FAQ

Municipality / Registration

How can I register at the municipality of Tilburg?


You can visit the municipality by appointment only. To make an appointment, use the online form on the website or give them a call. Website: www.tilburg.nl/english Phone number: 14 013 (or +31 13 5428494 if you're outside the Netherlands)




What is a BSN?


The Burgerservicenummer (BSN) is a unique personal number in the Netherlands. It's also known as a social security number. Anyone who is registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) will receive a BSN. After immigration, the municipality can register you in the BRP once they have received permission from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), and you have a valid residence permit. Do note: a BSN is a personal number and therefore valid for your whole life. So even if you applied for a BSN years ago, left the country and came back, you will have the same BSN.




What do I need to register at the municipality?


You need a valid residence permit and your passport to identify yourself. In addition, you will need an address to register at. In case you do not have an address yet, you can register at a with a friend or family as a RNI. Read more here: https://www.government.nl/topics/personal-data/question-and-answer/how-i-can-register-in-the-non-residents-records-database for more information.




Where can I find information in English on the website of Gemeente Tilburg?


Here you find the link to the English part of the website: https://www.tilburg.nl/english/ Features included are: - Make an appointment - Report a change of address - Get in contact - Social security number (BSN) - Waste disposal




When do I need to register as a resident with the municipality?


If you will be living in the Netherlands for longer than 4 months, you must register as a resident with the Personal Records Database (BRP). You must register with the municipality: - At your permanent home address; - At a correspondence address, if you don’t have a permanent home address You must register within 5 days of arriving in the Netherlands. If your partner and/or children have also come to live in the Netherlands, they must come with you to the municipality. You will be given a citizen service number (BSN) when you register. You will need this number when you contact the government, for example to ask for care or pay taxes. You cannot always register with the BRP immediately. - You must legally be a resident in the Netherlands. This means you may need to apply for a residence permit first. - Your identity will need to be confirmed. This may mean extra investigation, or you may need to submit more information If you do not live in the Netherlands or will be staying for less than 4 months, you can register as a non-resident in the Non-residents Records Database (RNI) using your address abroad. You will be given a BSN, which you will usually need when you contact the government. If you are moving to another municipality in the Netherlands, you must register with your new municipality. The municipality you are leaving will make sure you are deregistered. A move to a new address in the same municipality must also be registered. Sometimes this can be done online.





Housing

I need housing. What is the best way to find accomodation? What to avoid? What tips do you have?


The short answer: just keep on trying. At the moment there is a big housing shortage in the Netherlands, especially in Tilburg and even more so for international students. There are many websites and private companies that provide housing in Tilburg, such as 'Kamernet.nl', 'Huurwoningen.nl', '123Wonen', 'P&D Housing', 'Student Housing Holland' and more. But be aware of malpractices. Unfortunately this happens often and law is not always enforced correctly. Other things to be aware of:

  • Never pay rent up front before seeing a place and having signed a contract, fraud is very common;
  • Always translate your contract before signing if it is in Dutch, know your rights and duties;
  • Be sure to take pictures of the accomodation to show how you've received it, this can help in later disputes about deposits;
  • Always ask whether you can register at the address, it is obligated and otherwise it is illegal housing.




I can't find housing. Are there any temporary solutions?


If you are a student at Tilburg University, the university often has temporary solutions for you. Contact the International Office for more information. E-mailaddress: internationaloffice@tilburguniversity.edu Phone number: +316 4664657 If you are not a student, the cheapest option to find a temporary stay is Hostel Roots. For more information, take a look on their website: www.hostelroots.nl




My rental agreement is in Dutch. How do I know it's safe?


By translating it! It sometimes happens that renters provide Dutch contracts that are very beneficial for the renter, but not for the tenant. To know what your rights and duties are, we always recommend translating the contract before signing it. In addition, never sign a Dutch contract based on an English translation you receive from the renter, unless it is a certified renter. We've encountered cases in which the English contract was very different from the Dutch one that was signed, leading to awful disputes.




I got scammed by my landlord. What now?


Always report it to the police. You can make an appointment with the police station at Stationstraat. In case you need legal advice, make an appointment with ' Juridisch Loket', they provide legal advice for a small depending on your income.





Healthcare

Do I need a Dutch health insurance?


This depends on your reason to stay in the Netherlands and the duration. In short, everyone staying for a longer period of time needs to have a healthcare insurance. You will have four months to apply for an insurance. As soon as you apply, the starting date will change to the moment you registered with a municipality. The exception are international students, they are not allowed to take out a public healthcare insurance until they start working in the Netherlands. Until then, a student insurance or European insurance suffices. Do note: if you do not apply for a public healthcare insurance in time, you risk a fine of up to €400 and a compensation of €100 per month uninsured. So always be sure to apply in time. Do you want us to apply for an insurance? Check out what we can do here.




How do I apply for a Dutch health insurance?


You can apply for a Dutch healthcare insurance with any insurance company. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment with us and we will make sure you get the package you want and never pay more than you should. Check it out here.




Can I get an allowance for my Dutch health insurance?


If you pay taxes and have a valid residence permit, you can apply for an allowance called 'Zorgtoeslag'. This allowance is a gift from the government and is based on your income. If you earn less than €21.000 per year, you can get up to €104,- per month. For more information look at the website of the Belastingdienst. In need of help? Next to the insurance, we can also apply for the allowance. Check it out here.




I'm feeling ill and I need a doctor. How do I get help?


The way the Dutch healthcare system works is that, in general, you first visit a GP ('Huisarts') when you are feeling ill and need medical advice or medicines. The GP will assess your situation and refer you to a hospital or specialist when necessary. Be sure to register with a GP in your neighbourhood to avoid paying visitation fees. If you are properly insured, visits to the GP are always free. In weekends, GP's are closed and you will need to visit the 'Huisartsenpost'. Visits to specialists and hospitals often are expensive and will be deducted from your own risk 'eigen risico'. This is an annual amount of medical expenses you will have to pay yourself before the insurance covers the extra expenses you make. In cases of emergency, you can go to the hospital directly, more precise: 'Spoedeisende Hulp'. Dentists require an additional insurance to be covered by your healthcare provider. Ask for the posibilities.




I want to register for a GP. Which practices are open for internationals?


Work in progress. Please check this item at a later time.




I'm looking for a dentist. Where can I find one?


Dentist are available throughout the city. Find one at Google Maps and call them to ask whether they can register new patients. We recommend 'Tandarts013' in Tilburg.




I need medical help and it's an emergency. What should I do?


Where you should go depends on the kind of emergency you are in. If it comes to immediate interventions, you can visit the 'Spoedeisende Hulp' at one of Tilburg's two hospitals. If it is urgent, but not too much of an emergency, go to a GP ('Huisarts'). If something happens in the weekends, visit the 'Huisartsenpost'.





Transport in the NL

How does public transport work in the Netherlands?


All public transport works with use of an OV Chipcard. You can easily buy an anonymous OV chipcard at NS machines or supermarkets. At machines at train stations and supermarkets you can top up credit to travel with. If you want discount subscriptions for trains, you can apply for a personal OV chipcard with NS (national train company). Need help with applying for a personal OV chipcard, book an appointment! Tips and tricks

  • Public transport in general can be expensive, so to travel cheap within a city we recommend getting a bicycle.
  • When traveling, always check the number of a bus/metro/tram as well as the directions, as often one number goes in two opposite directions.
  • At NS, you can borrow an OV bike for just a few euros per day.
  • Taxi's are very expensive in the Netherlands and not often used.
  • Plan ahead! Use apps or websites such as 9292OV, NS or Google Maps to plan your trip and check for any delays.




I don't understand the traffic rules. Where can I find an overview?


The Netherlands has one of the best road safety records in Europe as well as the most bikes in Europe. This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information.




How do I exchange my foreign driving license?


If you meet certain conditions, you can exchange a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence. If you have a foreign driving licence and wish to exchange it for a Dutch driving licence, then you can apply for an exchange at the municipality where you are registered. They will forward your application to the RDW. If you send the application directly to RDW, the application will not be processed. You need the following at your application: - Valid identity papers - Your foreign driving licence - A photo If your driving licence is missing or stolen, you need an official report of the loss/theft of the driving licence.





Student finance

I'm a student. What student finance can I get?


DUO (governmental organ) provides student finance to Dutch students and European students studying in the Netherlands. This student finance is a package from which you can choose what to receive. Do note: as European student you have to work at least 56 hours per month to be able to apply for student finance. This is because by working you pay taxes. Two aspects of the student finance are a loan with 0% interest to be paid back over a period of 30 years after graduating (the interest rate changes every six months). The other two aspects are a gift, as long as you finish your studies within 10 years. Gifts:

  • Student travel product: travel for free during the week or the weekend and with 40% discount during the other period with all public transport.
  • Supplementary grant: get up to €403,17 per month if your parents earn less than €30.000 combined per year.
Loans:
  • Student loan: borrow up to €494,39 per month.
  • Tuition fee loan: borrow up to €178,58 per month.




How do I apply for student finance?


You can apply for student finance with DUO online via their website. Do you need help? We can help you apply for the student finance. Check www.ictilburg.com/information-support for more information.





Working

Can I work in the Netherlands?


To be entitled to work, you will need a proper permit. If you have a European nationality, it is always possible to work in the Netherlands. Read below what is needed in which situation. Students International students from outside of the European Union will need an additional work permit to be able to work. An employer needs to apply for this permit and the permit is connected to the job and employer for which it is applied. This permit is valid for one year. You can choose to either work 16 hours every week or fulltime in the summer months. Graduates - Orientation Year If you have an Orientation Year permit, you can work freely for one year to be able to find a job where the employer can apply for a work permit after the Orientation Year permit expires. Other migrants International migrants from outside of the European Union need a company that can apply for the permit. More information can be found at the website of the IND.




How can I find a job in the Netherlands?


Work is often found via agencies or someones personal network. Examples of agencies are temp agencies and recruiters. Examples for network platforms are LinkedIn and Indeed. We provide part-time jobs and in-between jobs in logistics for internationals. Check more information here.




I work in the Netherlands. Do I have to file a tax return?


Filling in an income tax report is obligated when working in the Netherlands. Every working resident of the Netherlands needs to pay income tax over their salary. When working, this is automatically deducted from your gross income. Every year between April and July, the Belastingdienst needs to assess whether everyone paid the correct amount of taxes. Often people with a low income pay too much taxes and will receive money from the government after filling in the form. If you immigrated in the year you started working, the Belastingdienst needs to assess in which country you need to pay taxes. To do this, they will send a M-Form after you filled your taxes. You can contact any tax advisor to help you fill in this form. They charge between €100 and €200 to help you fill in this form. Do you need more affordable help? We provide this service as well. Check out this information here.





Taxes

I need help filing a tax return (person). Who can help me?


Please check the section Working at the FAQ.




I am self-employed and need help with my 'btw' returns. Who can help me?


Any accountant or tax consultant can help you filing the quarterly 'btw' returns. Also, we help with this service specifically for students. Check out the information here.





Dutch language

I need help translating a document or text. Who can help me?


We are happy to help you out! Book an appointment here and we will get back to you.




I want to learn Dutch. Where can I enroll in a Dutch course?


Learning Dutch can be essential in feeling at home in the Netherlands. There are many private teachers or language schools around. However, we found that most of these options are rather expensive and lack the social component of learning a language as an international. Therefore, we started our own affordable Dutch courses (€4,95 per hour) with small groups and a lot of focus on using a language and meeting new people. Check out all the information here. Are you a student studying at Tilburg University? They provide group classes with approximately 20 students in exchange for language vouchers.





About International Center Tilburg

What is International Center Tilburg?


International Center Tilburg opened its doors in May 2018 as a response to the internationalization of the region. As anthropologists and entrepreneurs, Thom and Zoë try to listen to the needs of the international community and develop concepts that tie into those needs. As a result, International Center Tilburg has become the place in Tilburg for internationals. Do you need help? Do you want to collaborate? Do you have any questions? Or want to meet us? Contact us:
• For any questions about our Dutch courses | courses@ictilburg.com |
• For any help requests and inquiries | helpdesk@ictilburg.com |
• For any questions about part-time jobs | jobs@ictilburg.com |
• For collaboration proposals or other questions | info@ictilburg.com |




Is International Center Tilburg supported by the municipality?


Nope! We are a fully self-sustaining social enterprise. We noticed that the focus of the municipality lies in attracting international professionals and international companies to the region of Noord-Brabant rather than facilitating integration in Tilburg and assisting in formalities once internationals arrive here. This can lead to many tensions (labor migrants relying on temp agencies for their livelihood, international students arriving in a city with a housing shortage). Since we noticed that there was no institute in Tilburg that supports individual internationals on a social level, we decided to start International Center as a place where every international can get affordable help and connect to others and life in Tilburg as a whole.




Does International Center Tilburg work together with Tilburg University?


We collaborate often with Tilburg University. Every year we are present at their 'Registration Days' and we connect for certain projects regarding international students. The university always puts in their best effort to provide as much information and support as possible to new international students. However, since they are a educational institution, their scope of practical help is sometimes limited and therefore often point students in our direction for certain help requests.




Who founded International Center Tilburg?


In May 2018, International Center Tilburg opened as a pilot project to assess the needs of and relevance for the international community of Tilburg. After a succesful pilot, Thom and Zoë founded International Center Tilburg as a social enterprise in March 2019. Thom and Zoë are both anthropologists (MA Sustainable Citizenship) and use these practices to develop new concepts that take the needs of the international community in mind. They strongly belief that impact is better achieved together and therefore connect to many companies, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, cultural institutions, student associations and cultural organizations as well as internationals themselves.





Useful links

What are useful links for my stay here?


This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information. Information from the government: www.government.nl Information about Gemeente Tilburg: www.tilburg.nl/english News site for expats: www.dutchreview.com





Recreation in Tilburg

Which cinemas you should definitely see


Tilburg has multiple cinemas. The 'blockbuster cinemas' are Pathé and Euroscoop. However, they almost never screen films with English subtitles, so check their program before deciding on a film. Are you looking for a more unique experience? Then we recommend Cinecitta. It is the longest running cinema of the Netherlands and is located in a beautiful restored venue. It includes a restaurant and screens arthouse film. Every month we organize International Cinema, which includes English subtitles to a specially selected international film.




Have a nice look at these animal parks


This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information.




Take a swim in one of these swimming pools


This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information.




Everything you need to know about Tilburg's nightlife


Tilburg's brilliant nightlife scene includes dimly lit jazz and blues bars, groovy strip clubs, cosy pubs and a vibrant underground music scene. Although closing times are strictly regulated, some bars and pubs stay open until the last group of customers have stumbled out. Most night spots are concentrated around the area by Old Town square, with the Korte Heuvel and the nearby Piusplein being all-time favourites of locals and students. The town is small enough to cover on foot, though as the night gets longer, so does the distance between places. Some places refuse entrance to anyone in scruffy jeans and trainers, so make a bit of an effort before going out to the glitzier venues. Source: Tilburg in your pocket For recommendations, check out this article: Universe nightlife guide




Museums to visit in Tilburg


This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information.




Cultural relaxation in Tilburg's theatres


This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information.




Tips and recommendations of other activities


This item is work in progress - please check this item at a later time for full information.




Enjoy the local music scene


The music scene is alive and kicking here! Live concerts, dance and club nights, large festivals such as Roadburn; you can find it all in 013, the Netherland’s largest pop venue in the middle of the centre of Tilburg. The music scene is alive and kicking here! No surprise really as the Rockacademie (Rock Academy) is located in Tilburg! And Tilburg has plenty more to offer when it comes to going out. You will find great bars, trendy restaurants and cafés on the Piusplein, Spoorzone, the Korte Heuvel and in the Piushaven.The city is also an excellent festival city. Best Kept Secret and Woo Hah! are only a few examples of the annually recurring festivals. And do not forget to visit the Tilburg funfair in the summer. This funfair is the largest in Europe and guarantees a great evening out! More fan of Jazz? Be sure to check out Paradox! Source: Visit Brabant





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