Citizen service number (BSN)
While browsing our site, you may have come across something called a BSN number. But what exactly is this enigmatic number that everyone seems to be discussing? When you start living and studying in the Netherlands, you must apply for a BSN number, which is essentially a citizenship number. To clear the air on this number, we've put together a list of everything you need to know about BSN Numbers and how to obtain one.
Every person in the Personal Records Database is granted a unique citizen service number (BSN) (BRP). Everyone who registers with the BRP is given a BSN. It can be used in place of a social security number, a tax identity number, or an all-purpose identification number. You must apply for a BSN number when you arrive in Holland. You must first register with the local government to receive one. Your data is entered into the Municipal Personal Records Database, and a BSN number is assigned to you.
Non-EU students are given a BSN number based on the Immigration and Naturalization Service's decision (IND). After registering with the municipality, you go to the IND and submit your application for a resident permit. After the IND approves your request, the municipality is notified, and you receive your permit within 10 days.
What good is it to have one?
It's necessary to have a BSN number. It's impossible to live without one. With a BSN, you are not only officially registered in Holland, but you can also use it for administrative purposes. For example, you'll need your BSN to get insurance, apply for a housing allowance, or locate a job that pays. You'll also need it to apply for any form of financial aid, such as student aid. The government uses your citizen service number (BSN) to manage your personal information. You can use your BSN for any government service in the Netherlands. You don't have to give each government agency your information; they can find it using your BSN.
With a BSN number, going about your regular business is much easier. If you need to apply for something, such as a bank account or an allowance, your information may be accessed from the database.
How to Get Started
A BSN number will be assigned to you when you register with a Dutch municipality (a gemeente). All you have to do now is visit your local city hall and request registration. If you intend to stay for more than four months, as most students do, you should do so within the first five days of your arrival.
You must submit proof of identification (such as a passport) as well as proof of residency if you are an EU citizen.
If you're a non-EU student, you'll need to show proof of residency and possibly proof of university attendance.
You can use your citizen service number (BSN) to identify yourself if you need medical help. Recognized care providers, such as general practitioners and health insurance companies, demand a BSN.
In education, the BSN is also known as the personal identity number (PGN) or the education number. Both the PGN and the BSN are the same. Schools must use the PGN in their records.
The BSN is used to get benefits
Your and your child's BSNs must be obtained by childcare providers. The Benefits Office of the Tax and Customs Administration compares the number of childcare hours you submit to the hours recorded by the daycare provider. Healthcare insurers and the healthcare benefit are in the same situation as landlords and the housing benefit.
Using the BSN to protect yourself from identity theft
The BSN's major goal is to facilitate communication between government agencies and between individuals and the government. Non-government organisations, such as general practitioners and other healthcare providers, pharmacies, and health insurers, can only utilise the BSN if it is required by law. The BSN enables government agencies to transmit personal information without making mistakes. Each company must ensure that they are utilising their own BSN.
Looking for work but don't have a BSN?
We are pleased to inform you that you can work in the Netherlands without a BSN! We'll put it together for you. Simply fill out the form and one of our coordinators will contact you shortly.