Rotterdam welcomes expats with red carpet

10th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

On Thursday, 9 October, Councillor Mark Harbers (economy, ports and environment) officially opened the Rotterdam Expat desk at the World Trade Centre on Coolsingel.

This desk offers assistance to expatriates and internationals with practical issues they may encounter. Foreign workers are able go to the Expat desk for information on education, housing, national insurance number (sofi number), sports clubs, and recreation options in the city.

The Rotterdam Expat desk is part of the city’s effort to strengthen its position as an international seaport and an international city. Over the coming years Rotterdam wants to present itself as an attractive location for companies, organisations and institutions.

"Inherent to this is that our city is very welcoming to international companies and helps them to get started as much as possible when they come here to live and work," said to councillor Mark Harbers.

Important condition for location
Rotterdam has around 350 American 230 Asian companies and 550 European and internationally-oriented Dutch companies which create a large international community of approximately 30,000 expatriates (expats) and highly skilled migrants in Rotterdam. It is expected that the number of expats and highly skilled migrants coming to the Netherlands will increase over the forthcoming years. Attracting and retaining foreign workers and knowledge is essential to Rotterdam because this is an important condition for the location of foreign companies. That is why many different parties are working together in Rotterdam to help these groups start out in the city.  

Collaboration with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND)
The Rotterdam Expat desk is based in the heart of the city, in the WTC on Coolsingel. In addition to the actual desk, there is also a digital section. This can be found at The Rotterdam Expat desk works together with the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). This means that required procedures can be shortened considerably. The Expat desk is part of a package of measures by which the municipality of Rotterdam wants to improve its provision of service to employers and citizens.        

 For more information: The Rotterdam Expat Desk is based at the World Trade Center, Room 337 / 338 on Beursplein 37 in Rotterdam. Tel. 010 – 205 28 29 or visit   

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