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About us Working at the University of Groningen That is why you work at the UG Practical matters

After arrival

After you have arrived in the Netherlands, there are a number of important things to arrange. Please see the sections below for more information regarding the various parts of the immigration procedure. You will receive an email with all the necessary information from the ISD about 2 weeks before your arrival.

International Welcome Center North (IWCN)

The International Welcome Center North (IWCN) is an organisation for internationals living in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.

IWCN offers services in three areas: government formalities (residence permits and registration at the municipality), practical information and referrals to reliable service providers and social activities.

IWCN will contact you to make an appointment with them to collect your residence permit card, provide biometric information (if needed) and register with the municipality.

As a result of the above mentioned registration with the municipality you will receive your personal Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN). You need your BSN in order to apply for health insurance, a bank account, a phone subscription, and to receive your salary, for example.

For more information, you can check the website of the IWCN.

Bank affairs

If you are from outside the EU/EEA or you do not have a European bank account with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), you will need to open a Dutch bank account in order to manage your day-to-day finances (e.g. receiving your salary and paying for housing). After your arrival you will get instructions on how to open a bank account from the HR department or from the Immigration Service Desk (ISD).

If you already have a European bank account with an IBAN, you do not have to apply for a Dutch bank account as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) enables you to make and to receive transfers in the Netherlands. However, you can open a Dutch bank account if you still wish to have one.

Keep in mind that most Dutch banks require a Citizen Service Number (BSN) the moment that you apply for the account. You get a BSN within a few weeks after you have registered at the City Hall.

Please be informed that administrative procedures may cause a delayed salary payment in the first month of your employment at the University. It is therefore advisable to bring some financial reserves for the initial period of your appointment.

If you will be bringing more than (the equivalent of) € 10,000 in cash you will need to declare this at customs. When you deposit your cash into your Dutch bank account, the bank will ask for a copy of your declaration form. If you do not make a declaration, you run the risk of receiving a fine. Please visit the website of the Dutch Customs Administration for more information on this subject.

Health insurance

The Netherlands has a high standard of medical care. Everybody is, however, obliged by law to be properly insured. Medical costs can be very high, especially if they include a stay in a hospital. Staff at institutions of higher education are not automatically insured against any medical expenses abroad. You must arrange this yourself.

All salaried employees of the UG and UMCG are required by law to take out basic Dutch health insurance. You can apply for Dutch basic health insurance after having received your Citizen Service Number (BSN). If you do not take out health insurance within 4 months after your appointment has started, you risk a considerable fine by the Dutch National Health Care Institute (Zorginstituut Nederland).

If you are a PhD student who received a scholarship you will receive information about your health insurance via the PhD Scholarship Desk.

Healthcare insurers also offer different packages for additional care. You can change your health insurance policy and additional packages once a year (the new policy will take effect on January 1).

We advise you to take out medical insurance and/or travel insurance to cover the period from the date of travel until the date on which your contract of employment commences. When you arrive in the Netherlands, your HR contact person will tell you how to arrange health insurance in the Netherlands.

Please note: partners and children of non-EU/EEA employees with a non-EU/EEA nationality cannot take out Dutch health insurance until their residence permits have been issued. If the above applies, it is strongly advised to arrange proper health insurance for your partner and children in your home country which is valid in the Netherlands for at least four months after your arrival here.

> More information about the Dutch healthcare insurance system.

Connect International

In order to make your move to the Netherlands as smoothly as possible the University has decided that as of 1 September 2016 (salaried) newcomers from abroad are offered a year-long Connect International membership for free. Connect International is a service partner of the International Welcome Centre North.

In addition, the University will pay for two hours of personal advice on matters that are related to moving to the Netherlands. Please be informed that in the two hours of service a search for housing is not included. During the appointment procedure you will be further informed about the registration. Any questions can be addressed to the HR Information Desk (

Tuberculosis examination

As part of the immigration procedure, some nationalities have to undergo a TB examination within 3 months of your arrival in the Netherlands. This is a minor and non-invasive examination, which consists of taking an x-ray of your lungs.

If your nationality is stated on this list, you do not need to undergo the examination. The ISD will inform you how to make an appointment for the TB examination at the GGD (Dutch Health Services).

Maximum time staying abroad

Staff members with the residence permit for highly skilled migrants or scientific research Directive 2016/801 are allowed to work abroad for a total up to 8 months in a period of 12 months. This means that the IND also adds up separate periods. You must still continue to meet the conditions of your residence permit.

If you leave the Netherlands for other reasons than working abroad, please note that you can only stay abroad for up to 6 consecutive months per 12 months. The IND does not add up separate periods for this type of travel/leave.

Find more information about this on the website of the IND.

Digital Identification (DigiD)

With a DigiD (Digital Identification) account you can identify yourself when you arrange matters online. Having a DigiD will give you access to many services and government websites in the Netherlands. More information about DigiD can be found on this website.

Last modified:31 March 2023 1.23 p.m.