Moving on to the next chapter can be a time of mixed emotions. Sure, leaving any place where you’ve settled, made great friends, and integrated into the culture is always hard and sad, but the Netherlands… that’s a tough one. Still, whether you’re bidding a final “tot zeins” for work, family, or a fresh new start, it’s important to look forward to exciting times ahead.
The thing is, it’s not quite as easy as canceling your phone contract and catching the next plane out. Remember all the bureaucracy coming in? Well, it’s pretty much the same going out. That means not leaving anything to the last minute and never assuming something won’t take long. This is the Netherlands, after all. Planning is key! It might seem like a chore but it’ll pay off in the long run. To help you get ready for the big move, we’ve put together this essential checklist for leaving the Netherlands.
Deregister from the BRP
One of the top things on your checklist for leaving the Netherlands is to deregister from the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP). You can do this from a month before you leave. Arrange an appointment at your local municipality and indicate your date of departure. You’ll need to show up with a valid ID, such as your passport, and have your old and new address at hand. The municipality will inform all other government authorities that you are leaving the country.
Sort Out Your Rental Contract
Get in touch with your landlord or property management company to tell them that you’re leaving. If you’re not sure of the notice period, check your contract and go through any other relevant clauses. Usually, you’ll need to give at least one month’s notice. To stand the best chance of getting your deposit back in full, make sure the place is clean and tidy and there’s nothing missing from the inventory. In most cases, you can offset it against the last month or two of rent.
Decide Whether to Rent or Sell Your Property
If you’ve gone through all the hard work of buying a property in the Netherlands, now is the time to decide whether to sell it or rent it out. If you decide to sell, getting a real estate agent is one of the first things to do. This list of real estate agents and property management in the Netherlands is a great place to start. You should also consider how long the process will take and how your mortgage (if you have one) will come into play.
If renting seems like an attractive option, you’ll need to check if you’re allowed, considering you’re no longer a resident in the Netherlands. Then comes seeking out the right tenants and discussing with an advisor what options you have regarding your mortgage.
Close Your Bank Account
Your bank account should be kept open until final bills have been settled and any direct debits canceled. Once the last paycheck is in and the final month of rent is paid, you can transfer your balance and close it. Most banking in the Netherlands is online nowadays and you can usually do it there. If not, it’s possible to do it in person or send a letter via registered mail. If your bank operates internationally, you can of course keep it open. Make sure to inform them of your move anyway and provide your new address to avoid any blocks on your account due to activity abroad they may see as suspicious.
Pay Your Taxes
It may be the case that you have to pay tax in the year following your move away. Don’t even think about trying to slip off without paying it. Even if you are moving to the other side of the world — they will hunt you down! When it comes to rebates, the rules can be quite complicated. You can find more information on the Dutch Tax Authorities website or get in touch with one of these top Dutch tax advisors in the Netherlands.
Cancel Your Utilities
As with any house move, you’ll need to settle and cancel your utility bills. You can do this all in one go through stopmycontract.com, a platform set up by the folks at Partner Pete. It covers all the known utility providers in the Netherlands. Simply let them know when you want to cancel your contracts and they will send a letter to the relevant suppliers to terminate them. It’s as easy as that. The service covers gas, electricity, water, internet, TV, and landline and costs between €2.99 and €13.00 per letter, depending on whether you’d like it sent via regular or registered mail. This is especially handy as you won’t have to deal with translating any complicated information. Let the professionals take care of it and focus on the rest of your move.
Hand In Your Residence Permit
As difficult as it may be, you’ll need to add returning your residence permit to your checklist for leaving the Netherlands. This can be done by handing it in at your nearest IND desk or sending it to them via post. It’s recommended to keep a copy of the front and back of your residence permit for future reference.
Redirect Your Mail
It can be easy to forget about redirecting your mail when there are a million other things to do before you leave. You can arrange for your mail to be redirected through the Dutch postal service (PostNL). They will also pass on your change of address to relevant companies free of charge and give you an overview of those that have been informed. That way, you won’t miss any important correspondence during your move.
Cancel Any Leftover Insurances and Subscriptions
Don’t forget to cancel all the insurance policies (pet, bike, contents, vehicle, etc.) and subscriptions (gym, magazines, wine deliveries) you won’t be needing anymore. Double-check whether some carryover or are still useful to have, for example, house insurance when renting out your property.
Stop Your Healthcare Plan
You will need to cancel your health insurance when leaving the Netherlands to avoid continued billings. It’s a relatively straightforward process that can be done online or over the phone but is a vital part of your checklist for leaving the Netherlands. You’ll also need to get hooked up with a new one when you move. Cigna offers a range of flexible international health insurance plans for individuals, families, students, couples, contractors, retirees, and more.
With roots in healthcare as deep as 225 years, Cigna is a globally recognized and trusted health services company. Their connections to a global network of over 1.65 million hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals allow easy access to medical care, and direct billing is available with many of their providers within their global network.
Aside from a global coverage on their Silver, Gold, and Platinum policies, other benefits include access to private hospital rooms, full cancer care, mental and behavioral healthcare, and rehabilitation.
You will also have access to convenient healthcare tools and support, including their Clinical Case Management Programme which provides personalized medical advice and support from their team of dedicated doctors and nurses, and also access to their Cigna Wellbeing™ App for unlimited phone or video doctor consultations.
Cigna’s customer care team is available to you 24/7 and has multi-lingual capabilities. Their plans are flexible and allow you to build a plan that suits your healthcare needs and budget with the choice of optional modules and cost-share options. You will receive a decision on your application within 24 hours.
Getting everything on this checklist for leaving the Netherlands done might seem daunting, but if you give yourself plenty of time to tick everything off, it’ll be an absolute breeze. Bid farewell to friends and say goodbye to the things that made the Netherlands great for you. Bike out to the countryside, visit your favorite museum or enjoy one last stroopwafel by the canal. Whatever it is, be sure to cherish your final days and enjoy the things you’ll miss. Until the next time.