Social services number in The Netherlands
Everyone in the country has a unique BSN.
The Dutch citizen service number — abbreviated to BSN from the Dutch burgerservicenummer — is one of the first bureaucratic hurdles that you will have to deal with when settling in the Netherlands.
The BSN is used during all interaction with Dutch authorities: when you’re starting a job, opening a bank account, doing your taxes, using the healthcare system, applying for benefits, announcing an address change, etc. It also serves to combat identity fraud and administrative errors due to misspelling.
It is important to note that having a BSN does not automatically allow you to work in the Netherlands. Depending on an expat’s country of origin, they may need to apply for a work permit.
If you’re a non-EU expat and applying for a Dutch residence permit, your registration with the municipality will be provisional. After you have registered, you will receive a letter of pre-registration (BvB – Bewijs van Bekendmaking in Dutch) from the Dutch immigration and naturalisation service IND, which will be returned to your municipality after you have applied for your residence permit. After that, your registration and BSN will be confirmed.