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During the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the IWCN is available via e-mail, telephone, or our new online chat function. We have received a number of questions repeatedly: please see below our FAQ’s for the current outbreak.


Q: What do I do if I feel ill?

A: Telephone your Family Doctor or GP! When arriving in The Netherlands, you should have signed up to a local Doctor’s office- information on how to do this is available here. If you are feeling ill, call your Doctor and let them know. They will then register you with the local public health agency (GGD).

Q: How can I find accurate information on the Coronavirus?

A: Both the national organisation for public health (the RIVM) and local organisations (the GGD Groningen, GGD Friesland, and GGD Drenthe) provide regular updates as to the number of infections both locally and nationally. There is also loads of information on the Government of the Netherlands site. Alternatively, The Northern Times provides regular updates within the North.

Q: What happens if I require emergency care?

A: The Emergency Care number in The Netherlands is ‘112’. You will be directed to an operator who will ask if you require an ambulance, police, or the fire service. PLEASE NOTE- this is only for emergency use. Unless you are in present danger or have severe difficulties, contact your Family Doctor first.

Information and regulations

Q:  How do I know what the national government is doing?

A: When national announcements are made, they will first appear on NOS.nl or the television station NPO Nieuws. Translations will follow on The Northern Times. There is also loads of information on the Government of the Netherlands site.

Q: Can I go outside?

A: Yes, but the Dutch government has asked that people in The Netherlands stay at home as much as possible, avoid all crowded public places, and do not go out at all if anyone in their household has flu-like symptoms.

It is highly advised that you stay at home unless the trip is necessary: when going for a walk or exercise please remember that YOU MUST keep a 1.5-Metre space around you.

You may not go out in groups of more than 1. Police can hand out fines for contravening these regulations.

For more information, see the Government of the Netherlands site.

Q: Are the borders going to be closed?

A: Though The Netherlands has chosen not to shut its borders, some countries in Western Europe have. This may change, and any developments will be communicated by the Dutch government. The borders to the Schengen are are closed to non-EU people without an MVV.


Q:  Will my status as a foreign Self-employed permit holder be threatened if I apply for the TOZO scheme?

A:  NO! The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) and the Ministry of Justice and Security (J&V) have decided that foreign Self-employed permit holders can make use of the “Self-employment income support and loan scheme” (Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling zelfstandig ondernemers; TOZO)  without having this influence their right of residence.

Q:  What happens if our residence permits expire while we’re in quarantine?

A:  The IND updates the information on its website regularly. Please visit this part of the IND website for all recent updates.

Q:  I can’t come to the Netherlands but need a BSN to be paid by my employer. What can I do?

A:  Due to the Coronavirus measures in place, new employees cannot travel to the Netherlands to complete various actions required to begin their job, such as registering with a municipality to receive a BSN (Citizen Service Number).

In these kinds of special situations, where it is not reasonably possible to visit a municipal counter in the Netherlands due to the Coronavirus travel restriction, the Tax Office offers a possibility to apply for a BSN number from abroad.

Please be aware that it can take up to 8 weeks for the Belastingdienst to assign a BSN to you. And allow for postal time to your country thereafter.

To apply for the BSN number, print out the form “Aanvraag BSN-Toeslagpartner“. This form is normally used for another purpose but the Tax Office has decided to use parts of it during the COVID-19 Crisis,

Please only fill out part 1 and part 3 of the form.  You do not need to fill out part 2.

Part 1:
Naam en voorletters:  Family name, and initials of given names
Burgerservicenummer:  Leave blank
Geboortedatum:  birthdate in this format (dd-mm-yyyy)
Straat, huisnummer:  Street name, house number, apartment number (if applicable)
Postcode en Plaats:  Postal code and city
Land: Country
Telefoonnummer: Telephone number

Part 3:
Datum:  Date in this format (dd-mm-yyyy)
Handtekening:  Your signature
Handtekening toeslagpartner:  Not applicable – leave blank

After completing the form, you will need to include the following documents with the form:

  • Proof of address abroad (in English, Dutch or German, not older than 6 months)
  • Copy of the ID of the employee (passport or country ID)
  • Copy of your employment contract in the Netherlands

Then please send the form and the documents to the address mentioned on the form:

     Afdeling: Klantbeheer Den Haag
     Postbus 29
     6400 AA Heerlen

As soon as the Tax Office has handled your registration in the Civic Records Database (BRP), you will receive your BSN number by regular post at your address abroad.

Q: Can I book an appointment at my local Gemeente?

A: It depends on the gemeente in question. For up-to-date information, please contact your local municipal website to find out- about what services they are offering.


Q: What do I do if I cannot pay my rent?

A: At the moment, lots of people have lost work or their income thanks to the general business shutdown, and so the Dutch government has ruled that no evictions (aside from mis-use or actions related to criminal activity) may be carried out during the ongoing outbreak. If rent cannot be paid, landlords have been asked to speak to tenants to come up with custom arrangements for each person. More information is available on the Dutch government’s website.

Q: Can I move house?

A: Yes, of course, however please note that various housing agencies are doing online-only viewings, contactless check-in procedures, or online-only contract signing.