If you want anymore info on this, send me an email.
- You will need the current prerequisites.
- Get the visa. I am not sure if you need current residency in the country you are in, which is the usual situation for visas. Apply before you leave and you will save yourself so much stress. You can apply in London, which I did. It took about a week. You DON’T need an appointment for the visa IN London (I know it says you do, but you don’t), but you do have to turn up at a certain time; before 9.30 when I did it. Call them. Yes it is a pain in the ass.
- When you get there, register at a police station. Well, you can try and infact you should be able to, but it seems impossible as noone at the police station knows about this type of visa. I ended up going to the foreigners police (Vreemdelingenpolitie) and registering there. They will say you don’t have to go there and you can do it at any police station, but good luck with that. It will take about 1-2 hours depending on the number of people.
- Get an address to send mail. Somewhere, anywhere in the Netherlands. You need it to do anything with the authorities. Find a long lost Dutch friend or anyone you know (you must know someone Dutch) and get an address. Write it down. Carry it in your wallet.
- Get a mobile phone number. Memorise it.
- Make an appointment with the IND. Take the Visa fee in CASH. If you can, go to the centre in Hoofdorp. It is almost immediately outside the station. Look for the IND sign. You go up some stairs. It takes about an hour and you get your passport back immediately. No waiting for it in the mail. Now you have another sticker in there.
You will need all your evidence of money, travel insurance, and flights!
- Ignore people that say you need a work permit. You don’t. It is in the visa.
- Make an appointment with the Tax Department directly and apply for a SOFI (a kind of temporary, but somehow lifelong, tax number) The longer term number which you get if you register with a city is called a BSN number, which is the same thing really.
When you get there, they might say you need a work permit. Tell them it is included. Show them the letters you received or got when you applied. Point to somewhere in the middle of your new visa from the IND and say “it says here I don’t need one” even though you clearly have no idea. It does say it there somewhere. Don’t worry, they will probably lose your booking and you will have to wait 2 hours there giving you enough time to sort it out. Don’t make phone calls in the waiting area. They don’t like it.
- Don’t worry about registering with the city / town hall. This is a difficult thing to do unless you are paying rent where you have a rental agreement and are likely to stay more than 4 months. As you basically have a free pass with the WHS to wander around, you won’t be staying in the same place. If you don’t “register”, you also don’t need to “de-register” as you never technically were in a city. Makes things easier when you leave.
- Get a bank account. You need a SOFI or BSN for this, so you will need to have gone through the hoops to get here. You won’t get paid in the Netherlands without a bank account. Most places will not take credit cards. Almost all will take cash except for some annoyingly poncy places like the fancy supermarket “Marqt”.
- Remember you are there, by the terms of the visa, to explore the culture of the Dutch. Take some lessons in basic pronunciation. It will help you significantly getting about.
There are somethings to note.
Dutch customer service is questionable at best. I am not against the Dutch, it’s just that many shops or government departments appear to see you as a hindrance rather than a customer / client. This doesn’t always apply. Many of the local pubs and restaurants have the most “keen to impress” owners. I had a Roti restaurant owner go out and buy some meat from the supermarket because they had run out of the one I wanted.
In regards to the requirements of the visa, they say you need a birth certificate. I never actually used mine, even though I have it. It cost $70 (Certificate + Dutch Authentication/Translation done in Wellington). Supposedly you use it when you register in a city. I never did, so never used it. I think you should probably get one. Just in case. Can be useful if you lose your passport too.
If you have any questions, just ask in a comment, or email me at dann@this sites address.