat? You have received mail from the Dutch tax authorities. You can best open the envelope as quickly as possible.

More information on paying taxes More about benefits 

The ultimate guide for settling in Eindhoven

From the Dutch healthcare system to public transportation, you'll find everything and more in part 2 of our guide.

Teach me everything!