Why do you need a social security number?

Every citizen in The Netherlands has a social security number (Burger Service Nummer, BSN). This social security number is necessary when you start living in the Netherlands. You will receive your personal BSN when your registration at the municipality is completed.

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Applying for your social security number or BSN

Not every foreigner automatically gets a social security number when arriving in the Netherlands. Non-EU citizens also depend on an action by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). After visiting the municipality, you go to the IND to hand in your application for a residence permit. After acceptance, your social security number will be sent to your home address. This usually takes about 10 days.

When will you need a social security number?

You need a social security when you want to work, take out insurance, open a bank account, receive salary or apply for special benefits. But sometimes your stay in The Netherlands is shorter than 4 months. In that case you can apply for a Sofi-number by the Dutch Tax Administration. You have to make an appointment via the tax information line from the Tax Administration: 0031 (0)800-0543.

Conditioning terms when applying for a social security number

Be aware that even though you are in the possession of a tax and social security number, it does not automatically imply that you may stay or work in The Netherlands. To obtain a social security number (or BSN) you must present a valid passport or identity card (if your are an EU member) and your address details. You may only obtain a social security number for yourself or your children under 16 years old.

When you are not a EU member or from Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, your must have a note or sticker in your passport that permits you to stay and work here. You can request this at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

More information about a social security number in The Netherlands

For more information about a social security number in The Netherlands, please contact the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service Desk (IND). Telephone number: 0031- (0)55 538 53 85. Finsens can help or advice your on this subject or other expat services. Please contact us by email: info@finsens.nl or call us: 0031 (0)20 2624300.