Citizen Service Number (BSN/Sofi number)

Staying longer than 4 months?

You are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen

People staying longer than 4 months in the Netherlands who are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen are required to register in the Municipal Records Database a.k.a. ‘Basisregistratie Personen – BRP’ within 5 days upon arrival to the Netherlands. Registration has to be completed at the municipality (called gemeente in Dutch) in the city, which you will reside in – find the office nearest you through the official municipality website.

You are not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen

If you are planning on staying for a longer period than 4 months within the Netherlands and are not a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, then you are required to apply for a residence permit from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service – IND and a BSN.


What is a BSN or a Sofi number?

The Burger service number is a citizen service number issued by the Dutch Tax Office (de Belastingdienst – it is an equivalent to a social-fiscal number, social security number and sofi number. Everyone who resides in the Netherlands has to apply for a BSN number, as this number aids in the communication between you and the Dutch authorities such as:


  1. Opening a bank account
  2. Starting a new job
  3. Using the Dutch healthcare system (e.g. dentist)
  4. Deducting taxes
  5. Social security contributions
  6. Changing personal information (e.g. changing addresses)


But most importantly, the BSN is used to resist identity fraud and misspelling in names.

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