Helpful hints for USA expats moving to the Netherlands

Helpful hints for USA expats moving to the Netherlands

Helpful hints for USA expats moving to the Netherlands

For British expatriates, integrating into an unfamiliar society in Europe can be tricky, but for expats from the USA it’s possibly even harder as Europe’s cultural norms don’t quite mesh with those in the USA.

A good example is a USA expat relocating to Canada, where he’ll find things aren’t that different than in his home country and the language is the same. Move the same expat to the Netherlands and he or she will be faced with a new language, a new Europe-centric culture and a far harder assimilation. For those in the booming tech sector, Dutch city streets are now paved with gold bricks, with the country itself bidding to become Europe’s Silicon Valley.

Relocating is difficult enough if the destination is familiar, but getting organised to embrace a totally new lifestyle and culture is a challenge, even regarding getting your belongings through customs and excise on arrival. Relocation specialists have the right info on this, with those transporting a good number of household items best advised to use a specialist shipper who’s familiar with confusing entry taxes and other laws.The same is true as regards getting a work visa if you’re not one of the lucky few whose new employers has already taken care of this chore.

To join the Dutch healthcare system, expats must have Dutch health insurance, no matter whether or not you’re covered by your existing USA-based policy. You’ll also need to contribute to the Dutch social security scheme, but you’ll be able to claim benefits should your plans go awry. Getting a Dutch bank account with a debit card is also a practical idea.

Like it or not, you’ll be subject to the Dutch tax regime from the minute you step out into your new land, with your taxes paid via your employer but local municipal taxes and water rate payments your own responsibility. A quick chat with a financial advisor will inform you if any beneficial tax treaties exist between your home country and the Netherlands which could save you some of your hard-earned cash. Perhaps the most difficult adjustment you’ll have to make is the cultural aspect, but the Dutch are friendly, warm and understanding of the difficulties newly-arrived expats face when settling in.

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