Cost for a South African to move to the Netherlands

What will the costs be for me as a South African  to move to the Netherlands? I am now talking about costs such as visas, one-way ticket to Netherlands, any administration costs and all other related costs that I will have before moving? I specifically want more information about what I called "all other related costs". And it is only for one person. About the language, I am Afrikaans speaking and I understand most Dutch when you speak Dutch to me but I don't speak Dutch yet. I speak Afrikaans and English. How will that affect my possibilities to get work in the Netherlands? I have experience in retail store management and I have an advanced diploma in business management.

Hi Renier,

Firstly, you would be far better off learning Dutch before you get to the Netherlands.  You may think that you understand Dutch but it is way more different to Afrikaans than you think.  Without speaking Dutch, in your industry, you may find it very difficult to find a job here. 

Secondly, you would have to apply for a MVV visa which allows you to work and live in the Netherlands.  Part of getting this visa is an Inburgeringseksamen which tests your Dutch and your knowledge of Dutch history. You can contact the Dutch Consulate in Pretoria for costs of the MVV and Inburgeringseksamen. 

Depending on when you get your visa and want to come, the plane tickets on-way can vary but the cheapest from Johannesburg OR Thambo is around R6,500. 

Once you are here you will need a place to stay (fixed physical address) in order to register for your BS number (applying for your BSN is free).  You cannot do anything here without a BS number (it's like a cross between an ID number and a tax number). You cannot open a bank account, work, open utility accounts etc.

Because you don't have a job or a BS number, you may have to pay for rental accommodation upfront and that is IF you can find someone willing to rent to you without a BS number.  Fully furnished flats which include water/gas/electricity for short rental periods ie under 1 year are hard to come by and (again depending on where you want to live) can cost around EUR1,000 per month.

It is advisable to have at least 6 months worth of living expenses that you can draw on while you look for work.  You can live quite comfortably on around EUR1,400 per month.

Hope this helps?  If you have any other questions, please feel free to message us privately.


Minimum wage in NL is around 1000 Euro, renting a room is around 300 Euros (e.g. sharing a house with students).

Costs of visas etc. can be found online.

What is your motivation to move to NL? Depending on your motivation setting up a life might be easier in other countries.

Can I apply for a job in the Netherlands here from South Africa? How does the recruitment agencies work when it comes to someone outside of the Netherlands? The ideal would be to already have a job when getting there. Are there specific courses to learn to speak Dutch properly? Would it be advisable to do a course like that when I'm already there and already have a job there? And your permit to live and work there, is that renewable after 5 years?

A list of expenses for planning to go over must be in order before I decide on Holland but the ideal would be to have work before going over. Would you recommend doing a crash course in Dutch through the Internet?

It would definitely be ideal if you could find a job here from South Africa because then your employer would take care of your visa, BSN and bank account (at the very least).  You would also qualify for the 30% tax ruling which would mean less tax as well as the advantage of converting your driver's license instead of having do do it from scratch.  The employment agencies here are not like in SA, they merely act as agents for job adverts rather than finding you a job.  So you would have to look and apply for yourself.  You could try the multi-lingual agencies like Adams Recruitment or Unique Multilingual.

As for learning Dutch: you could try Duolingo . com it is free  OR do skype online classes/lessons through someone like DutchNow . co.

Another idea if you are seriously considering moving here is to book a session with an integration expert and pay for all the information which you require.  Rachel is great and we can recommend her.  Google: ExpattoInpat.  She can tell you exactly what you'd be in for.

I will still give the thought a few months' time before I make a serious final decision but within that time I will ask a lot of questions. And if I have any doubt about something I will make 100 percent sure of the facts. So when I make a final decision I will definitely contact an integration expert. If I understand correctly, if I apply from South Africa, the employer on that side will arrange everything that's necessary. How will the cost of all those arrangements work? Can you set up an agreement where the company that you will work for pay the cost and then you can pay it back within a few months' installments which means you pay your own flight ticket and your upfront payment for your stay before the time and then if possible you can pay back the rest when you start earning your monthly salary?  You can correct me if there is any misunderstanding from my side but I need to ask all these questions to make 100 percent sure of all the facts.