BSN burger service nummer | social security number/ Sofi Number in the Netherlands
Everyone who resides in the Netherlands must have a BSN (Burgerservicenumber). This is sometimes referred to as a Sofi Number (social security number). The BSN is the citizen number and is the unique reference number for every person residing in the Netherlands.
Why is it so important? Well, if you want to make use of the Netherland's governmental and financial services you will need to show them your BSN. You will need a BSN to interact with the Dutch authorities, as well as to enable your employer to deduct your tax and social security contributions. You will also need a BSN to open a bank account which you will need if you are to be paid. You will also need a bank account to pay your rent/mortgage, utilities suppliers and to establish additional financial services such as insurance.
Basically, you pretty much need a BSN to operate in the Netherlands and this is why the BSN is the first administrative issue which you must take care of when arriving in the Netherlands.
Applying for your BSN in the Netherlands
The good news is that it is fairly straightforward to apply for a BSN as long as you have the right paperwork with you. The paperwork that you need depends on where you come from.
If you are an EU citizen, then you need a valid proof of identity such as a passport or European National Identity card, (a driving license will not do) and a registered address. If you come from outside the EU, in addition to these documents you will need your residence permit, employment contract, registration etc...
As soon as you have gathered these documents you should arrange an appointment with your local office of Tax Administration or the City Hall and this must be done within 4 months of arrival.
Note , if you are only staying in the Netherlands for less then four months and you work for a Dutch based firm, you will need to apply for a Sofi Number instead.
If you need more information about the BSN or Sofi Number visit their website: www.burgerservicenummer.nl/
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