Living and Working in the Netherlands
History of the Netherlands
The nation known today as The Netherlands was born in an 80 year revolt from the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, and established itself as one of the world's most capable naval powers, monopolising European trade through Antwerp, which was the largest trading port in all of Europe. The power swung to Amsterdam, and with the rich Indonesia as its protectorate, the Dutch people thrived whilst minimizing their contact with the violent Europe around them. Despite their self-assured neutrality during the Great War, they were invaded and occupied by German troops between 1940-5. As a result of this, They pursued stronger integration amongst the Great European powers, and were not only a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community but also of the Schuman plan, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. They, and especially the city of Amsterdam, remain a centre of world culture whilst celeberating the works and achievements of famous Dutch painters, musicians, and sculpturists.
Visiting and Residing
British citizens, or equally British subjects with the Right of Abode in the United Kingdom, do not require a visa to enter the Netherlands due to mutual membership of the Schengen zone. Other British nationals should check the entry requirements with the nearest Dutch Embassy (http://unitedkingdom.nlembassy.org/) . However, a valid passport will be necessary to enter and exit The Netherlands. If you intend to live in the Netherlands for at least 4 months, take note that you should register with the Municipality Administration (Gemeentelijke Basisadministratie persoonsgegevens) within 5 days of your arrival if you are aware that you will be staying for over four months. Contact your local Gemeentehuis (Town Hall) where you intend to reside.
The Dutch do not have an NHS style system but instead rely on private health care. British citizens in the Netherlands would be well advised to take with their European Health Insurance Card with them in order to benefit from NHS related cover whilst abroad. If you intend to move on a medium or long term basis to the Netherlands, it is advised to take out a health insurance policy which will cover GP visits as well as basic dental care, with prices starting at 75 pounds or 100 euros a month.
Driving in Holland
Any valid British driving licence is also valid for use in the Netherlands (as well as the EU and EFTA). A UK issued driving licence can be exchanged for a Dutch one. DVLA essentially relinquishes its responsibilities once you are a Dutch resident and will not renew nor replace your licence. Therefore it would be useful to convert your UK issue licence to a Dutch one. You can drive a British registered car in the Netherlands provided you are not a resident registered with the Town Hall, and at all time whilst driving in the Netherlands you ought to carry your driving licence, insurance documents, and ID documents.
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