Please note: the information on this page may not (fully) apply to refugees from Ukraine. The most recent information for refugees from Ukraine can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>
After you have signed the tenancy contract for your house, it is important that you register with the municipality as soon as possible. You can only apply for a benefit after you have registered. Usually, there is someone to help you with this, such as your counsellor at the Dutch Council for Refugees, a different organisation, or the municipality.
Furnishing your house en fixed charges for a house
Most municipalities will give you a loan to furnish your first house. The amount of the loan may differ by municipality. In a thrift shop (in Dutch: kringloopwinkel), you can buy many things and furniture for little money.
The rent for a rented house must be paid every month in advance, so before the first day of the month. In some municipalities, you can borrow the money for the first month's rent. And if your income is low and you have a self-contained rented flat, you will often qualify for rent allowance. See the page Work & income for more information about this subject. For electricity and gas, you will have to enter into a contract with a power supplier. For water (and also for district heating instead of gas) you cannot choose your supplier and you will have to register with the company that supplies water at your address. For television, telephone, and internet connection, there are many providers to choose from. Ask your counsellor at the Dutch Council for Refugees to help you make a choice. Other fixed charges are the municipal taxes and the water authority taxes. If your income is insufficient, you may be granted remission of these taxes.
Administration and finance
In this video we explain how you can make payments yourself with your ING bank app.
To have an overview of all your contracts, invoices and payments, it is useful to keep an administration folder. Watch the following video for this:
Sorting out online mail
How do you get an overview of all important notifications, digital invoices and advertisements you receive via email? In this video we explain how you can sort out your online mail so that you can pay your bills on time and ask for help if you do not fully understand an email.
Phishing mails and social media fraud
Via fake emails or messages via social media, criminals can try to get access to your bank account or ask you to transfer money. In this video you can see how to recognise such fake emails and what you must pay attention to if someone asks you for money, for instance via WhatsApp.
Are you sometimes short of money? If your income changes, or your expenses suddenly increase, it is good to know what you can do to save money.
In this video we give some advice for this.
High energy prices
Gas and electricity prices have been very high for some time now. Many energy companies have increased the monthly amount you pay for energy. If your advance payment has not increased yet, you will likely have to pay a lot extra for your annual settlement.
The problem is particularly severe if you live in a poorly insulated house. The government has temporarily reduced the energy tax to prevent many households from getting into financial trouble due to high energy prices. There will also be a one-off allowance for people on low incomes. However, these two measures will probably not be enough to fully compensate for the increase in energy costs.
The following are things you can do to keep your energy bill from rising too much:
- If you have to take out a new energy contract, take out a flexible contract now, instead of a two or three-year contract.
- This video explains the monthly advance payments for energy and the annual settlement.
- This video provides tips on saving, including how to reduce your energy use.
If, despite your efforts, you still have trouble paying your energy bill or other costs, contact VluchtelingenWerk or the municipal council for assistance.
When you get your residence permit, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP). The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) can tell you where and when this is done. After registration, you will receive a citizen service number (in Dutch: BSN). The BSN is a unique personal identification number you need in your communication with government agencies.
Applying for a DigiD
Contacts with the government go more and more via the Internet: all sorts of applications must be submitted via websites, letters are no longer delivered by post, but are delivered to the online messages box (in Dutch: Berichtenbox). You will often need a DigiD for this: a personal username with password. The COA or your counsellor at the Dutch Council for Refugees can help you to apply for a DigiD, or you can do this yourself at https://digid.nl/aanvragen. It is important that you do not forget the password. This password is personal; do not share it with others. Click the link at the bottom of this page for more information about DigiD. If you are not yet good at Internet, or if you want to use the Berichtenbox and websites of the government independently, you can follow a course at many libraries. Everything about DigiD in Dutch, English, French, and Arab.
The role of the Dutch Council for Refugees
- Your counsellor at the Dutch Council for Refugees can help you with many practical matters, often even before you move from the reception centre to your house. Once you have moved, you can contact a counsellor of the Dutch Council for Refugees in your municipality. If the Dutch Council for Refugees is not active in your municipality, a different organisation or the municipality will provide guidance.
- If you want to move from your first house to a different house, you will have to search for this house yourself. We usually do not provide guidance in that case. However, we do have the ‘Checklist Verhuizen’ (Moving Checklist): a list of all matters that need to be arranged.
Take Care BNB can put you in touch with a host family where you can stay and that can help you get to know the Netherlands better.
Presence interprets and translates for you to and from all languages of the world.
On Rijksoverheid.nl, ministries inform you about government laws and regulations.
Digitale Identiteit -DigiD
On this website you can request your Digd (digital identity) that you need to be able to log in on the government website and in healthcare; then you can change your password.
On this website you will find information about how to use media safely and wisely.