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IND registration for EU citizens: a must!

02 Jul 2013

As a national of an EU member state you are free to live and work anywhere in the European Union. However when residing in the Netherlands for more than three months, you are still obliged to register with the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Even though there are no sanctions on not being registered, it is highly advisable to do so. It is a small effort, but it can make a big difference.

The brochure IND registration for EU citizens starts with the following paragraph:
“Persons with the nationality of an EU- or EEA-member state or Switserland (except Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania) who want to stay in the Netherlands longer than three months, need to register with the IND.”

Chances are that you didn’t know about this rule and as a consequence you never registered even though you reside in the Netherlands for quite some time now. And why should you register? Doesn’t EU-law state that all EU-nationals are free to circulate within the EU? It does, but EU-directive 2004/38/EC also says that member states should have the possibility to require union citizens to register with the competent authorities in the place of residence.

The Netherlands makes use of this right. Still, there is no punishment if you don’t register, so the question remains ‘why should you?’

Why would you register as an EU member?

First of all it can make several things in daily life a lot easier. Sometimes phone companies refuse EU citizens a subscription if they cannot show evidence of lawful residence. Banks might also refuse to open an account without seeing proof of residence. But that is not all there is to it. If you have lawfully resided in the Netherlands for five years or longer you are eligible to receive various benefits such as social services and study grants.

If you did not register with the IND, then you may be have a problem if you want to make a claim for these benefits after five years. Because it is mandatory to register with the IND when you reside in the Netherlands for more than three months, the authorities could state that you did not lawfully reside in the country during those five years.

These kind of mobility obstacles are easy to avoid: just register with the IND. Registration is free and is easily done. You can find more information on how to register on our Euraxess website.

Write to us about your experiences

Because it is important for us to learn more about the advantages of registering at the EU counter of the IND, we would like you to send us your experiences on this topic.

Have you ever been asked for this registration or have  you ever been denied benefits because you could not show a registration sticker in your passport? Please let us know by sending us an email.

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