Rotterdam Expat Centre is now Rotterdam International Center. We have moved into a new office in the Groot Handelsgebouw read more


If you are planning to stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, you are required to register with the municipality where you will be living as soon as you arrive. You have to register in person at the city hall. This first registration (eerste vestiging) is needed in order to issue your Citizen Service Number (Burger Service Nummer, or BSN), which is absolutely vital for all residents of the Netherlands.

Within five days of your arrival, you must register your presence in the Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen or BRP). You can register by making an appointment at the municipality where you will be living. To make an appointment in Rotterdam, please call +31 (0)10-2671625 and ask for an appointment for registration from abroad. If you have a partner and/or children, they will also need to be registered at a separate appointment. You can register yourself and your partner and/or children in one extended appointment, if you book the additional time in advance. Registration is free of charge.

Residence permit needed?

For non-EU citizens: first make an appointment with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) to apply for a residence permit. After approval from the IND, you can make an appointment to register at the city hall. Your Citizen Service Number (Burger Service Nummer, or BSN) will be issued after you submitted the required documents listed below. The BSN will then be sent to your home address. This process usually takes about four weeks.

Things you will need to bring along in order to register:

1. Your passport or national ID card (EU)
If you are a national of a European country, then your passport or ID card will be needed in order to register. Your driving license from an EU country is not an accepted proof of identity at this time. If you are not from Europe, then a passport will be required. An ID card or driving license from a non-EU country is not an accepted proof of identity.

2. A completed print-out of the application form
A separate copy of the form must be completed correctly for each person registering.

3. Proof of residence/a tenancy agreement/signed statement by main occupant

  • If you will be renting a house: a copy of the rental contract or the tenancy agreement, filled in and signed by the landlord.
  • If you will be sharing a house with someone: a form declaration by main occupant, completed and signed by the person giving you permission to register at his/her address, accompanied by a photocopy of his/her passport or ID and a copy of the tenancy agreement (verhuurdersverklaring). If the person giving consent for you to live in their house does not live at the same address, then you will also need to prove that they own the residence. (If the registered occupant is married, you only need to provide a signed statement by the main occupant.)
  • If you bought a house: a copy of the purchase agreement for the property.
  • If you will be staying in a hotel: Please bring a written statement from the hotel manager stating specifically that you are allowed to register at the hotel address; your full name must be specified in the statement. This letter must be signed and stamped by the manager. A confirmation letter of the hotel reservation is not sufficient.
My living situation: You need these documents:
I rent an apartment/house Rental contract or a tenancy agreement
I’m living with a tenant who is the main occupant Form declaration by main occupant and a copy of his/her ID

Tenancy agreement signed by the owner

I’m living with the owner Form declaration by main occupant and a copy of his/her ID

Please be aware that rental contracts/tenancy agreements with dates in the future or older than three months will not be accepted,  and that a housing permit is needed to live in certain neighbourhoods in Rotterdam (HVV). Check your postal code here.

4. A residence permit, if applicable
Non-EU nationals must have a valid provisional residence permit (Machtiging voor Voorlopig Verblijf, MVV), which allows you to enter the Netherlands, or proof of being in the process of applying for a provisional residence permit.

5. Birth/marriage certificate
Your original birth certificate. If applicable, you will also need a notarised copy of your marriage certificate, and any divorce decree(s) or death certificate(s). These certificates must be in English or Dutch, or translated to one of these languages, and legalised by an approved notary (this international document is called an ‘apostille’). You can find more information about apostilles on the website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

6. Housing permit (if applicable)
Certain neighbourhoods in Rotterdam require a housing permit (huisvestingsvergunning or HVV). This means that the tenant (in this case you) needs permission to live in a rental house in these areas. To apply for a housing permit from the Public Affairs office of the municipality, please make an appointment by calling (+31)10-2671625 (press 2 for an English-speaking officer).  To find a full overview of the streets that require a housing permit, click here.

Please note that in some streets in Rotterdam, Article 10 of the Special Measures for Metropolitan Problems Act (Wbmgp) applies. This is also known as ‘the Rotterdam Act‘. If you register for long-term registration and you need a housing permit (huisvestingsvergunning or HVV) with the Article 10 screening, you can only register with the municipality and not with the Rotterdam International Center.


Highly Skilled Migrant: one stop service

If you are a highly skilled migrant (the term used by the IND is kennismigrant), your employer will arrange the registration for you, your partner and your children. Once you receive approval from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for your ‘highly skilled migrant’ status, a combined appointment will be scheduled for you to pick up your residence permit and register at the municipality. This will be organised via the Rotterdam International Center (formerly Rotterdam Expat Centre); you or your employer can make an appointment here.


Be aware that some cities in the Netherlands require you to remove yourself from your previous country’s official register of residents (this mainly applies to EU citizens who relocate here). If you do not deregister in your previous country of residence before registering in the Netherlands, you may be obliged to pay taxes in both countries. It is also important that you deregister from the municipality when you leave the Netherlands.

Note: You must go to city hall in person for your first registration. However, once you are in the municipal register, any relocation to a different address within Rotterdam can be registered with the municipality online or by post.


If you have been registered in the Netherlands prior, and are intending to stay in the Netherlands again for a period of more than 4 months, you will have to re-register in the municipal records database (BRP). For this you can also schedule an appointment at the International Center if you fall under the stated criteria. You require the same documents as for first registration, except instead of the first registration form, you fill in the re-registration form.