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Citizen service number (BSN)

You may have come across something called a BSN number when exploring our page. But what is this mysterious number that everyone seems to be talking about? A BSN number is essentially a citizenship number for which you must apply once you begin living and studying in the Netherlands. To clarify the air regarding this number, we've produced a list of everything you need to know about what a BSN Number is and how to get one.

The citizen service number (BSN) is a one-of-a-kind personal identification number assigned to everyone in the Personal Records Database (BRP). A BSN is assigned to everyone who registers with the BRP. It serves as a substitute for a social security and tax number, as well as an all-purpose identification number. When you arrive in Holland, you must apply for a BSN number. To obtain one, you must first register with the local government. Your information is placed into the Municipal Personal Records Database, and you are assigned a BSN number.

Non-EU students are assigned a BSN number based on the judgment of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). Basically, you go to the IND and give in your application for a residency permit after registering with the municipality. The IND then accepts your permission, notifies the municipality, and you have your permit within 10 days.

What's the point of having one?

A BSN number is required. It's impossible not to have one. Not only are you formally registered in Holland with a BSN, but you may also utilize it for administrative purposes. You'll need your BSN to receive insurance, apply for a housing allowance, or find a job with a wage, for example. Furthermore, you'll need it to apply for any type of assistance, such as student aid.  Your citizen service number (BSN) is used by the government to handle your personal information. In the Netherlands, you may use your BSN for any government service. You don't have to give your information to each government agency; they can locate it using your BSN.

It is considerably easier to go about your daily life with a BSN number. Your information may also be retrieved from the database if you need to apply for something, such as a bank account or an allowance.

How to Get Started

When you register with a Dutch municipality, you will be given a BSN number (a gemeente). All you have to do now is go to your municipal hall and ask to be registered. If you plan on remaining longer than four months, as most students do, you should do this within five days of arriving.

If you are an EU citizen, you must provide proof of identification (such as a passport) as well as proof of residency.

You'll need to provide a residency permit and maybe proof of university attendance if you're a non-EU student.

In healthcare

If you want medical assistance, you can use your citizen service number (BSN) to identify yourself. The BSN is required for recognized care providers such as general practitioners and health insurance organizations.

In education

The BSN is also known as the personal identity number (PGN) or education number in education. The PGN and the BSN are the same numbers. In their records, schools must utilize the PGN.

The BSN is used to get benefits

Childcare providers are required to get your and your child's BSNs. The Tax and Customs Administration's Benefits Office compares the number of childcare hours you submit to the hours recorded by the childcare organization. Landlords and the housing benefit are in the same boat, as are healthcare insurers and the healthcare benefit.

Using the BSN to prevent identity fraud

The BSN’s main purpose is to help with contact between different government organizations, and between individuals and the government. Non-government organisations – like general practice doctors and other healthcare providers, pharmacies and healthcare insurers – can only use the BSN if the law requires it. The BSN makes it easier for government organizations to exchange personal details without making errors. Each organization must make sure that you are using your own BSN.

Looking for a job but you do not have BSN?

We are happy to say, that we can offer you a job in the Netherlands without having BSN! We will make it for you. Just register and one of our coordinators will contact you soon.