After a long trip you have finally arrived in the Netherlands, but what’s next? What are the COVID-19 regulations and where can you collect your residence permit? Is basic health insurance mandatory and do you need a personal travel card? All questions that we will answer in this blog. We will guide you through the process and will be there for you during your cultural exchange. Read on!
Step 1: Self-quarantine for 10 days after you arrive in the Netherlands
It’s so exciting that you decided to join our Au Pair Programme! First of all it’s important that you check COVID-19 test requirements before you fly. When you are flying from Costa Rica you need a test to fly.
Therefore you need:
- A negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 48 hours before departure in the foreign country.
- Or a negative antigen test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before departure. At the airport you need to provide a negative test result and a regular health declaration.
Step 2: Collect your residence permit 5-10 days after your arrival
You can book the appointment here. You’ll receive an invitation to collect this via email.
Step 3: Attend a Gemeente (city hall) appointment
Here you can register as a resident at your host family’s address. Take your passport, residence permit card, apostille birth certificate and civil status certificate with you. You will get a BSN (identification number needed for every step below) via the post.
Step 4: Get a DigiD
Apply here for your DigiD. You will get a letter within 3 days with an activation code to use the app on your phone and gain acces to many official sites that use your BSN.
Step 5: Open a bank account
We recommend ABN AMRO or ING as their apps are easy to use. This only takes 15 minutes via the app and you get access to your account after confirmation via post in a week.
Step 6: Basic health insurance is mandatory
You can go with any insurance provider of your choice but we recommend Zorg en Zekerheid because they are familiar with the laws about au pairs not being employees.
If you set the ‘eigen risico’ amount to €500, then your monthly payments go down. It will most likely be €97 per month. It is best to pay this from your own bank account because of the next steps. You will be charged for the months from your date of entry.
Step 7: Apply for ‘zorgtoeslag’
This is a government subsidy for people who do not earn an income in the Netherlands. They will send you €100 approximately for every month that you have basic health insurance.
This will keep happening every month until you stop your basic health insurance and inform the Belastingdienst that you are leaving The Netherlands and deregister yourself from the host family’s address with the Gemeente at the end of your year. We will remind you to do these things before you leave the Netherlands.
Step 8: Attend a TB screening appointment
Click here to make your appointment. Contact the GGD local to you. If you don’t do this, your residence permit could be taken away. Please let us know when you book this! You can google: “GGD + your town name + TBC onderzoek” to get the contact details for the GGD clinic responsible for your region. Take your passport, residence permit card and/or visa approval letter and this TB test referral form with you, completed and signed.
Step 9: Get a personal travel card
Get your OV-card here. If you are going to use public transport every week you need an OV-chipcard. You can use it on any mode of public transport across the Netherlands. It costs €7,50 to register and after this you can add credit to it from your bank account.
Make sure that there is at least €20 on this card to get onto a train. Remember to always tap in and out at the beginning and end of every journey on every mode of transport. If you forget this, you will be charged the maximum fare.
Step 10: The train company is called NS
They have various subscriptions. Your host agreed to pay for a monthly subscription for discounted travel for you. Talk to your host about the subscription that suits your needs.
Step 11: Talk with your host family about the mobile phone SIM-only contract
Remember to switch to wifi at home and at friend’s houses so you don’t use up all your data. We recommend BEN but your host might have chosen a different company if the coverage near their home is better. The host is obligated to pay a minimum of €10 for your mobile phone usage.
Spend a weekend day at home to bond with your host family at least once every two weeks. Set up a regular time to sit with them to review the week before and the week ahead.
Welcome to The Netherlands!
As said before you have to self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival and collect your residence permit 5-10 days after your arrival. You have to attend a Gemeente (city hall) appointment and get a DigiD. We advise to open a bank account and to get the Zorg en Zekerheid basic health insurance. Don’t forget to apply for ‘zorgtoeslag’ and attend a TB screening appointment. We also recommend to get a personal travel card, the train company is called NS. As last we advise to talk with your host family about your mobile phone SIM-only contract.
Frequently asked questions:
Is my au pair’s driver’s license valid in The Netherlands?
Your au pair may drive in The Netherlands if he or she comes from Europe. If the au pair does not have a European driver’s license, she can drive in The Netherlands for a certain period. How long depends on the country where the driver’s license was issued. You can also convert the driver’s license to a Dutch driver’s license or retake the exam, but that can be quite expensive. For more information please check the website of the RDW: https://www.rdw.nl/over-rdw/information-in-english/private/driving-licence/can-i-exchange-a-foreign-driving-licence
What sort of work does an au pair do in the house?
The au pair supports the family for a maximum of 30 hours a week with childcare and doing light household work that could also be done by another member of the family. For example, vacuum cleaning, doing the laundry or dishes, wiping down the kitchen surfaces after food preparation, clearing the table after a meal or messy craft activities and walking the dog. Many parents also appreciate the au pair cooking and eating dinner with the kids in case they get home later than usual.