Items marked with * are mandatory.


  • Although it is not mandatory, it will be useful to update your passport so that you have as long as possible until it needs renewing.
  • If possible update your driving licence so that it is valid for at least 185 days (half a year) after your arrival day. This is not mandatory but will make things easier.
  • Legalisation: have your birth certificate, and marriage and/or divorce certificates/documents legalised or sanctioned/apostilled. * Certain documents may also need to be translated if not already written in English, French, German or Dutch.
  • Apply for a work permit (if applicable) and/or residence permit (if applicable). *


  • Get a feeling for the Leiden region by signing up for the Expat Centre Leiden newsletters.

Financial arrangements

  • Arrange with your bank in which manner accounts are to be handled during your assignment.
  • Cancel pending/standing orders, if necessary.
  • Inform your tax office of your move and complete any necessary forms.


  • Collect examples of your child's current schoolwork and reports, test results, etc. (in Dutch or English when possible).
  • Check if the school/s you are interested in have waiting lists and apply for a place/s for your child/children. Do the same for childcare organisations, if necessary.
  • Speak with a tax consultant regarding tax exemptions and the implications of school fees.
  • Take photos of family, friends and familiar places.
  • Check that children have the contact details of friends with whom they wish to stay in touch.
  • Ensure that favourite toys, personal items, special food, books and games are carried in your hand luggage.


  • Request medical records - make sure you obtain your children's full vaccination records.
  • Make sure you bring sufficient medication to cover the first few weeks of your stay, if necessary.

Social security

  • If applicable, obtain an E101 form if you wish to pay social security contributions in your home country.
  • Check your health insurance - make sure that you are covered at all times.
  • Check with your employer for the possibility of collective insurance deals.


  • Check out housing websites to get a feel for prices, dimensions, and locations.
  • Check with your company/organisation for possible assistance with housing.
  • Take measurements of ‘must take' furniture to check it will fit in any potential property.
  • Get quotes from removal companies for rates for your international move.
  • Decide what is to happen with any property in your home country, rent it out, sell it. Take appropriate action to organise this in time.


  • Check that you have appropriate identification (chip or tattoo) and documentation (e.g. Pet Passport) for your pets.
  • Make sure that vaccinations and parasite treatments are up-to-date
  • Check if you require a flight reservation for your pets.


  • Consider in advance whether you keep your car. Cars in the Netherlands are relatively expensive, due to a specific once-only car tax (BMP) and possible import duties.
  • To avoid these taxes and duties, you can bring your own car in along with your housing effects.  Important precondition is, that you have owned (and registered) that car for at least half a year.
  • Obtain a no-claim statement from your current insurance company.
  • See for details: Motor Vehicle and Driving License    

       coming to

       settling in

          living in