What should I do before moving?

13th August 2003, Comments 0 comments

Before you leave the Netherlands read our legal experts' essential moving checklist.


I’m a Canadian expat. A few weeks ago my employer decided to transfer me back to our head office in Toronto, Canada. I’m making a list of "to do’s" for the months to come. I think it is important to leave with a clean bill of health, as I might accept another two-year assignment in the Netherlands in a few years time. Please give me some pointers so that I do not leave any loose strings.

Most expatriates in the Netherlands have two to three year assignments before they are transferred out again, back home or to another country. Before the departure however, you and your employer should take care of some outstanding legal matters, such as informing the local Aliens Police, your local municipality, and the Employment Office. In this column, I’ve briefly described a few of the essentials.

Technically, your Dutch residence permit is, and remains, the property of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Therefore, you are obliged to return the residence permit before you officially depart for Canada.

I recommend you return the residence permit to your local Aliens Police department in person and ask them for a receipt. Or you could send it to your local Aliens Police department by registered mail. Remember to keep the proof of transmission. You should make a copy of the front and the back of your permit for future reference. Also write down your Crv number that is indicated on your residence permit.

If you fail to return the residence permit, Aliens Police will register this in their nationwide investigation system, in order to avoid misuse.

Most likely, your employer has secured a Dutch work permit before your actual employment in the Netherlands commenced. Your employer is required to inform the Employment Office (Centrum voor Werk en Inkomen) or the Central Employment Office in Zoetermeer (Afdeling tewerkstellingsvergunningen) as soon as a work permit has not been used for more than four weeks.

This is clearly stipulated on the backs of the original work permit. For your information: the Labour Act regarding aliens (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen) says that a work permit that is not used will be revoked.

You probably got yourself registered as a local resident with the municipality (gemeente). I suggest you contact the municipality’s Afdeling burgerzaken, and ask them about their de-registration procedure. You should also make inquiries regarding payment of outstanding local taxes, such as ‘OZB’.

Also remember to contact the Dutch Tax Department. If you have been (or should have been) paying federal taxes in the Netherlands, you should settle a possible income tax claim. Before you contact the Belastingdienst, I recommend you ask your company’s accountant or tax lawyer for some guidance in this matter.

Patrick Rovers

October 2002

Dear Expatica readers, feel free to contact our office with any questions or suggestions for future columns you may have. But please note that due to a hectic schedule and a planned holiday there may be some delay in a response.

This column is for informative purposes only, is general in nature, and is not intended to be a substitute for competent legal and professional advice. Dutch rules and regulations regarding aliens, work permits, visas, and residence permits are continuously subject to change.

Patrick Rovers and Hans van Velzen

Subject: Ask the Experts

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