Registering with the Municipality / Gemeente

The first thing that is handy to do when arriving in the NL is registering with the municipality (NL: gemeente)

Link 1: Website Gemeente Groningen 

Luckily, their website is also in English. Once you have clicked on “English” you get redirected to the following

Are you planning on staying in the NL for at least  4 months? Then you choose, “Moving to the Netherlands”. There are also options for people who are planning to stay shorter than 4 months. 

Let’s follow the course for “Moving to the Netherlands”. You are then redirected to a page listing all necessary documents that you need to bring with you to the gemeente in order to be able to register. As mentioned, in order to register you need to visit the gemeente desk in person. You need an appointment for this! This is the address of the office of the Municipality of Groningen next to the Maritinitoren: Kreupelstraat 1, 9712 HW Groningen, with opening times:

These, as listed, include:

Once you register, you will receive you citizen service number or BSN (burger service nummer). Your BSN is very important and you should write it down or save the paper, as it is like your identification number in the Netherlands and is needed -among others- for opening a bank account, getting hired for a job, applying for various allowances/ toeslagen, getting a health insurance/ zorg verzekering  and many more.  

Once you have your BSN number, it would be advisable to apply for your DigiD. Your DigiD is necessary for arranging matters -like the ones mentioned above- safely online.

Link 2: Apply for DigiD

Link 2 takes you to the website for DigiD which is also available in English

The whole procedure can take a few days to weeks since you have to receive a code by letter in order to activate your DigiD. After that, you can also download the DigiD app and easily log in and apply for studiefinanciering, zorgtoeslag, huurtoeslag or a zorgverzekering in case you meet the other requirements. More information about how to apply for allowances, insurance or study financing you can find under the respective tabs.

BSN – Burger Service Number / Social Security Number

The following links lead to websites in DUTCH 

Anyone moving to the Netherlands for at least 4 months has to register with the gemeente within 5 days of moving. 

Link 1: Moving to NL/ immigration 

Anyone moving to the Netherlands for less than 4 months, a different type of registration is necessary.

Link 2: Moving to NL <4 months/ RNI  


The following links lead to websites in DUTCH

As a student in the NL, you might have the right to various subsidies (NL: toeslagen). These include: 

Huurtoeslag :rent subsidy

Conditions for the tenant:

  1. The age of the tenant 
  2. The financial ability of the contractees (including savings accounts etc)/ vermogen 
    • This is calculated every year. For 2022 must the yearly income of each contractee separately not exceed 31.747 euros. For partners must the yearly income together not exceed 63.494 euros (see link 1 for changes each year). 
  3. The income of the contractees (inkomen); this determines the amount of huurtoeslag that the contractee(s) can receive . Study financing/ studiefinanciering does not count towards this calculation! 
    • Through clicking link 6 you can calculate the amount that you have right to.

Link 6:

Conditions for de woning 

  1. The rent price 
    1. All tenants  18 to 23 y/o : the exclusive rent (de kale huur) plus certain service costs* must not exceed 442,46 euros (2022; this changes every year. See link 1) 
    2. At least 1 tenant  23 y/o or older :  the exclusive rent (de kale huur) plus certain service costs* must not exceed 763,47  euros (2022; this changes every year. See link 
  1. The type of housingNot all types of housing are eligible for huurtoeslag. In the following link (link 5) you can find precise information about different types of housing (like houseboats, student housing etc) but there are some general conditions:
    • It has to be an independent dwelling (zelfstandig woning) ; this means the contract is for the whole house and the contracts are not per bedroom. Or otherwise stated, the contract gives the contractees exclusive access to use of all of the rooms hereafter: 
    • An own living-/ bed- room 
    • An own kitchen with a counter, water supply and drain and a power supply for a cooking device 
    • An own wc with its own ability to flush water  
    • An access door, which can be locked from within and outside of  the dwelling 

Link 5: 

How to apply

  1. Got to “mijn toeslagen” : 
  2. Log in with DigiD (use the DigID app) 
  3. You should already see a list with toeslagen : zorgtoeslag, kindgebonden budget, huurtoeslag and kinderopvangtoeslag >> choose huurtoeslag 
  4. Submit the form 

If more information is necessary they will ask for it immediately or via post. Normally there is the possibility to submit the information through the website

Zorgtoeslag: subsidy for health insurance 

(link 2:

You might also have the right to study financing (NL: studie financiering). Study financing includes a “gift” (that you don’t have to pay if you graduate within 10 years)  and a loan. 

Aanvullende Beurs : Gift 

(link 3 :

Studiefinanciering: Study financing (loan)  

(link 4: