How does banking work in the Netherlands?

 

First of all, it is important to know that credits cards are not widely accepted in the Netherlands. Although you can pay by debit card in most shops, most will only accept cards issued by European banks. Although ATMs will accept most international cards for withdrawing cash, most will charge a few euros per transaction, and your home bank will most likely charge a fee as well. There are also a few places in the Netherlands where it may be possible to only pay by card (the coffee machines at the university, for example!). Therefore, if you are coming from outside the EU, it may be wise to make a Dutch bank account. To make a Dutch bank account, you need a BSN, which is a citizen identification number. However, ING bank does not require this, so if you need a bank account immediately this would be your best bet. In order to make a bank account, you need to go into the ING branch, and bring with your proof of identification (such as a passport), proof of enrollment at Radboud University, proof of residence demonstrating your address here in the Netherlands (such as a rental contract), a Dutch phone number (needed for online banking), and your BSN number, if you have it already from the Gemeente. Once you create this bank account, you will receive a debit card in which you can make unlimited transactions for free, as well as use the app to transfer money easily.

How does the visa work? 

 

If you are an EU citizen, you don’t need a visa to live in the Netherlands, just a valid passport or ID card. If you are a non-EU citizen, you can fall into two groups - those who need an entry visa, and those who do not need an entry visa. If you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the United States of America, Vatican City State and South Korea, you don’t need an entry visa. You can simply submit all your documents to the Visa Office at Radboud University, and the enter the Netherlands on your passport. After you enter the Netherlands, you have 90 days of visa-free stay. A few weeks after the start of the academic year, you will get an e-mail from the Visa Office indicating a date and time when you should come to the university to get your photo and fingerprints taken by an immigration officer. After this is done, you should get another e-mail in a few weeks time letting you know where and when you can pick up your residence card. If you are arriving in January, it may also be possible that you will have to go to Den Bosch to pick up this card at the IND office yourself. Citizens of all other countries need an MVV if they are planning to stay more than 90 days in the Netherlands. You need to get this from the Dutch consulate in your home country, and the International Office should help you out with this process.  

How can I register at the city hall (gemeente)? 

In the Netherlands, all new residence are required to register themselves at the municipality, also known as the Gemeente in Dutch, who will also provide you with your BSN, which is a personal identification number used for government services in the Netherlands (similar to a SIN number). You can do this as soon as you receive your address, and need to do it within five days of moving in. The Gemeente only works by appointment, and you can make an appointment online at the Gemeente website (https://afspraak.nijmegen.nl/InternetAfspraken/). Once you have made your appointment, you need to go to the Stadswinkel, located at Mariënburg 30 (right in the center, near the Grote Markt), and you need to bring a passport, and birth certificate, and a copy of your rental contract.