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If you live abroad and come to the Netherlands to work or study, you will need a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer (BSN)) for your dealings with the Dutch authorities. You will be issued this number when you register in the Netherlands.
If you will be staying in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, you should register with one of 18 municipalities in the Netherlands via the RNI (registratie niet-ingezetenen) procedure. This cannot be done at the IWCN.
If you will be staying in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you should register with the municipality in which you live via the BRP procedure. If you qualify for the accelerated formalities services of the IWCN, the registration may be done at the IWCN.
The Burgerservicenummer (BSN) is a unique personal number issued to everyone registered in the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP, formerly the GBA), which is the Municipal Personal Records Database. The BSN was formerly known as the SoFi (Social-Fiscaal) number. The BSN is a unique personal resident service number and appears in Dutch passports, identity cards and driving licenses.
Government authorities use the BSN to correspond with citizens and exchange personal information with other (governmental) agencies, when legally permitted; for example, between the municipality and the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). The BSN is an important tool for improving government services, and is also used to combat identity fraud and solve issues with misspelled names.
The BSN is a requirement for starting a job in the Netherlands, opening a bank account, using the health care system, applying for benefits, buying a car, and announcing a change of address, to name a few examples.
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