Living in The Netherlands
This section of the HBvK website aims to help you prepare for your life in The Netherlands. I created these pages for my girlfriend (she wants to come and live here with me after our marriage), but they will be useful for anyone wanting to marry a Dutch partner and planning to live with him/her in The Netherlands. Parts of this website may also be useful for others planning a visit to, or a temporary or permanent stay in, The Netherlands.
Like most of this website, the languages used are English and Dutch. I assume you already know English, and you are going to learn Dutch. I will also assume that you really want to know more about your new country, and are prepared to invest a lot of time to learn your new language.
If you want to live in The Netherlands, you may be required to pass the Inburgeringsexamen (Civic integration examination). Read more about the civic integration examination.
If you come to The Netherlands for a short visit, on holiday or for a business trip, learning Dutch is not essential. English is widely spoken, and you will have no trouble getting around. A basic knowledge of Dutch, a Dutch phrase book, and a Dutch dictionary will be helpful to understand written Dutch on e.g. road signs, museum displays, or restaurant menus.
The situation is vastly different if you plan to live and work in The Netherlands. It is essential that you learn Dutch as fast as possible. Dutch language is also a part of the civic integration examination (actually the entire exam will be in Dutch), so if you have to take this exam you will have to learn some Dutch before taking the exam.
If you want to live in The Netherlands, you probably want to know a lot more about your new country than is covered in the civic integration examination. Here you can find practical information about The Netherlands, but also background information.