When most people think of a trip to the Netherlands they think of smoking joints in the many cafes in Amsterdam and that sits well with many Canadians! But there's more to the Netherlands than sucking back the ganja in touristy cafes. There are also non-touristy cafes to smoke weed at. Oh, and there's cheese and windmills and clogs.
But all kidding aside, if you can escape the drug scene in Amsterdam long enough to look for a job and a place to stay, The Netherlands has a lot to offer. Many people from all over Europe come to work in the tulip bulb factories and can earn some decent money. There are lots of other jobs to be had but it will probably help if you speak more than just English as most Dutch people are multi-lingual and it will be an asset if you are intending on getting a job dealing with the public.
Amsterdam hotels are the best bet for new arrivals to stretch out a bit in comfort and find their feet before facing the reality of the job and apartment hunt.
You will need to get a bank account to be able to do anything financial in the Netherlands including receiving your salary, renting accommodation, paying a utility bill or setting up a phone line. In order to open account you will need to show your passport and some sort of proof of address. You may need to also show proof of registration with the foreign police (which you will have to do to get your work visa anyways) and perhaps proof you are working and your Sofi-number (Social Fiscal Identification Number).
The tax system is confusing! Best bet is to get the info from the horse's mouth at this website.
The social insurance number in The Netherlands is called a Sofi-number and must have one to be able to work. To get it register with the tax office (Belastingdienst). For more information call the Central Tax Office number 0800-0543 or visit the Belastingdienst website.
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