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Where do I go with my problem?

In a new country, it is not so easy to figure out what and to whom to contact. Expatriates are often unaware of the availability of some specialists or assistance services. Well, difficulties can arise in any country and for any person. Therefore, in this article we will take a closer look at which specialists and authorities are there in the Netherlands and which of them, in which case it is worth contacting. And also what to do with bulky waste and where to go in case of material problems.


It is worth thinking about when it comes to court cases. He protects your interests in some serious dispute where you could not agree on your own. For example, if you are getting a divorce and want to discuss child support, go to a lawyer.

The only thing to remember is that a lawyer is expensive and not always necessary, sometimes you can do without his participation. It should be used when your case needs to be prepared for trial.

Important! Even if you have a small income, you can also count on the services of a lawyer. In such cases, you can get a lawyer subsidy. As with health insurance, it has a part of your own contribution (the amount you pay yourself), but anything more than this amount will be paid by the state. The subsidy depends on income and may differ slightly from year to year, specific numbers can be found here.

This subsidy is only possible for individuals, businesses always pay themselves.

However, if you just think that some decision is unfair to you (for example, fines, incorrectly calculated taxes, incorrect electricity bills, parking bills, etc.), you can first contact a lawyer and try to resolve the issue in this way. Lawyers will help you challenge this decision. If there is no money for a lawyer in IP there is a free legal consultation legal counter they give free advice and can help you write the letter you need. Here you can find a list of addresses where you can come for consultations, as well as phone and e-mail.


A notary only certifies your decision. He does not provide advice, does not help you make decisions, and cannot tell you which decision is best. It can only suggest how best to design an existing solution. May create a document template, but is not required to do so. The notary's signature gives your decision official status.

When buying an apartment, preparing documents for another country, drawing up a deed of gift or power of attorney - all this requires certification from a notary.

Also, the notary does the legalization of the signature. That is, it simply confirms that it was you who signed. In this case, he does not even read the document itself, he simply checks the passport that it is valid and not stolen, then you sign with him and he certifies the signature itself, not the document. This is often enough.

When is an apostille required?

Apostille is a seal of the state, confirming that the document is official. It is put on the seal of certain categories of persons, those who are in the registers, namely: notaries, sworn translators, judges and other official organizations, for example, the gemeente (municipality). Other documents cannot be apostilled.

Apostille is required for official documents that you are going to present somewhere other than Holland. These can be documents about your company, a marriage or divorce certificate, a certificate of unmarriage, a court decision.

What is it for? For example, you can write a power of attorney in English / Russian, it can be certified by a notary, and apostille can be affixed to his signature, after which such a document can be presented outside the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, we do not recommend doing this, because in this case only your signature will be certified, but not the document itself. It is better that the document itself was officially drawn up, then it will have a different force. If you yourself draw up a power of attorney, you write: “I trust such and such ...” If the document is drawn up by a notary, it will be written there: “I am a notary such and such, I trust such and such in the name of such and such…”. This means that the notary has drawn up this document and he is responsible for the fact that the document is drawn up correctly. Such a document will be accepted everywhere, therefore it is recommended to do just that.


In the Netherlands there are many different highly specialized consultants who are licensed in their field. These are all officials, if, of course, they are registered as such. In this case, he has a website, he is on LinkedIn, he has his registration number. When you communicate with such a consultant, you know that you are receiving formal advice. Therefore, if you want to choose insurance, go to an insurance consultant; if you want to apply for an additional pension, go to a pension consultant.

Appraiser (taxator).

This is a specialist who makes taxation (appraisal) of a house or other real estate or any large object that you want to sell. All of them must pass this assessment before selling and the appraisers also have the appropriate licenses.

Other helpers.

In addition to consultants, there are a number of other assistants, for example, realtors. They can often be dispensed with, although they can make your life easier by doing some of the work for you. They should also have registration, but you decide whether to contact them or not. But we still recommend contacting consultants in order not to get into an unpleasant situation, especially if the question is not quite standard.

Material problems.

If you have financial problems that you cannot solve on your own, the municipalities (gemeente) have many types of material assistance. There are a number of benefits for low-income people (zorgtoeslag, huurtoeslag, kinderopvangtoeslag, kindgebondenbudget), as well as one-time help, for example, to buy a washing machine (because the Dutch believe that one cannot live without it).

If there is no money even for food there is a foedskbank. Here you can see who can count on their help, as well as find the closest one to your place of residence. In addition, there are various volunteer organizations that help. In general, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, go to your municipality (gemeente), find out how they can help in your case.


The Netherlands has a special program for those who find themselves in such serious debt that they cannot close themselves. This is called "reorganization". The procedure is as follows: you are tested for compliance with the program's criteria, namely, it is determined whether you really cannot pay off your debts, even if by selling something. If everything is really serious, you are included in the program for three years. You are assigned a coach and from that moment all your money (benefits, earnings) does not go to you, but to this coach, and he already pays all your bills and, if possible, debts, and gives you only a small amount for food. This is a difficult program, but if you have not violated anything for all three years and everything went well, all debts are forgiven you, even if you have not paid them back.

The program is applicable to all residents of the IP with a permanent residence permit. What is your salary, it does not matter, it will be taken away all until you either pay off your debts, or three years have passed. If you do not work, they will insist on getting at least some kind of work for a job.

Judicial executors (deurwaarders).

These are the people who come when debts not only accumulated and were not paid after many reminders, but also passed the court, which recognized that you really have to pay serious sums. Bailiffs have the right to seize your property, evict from a rented apartment if you do not pay for it, and so on. Plus, they charge their own fees. Therefore, it is better not to lead to such a development of events, but to pay at least a little bit or to issue an installment plan (in IP it is always possible).

Conflicts with neighbors.

We recommend that you start simply by talking to your neighbors, perhaps they just don't know that something is wrong with you. The next step may be to contact organizing the settlement of neighboring relations... They work for free and help negotiate.

If that doesn't work, you can call the police. But you need to call it either at the moment when something is happening that bothers you, or having fixed facts, inconvenience caused to you. The police have a wijkagent (precinct) who can also be contacted.

In a situation where, for example, a landfill has formed somewhere near your house and it is not clear who is responsible for it, you can either negotiate with your neighbors and remove it by joint efforts, or you can call your municipality (gemeente) and they will organize cleaning.

Dierenpolitie (animal welfare)

Organization to ensure that animals are treated correctly. They can be called if the neighbors have 18 cats and the whole house smells or the dog sits on the street tied and hungry. Well, in any other case, when you see cruelty to animals.

Kinderbescherm (child protection)

Organization for the Protection of Children. Accordingly, you can turn to her if it seems to you that someone is mistreating your child, you can call them and if the child returned from his ex-husband / wife crying and unhappy. However, you have to be very careful here, because once contacting them, you will remain in the field of their attention for a long time. That is why, for example, when divorcing, you should be very careful with words and deeds so that your partner does not turn to Kinderbescherm.

If, on the contrary, you found or lost something in your area, in many areas there is a support group for neighbors where you can place an ad: found keys, a cat, an alarm went off, and so on. These groups are in whatsapp and somewhere on the post there is an announcement, and there is also the Nextdoor application.

Where to take out bulky waste. 

It is important here what exactly you want to throw out: furniture, appliances or construction waste.

If it is about furniture and it is still quite decent, you can call the nearest secondhand (kringloop) and they will pick it up from you or you can agree with them that on a certain day you put your furniture out on the street and they will pick it up themselves. You can also look at the website of your municipality (gemeente) when they collect large rubbish. In almost all municipalities, it can be taken once a year free of charge, for more times you usually have to pay extra. However, this only applies to furniture!

If you want to throw away machinery, there are separate days for her when she can be put out on the street. You can also call someone from the municipality (gemeente). It is important to know that often when you buy, say, a refrigerator, you already pay for its disposal, so they are taken away for free. And sometimes, when you buy a new refrigerator (or other equipment), you can arrange to have the old one taken away. Alternatively, the equipment can be taken to the reception point in the municipality, this is usually free of charge, you just need to show that you live in the territory to which this item refers.

If you have formed construction garbage, you need to order a container for it (see huurconteiner) and here you need to be very careful, since containers are very different and you can throw a strictly defined type of garbage into them, for example, only earth. These containers are usually cheaper, so don't be fooled by the bargain price.

And of course, do not forget that there is more marketplace and facebook, where everything can be put up for sale or even free. Then they will definitely come to you and take whatever they want.

Important!The municipality must obtain a permit to cut large trees and to build buildings that go beyond the permitted criteria of that municipality. It is important to check on the website of the municipality or by calling them. Also, in some municipalities there may be a ban on blocking out the light of neighbors or a ban on painting the facade of a house in colors other than those specified on the list.

Study: finance and diploma.

DUO (DienstUitvoeringOnderwijs) is an organization that deals with educational issues in IP. They can help finance your studies or give a loan that you have to pay back later. They are also involved in diagnosing and confirming that you have, for example, dyslexia, which means that you are legally entitled to extra time on the exam.

An already existing foreign diploma can be assessed they have -  or do it here here.

I got off the train, but forgot to attach the card

In this case, you need to fill out a form on the NS website and the extra money that was withdrawn from you will be returned to you.

And of course, if you need help filling out any forms, we will be happy to help you with that.

Best regards, Nalog.nl team

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