Opening a bank account

The Netherlands is home to some of the world’s largest banks, ABN-AMRO, ING and Rabobank, just to name a few of the most popular and known ones. Some of these banks offer a full range of services in English, including apps, translated manuals, and ATMs all over the country (for further details, see further below). 

It is not only essential to open a Dutch bank account for your salary processing but also for when you sign a housing contract or want to “pin” in your local shops. (Dutch: pinnen = to pay by card- in the Netherlands people tend to “pin” all their groceries or even smaller amounts, such as when they buy a coffee or purchase something on the market). 

How do I open a Dutch bank account and which ones are the best options?

Before opening up a Dutch bank account it can be useful to research the most typical Dutch banks, as well as the newest options: Mobile banks. Most Dutch banks charge a fee either per month or per year, which is something that will be worth comparing. Also, as an expat, if you don’t speak Dutch (yet), you will likely find it important to choose a bank with high-quality English customer support. 

  • ING = The ING is the largest retail bank in the Netherlands. They offer fantastic English customer support, not only when walking into one of their physical banks but also when calling their customer support line. Furthermore, their website has an English option and their banking app can also be set in English. Open a bank account by making an appointment at your closest ING bank location. 
  • ABN-Amro = They also have excellent customer service for English speakers. They offer options to open accounts in advance, before arrival in the Netherlands. You can apply for a Dutch bank account within their app and have your Bank account details within 4 hours- if you have a BSN number & Dutch address.
  • Rabobank = Rabobank promotes its services for expats by offering an international client team. In large cities, like Leiden, they have a special information desk for expats. They are proud to call themselves a community bank and have a lot of international staff to serve their international customers. 
  • Bunq = Bunq is a full online/mobile bank. If you don’t have a BSN number yet, it is possible to set up a bank account. For the first 90 days, you are able to use the Bunq app without having to provide your BSN number yet. Their app is available in every language and so is their customer service. Please note that they do not have any physical bank locations. 

For more information about Bunq, please visit

What do I need to open a bank account?

  • Document of identity: Ideally your passport. Often  EU identity cards are also accepted. Another option is a residence permit card.
  • Your BSN number, as we’ve mentioned before, you will not get far without this number in the Netherlands. Unless you make an account at Bunq where you can hand in your BSN number within 90 days of signing up for an account.
  • Proof of address: Either a rental contract for your house/apartment or a recent utility bill will suffice.
  • Proof of income: An employment contract or recent salary slips.

You can expect a service charge either every month or every few months- this is automatically taken from your account. If you want to go online shopping, and don’t have a Paypal account or Credit Card, and wish to purchase a product online from a Dutch company, you’re able to pay for it with your debit card and the online payment tool: iDeal.

Credit cards are slowly becoming more accepted within retail stores, but don’t be surprised if they say no. In general, you need to be a customer of your chosen bank for a while before being able to get a credit card. Credit cards are usually more expensive, and it is highly encouraged to pay off the account quickly and consistently. Restaurants often accept credit cards but in shops, such as supermarkets, it is most of the time not possible to pay with a credit card. 

With most banks, it is possible to close your account any time if you decide to relocate to another country. 

If you have any further questions about opening a bank account in the Netherlands, do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Looking for more tips on what to take care of when moving to the Netherlands? Follow us on our Youtube channel and Instagram page (@abroad.experience.recruitment) for valuable further advice!

Do I need a work permit to work in the Netherlands and if so, how can I apply for it?

You wish to work in the Netherlands- fantastic! Do make sure to ask yourself, before you apply or attend interviews, whether you still need to arrange a work permit to start the next chapter in your new home country. 

Who needs a work permit to be able to work in the Netherlands?

Are you a citizen from within the EU, the EEA, Switzerland or Croatia? Then you do NOT need a work permit or residence permit to work legally in The Netherlands. You have the ”freedom of movement”. Since 2018 Croatia was added to the list of countries that no longer need a work permit.

Are you a citizen from a non-EU country? Then you will need to obtain a work permit to work in the Netherlands. 

Please be aware that Abroad Experience cannot assist you with obtaining a work permit. We cooperate with international companies that only accept applications from candidates who already have a valid work permit! For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the blog article. 

Other situations in which somebody does not need to apply for a work permit:

1. You are in a registered partnership with a Dutch or EU citizen who is legally able to work in the Netherlands

2. You have a one-year working holiday visa: If you are from Australia, New Zealand or Canada and you are between 18-30 years old, you can work for one year in the Netherlands.

3. You are enrolled in a Dutch university program and came to the Netherlands for education as a non-EU citizen, then you are able to work on the side of your studies for a maximum of 16 hours during the academic year and full-time in the months between June-August. You will need to apply for a TWV work permit to do so. A work permit is not required if you do an internship as part of your studies.

4. You had a work permit for the Netherlands in the past: If you worked in the Netherlands in the past for at least 5 years and had Dutch residency (3 years for Turkish citizens), then your employer does not need to apply for a work permit again.

I have Dutch residence but how do I know if I need an additional work permit? 

Your residence card will state on the backside that you are free to work in the Dutch labor market without a work permit (it will state in Dutch: Arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV is niet vereist).

What are the different kinds of work permits and which one do I need?

There are different kinds of work permits:

  • An employment permit (TWV) 
  • A single permit which is also known as a combined residence and work permit (GVVA)
  • A highly skilled migrant permit
  • A search year visa (zoekjaar visa) for expat graduates
  • A holiday working visa

Depending on how long somebody is aiming to stay in the Netherlands, they need to apply for a TWV or GVVA. Only the GVVA is a permit that job seekers can apply to themselves. A TWV can only be applied to by an employer. 

For more detailed  information about different work permits, we advise you to check the following websites:

Please be aware that Abroad Experience cannot assist you with obtaining a work permit. We cooperate with international companies that only accept applications from candidates who already have a valid work permit! 

Below you can find an overview of all the types of work permits that our recruitment agency and clients consider:

EU Citizens

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals do not require a work permit to work legally in the Netherlands.

Dutch Citizens 

There are three ways to acquire Dutch citizenship: by means of naturalizationoption procedure, or by law (birth or family ties).


You are able to stay in the Netherlands when you are married or in a registered relationship, should you wish to stay with your unmarried partner or are a minor who wishes to stay with your parent(s).

Highly Skilled Migrant

In order to receive this permit, you will need a residence permit or provisional residence permit (mvv).  Only a recognized employer is able to submit an application on behalf of the highly skilled migrant.

Recognized sponsorship companies that can offer support with residence permits + work permits:

If none of the above work permit situations applies to you, please check the link below where you can find a list of companies that offer sponsorship visas. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) publishes a list each year with recognized sponsorship companies.

Abroad Experience BV is an international recruitment agency that offers unique career opportunities to multilingual job seekers. See our vacancies.

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