please call: +31 (0)50 367 71 97
or mail your question:
The International Welcome Center North (IWCN) is a one-stop shop for international people living in, and companies located in, Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.
We offer services in three areas: government formalities (residence permits and municipal registration); information (practical information and referrals to reliable service providers); and social activities (a chance to start building a social and/or business network during activities and events).
We also provide information to companies and organizations about formalities and practical matters concerning their international employees.
All of this happens at one location! We are open by appointment, and reachable by phone, from Monday through Thursday from 9:30 to 16:30 hrs.
Emails are monitored Monday through Friday.
Our online Chat is also open from 9:30 – 12:00, Monday through Friday.
Certain employees (including Highly-skilled migrants, Scientific Researchers, Intra-Corporate Transferees, Orientation year, Start-up, EU Blue card, EU employees and their family members) from all three Northern provinces may use the International Welcome Center North to swiftly arrange government formalities, provided that they fulfill the requirements.
The employees can then finish payroll registration at their companies, open a bank account, sign up for health insurance, register for mobile phone subscriptions, etc., much sooner than previously possible, saving time and reducing frustration.
Non-EU/EEA highly skilled employees (see list of permit holders in the previous paragraph) and their families no longer need to register separately with the Municipality and the Immigration Service (IND), but can obtain their residence permits and register for their citizen service numbers (BSN) in one meeting at the International Welcome Center North in Groningen if they fulfill the requirements for this service.
For IND services at the IWCN, the employer must be registered as a “recognized sponsor” with the IND.
A list of recognized sponsors can be found here.
If Non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizens live in – or work for a company located in – one of the associated municipalities (currently Assen, Eemsdelta, Emmen, Groningen, Heerenveen, Het Hogeland, Leeuwarden, Midden-Groningen, Noordenveld, Smallingerland, Súdwest-Fryslân and Veendam), then they can also use the accelerated procedure to register. If they live or work in Groningen, they will obtain a BSN during their appointment at the IWCN. If they live or work in one of the associated municipalities other than Groningen, they will receive their BSN by post within three postal business days at their registration address.
This accelerated procedure is a significant time savings compared to the usual time of 2-4 weeks. Please be aware that we do assess a fee for this service.
Appointments must be made in advance and are held at the following times:
Tuesdays & Thursdays:
9:50-12:00, IND only
13:00 – 16:00, IND
13:30 – 16:30, Municipality
Citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland do not need a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands if their stay is based on the EC Treaty, but they are still required to register with their local Municipality.
If EU/EEA or Swiss citizens live in – or work for a company located in – one of the associated municipalities (currently Assen, Eemsdelta, Emmen, Groningen, Heerenveen, Het Hogeland, Leeuwarden, Midden-Groningen, Noordenveld, Smallingerland, Súdwest-Fryslân and Veendam), then they can also use the accelerated procedure to register. If they live or work in Groningen, they will obtain a BSN during their appointment at the IWCN. If they live or work in one of the associated municipalities other than Groningen, they will receive their BSN by post within three postal business days at their registration address.
Tuesdays & Thursdays:
13:30 – 16:30, Municipality
All international residents of the three Northern provinces, whether EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA, are welcome to use the information services and join in on the social activities and events of the International Welcome Center North.
Do you have a question on how to import your car or pet, for example, or other practical matters? Or do you want to know where you can obtain various professional services in English or other languages? Just ask the knowledgeable and friendly IWCN staff.
Are you ready to start building your social network in the Northern Netherlands? Then come and join an event or activity to make the first connections.
Do you want to learn about Dutch culture and customs, or find out about the Dutch labor market? Why not attend the IWCN workshops or webinars?
Various services are offered through our founding partner, Connect International, including social events, support, advice and more!
The IWCN also maintains a list of trusted Service Partners, covering a range of sectors.
We provide general information to the employer of internationals concerning HR and employment issues, 30% tax rulings, residence/work permits, housing, labor regulations, etc, and give referrals to our reliable service partners for in-depth assistance. Companies and organizations can contact the IWCN by telephone, email or in person during our regular business hours.
We also organize IWCN Webinars, featuring different topics given by expert Service Providers, and give general presentations on various topics.
With streamlined formality procedures combined with an information and service location, the International Welcome Center North aims to better serve the working and living needs of the international community in the Northern Netherlands.
The International Welcome Center North is a cooperation between the Gemeente Groningen, Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), University of Groningen, and Stichting Connect International.
Our supporters are the Provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe, Philips, Gasunie, Gasterra, UMCG, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Noorderlink, International School Groningen, Groningseschool Vereniging, and the municipalities Assen, Eemsdelta, Emmen, Groningen, Heerenveen, Het Hogeland, Leeuwarden, Midden-Groningen, Noordenveld, Smallingerland, Súdwest-Fryslân and Veendam.