My family and I are UK citizens and I am very likely to be moving to the Netherlands for my work, though unfortunately that is almost certainly going to happen on the wrong side of 31 October. Thus we are looking to establish legal residency in the Netherlands pre-Brexit so that we can be grandfathered in when/should Brexit take place. All advice on this matter is welcome though I have two specific questions:

In your collective experience, what exactly is needed to register with the municipality: is a longish term lease needed or can an AirBNB booking plus assurances that we are looking for something long term enough? Does my whole family (partner, infant) need to be present at the registration office or can I take all of our passports/documents in?

Note, I have contacted the municipality (Maastricht) to ask these same questions but the autoreply I got said there might be a few weeks wait...time we don't have.

  • Maybe you've found a solution to your problem, but just in case : I recently arrived in the Netherlands to work in a university (since you're active on Academia, maybe you are also in that case) and I didn't have an adress I could use to register. The university gave me a paper allowing me to use the adress of the office for international arrivants to register in the municipality for the first 3 months. I don't know if all universities do this or if all municipalities accept it but it sounds like it could be (or have been) a solution for you (or anyone else in the same situation).
    – Arnaud D.
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 17:05
  • Oh yes, that does sound like a strong possibility. I'm going to ask now! Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


If you don't have a lease in your name, you need the main occupant to sign a document stating you live with them and give you a copy of their passport, national ID or residence permit to join to your application. I personally registered that way, i.e. without any long-term lease or other proof of my intent to live at this address for a specific period of time. But I did actually live there and show up in person at the municipality.

For that doesn't mean you will not encounter difficulties. In principle, an AirBnb host must be registered as the main occupant of the house they are letting and is very unlikely to help you register at the same address. Municipalities do check for excessive numbers of registration at a given address. Similarly, registration is supposed to reflect actual residence. You cannot establish “legal” residence if you haven't moved yet. I have no idea how likely you are to be found out but providing false information to the municipality carries up to €325 fine for you and for anybody who supported your false claim (e.g. an AirBnb host).

  • Thanks so much for this. Do note, I'm not looking to make a false claim, we are moving to the Netherlands, I am just not sure we can manage finding a suitable long term lease before Brexit. Under normal circumstances we'd just AirBnB for a bit then register when we have a lease but, of course, we want to get in before the Brexit line. Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 18:10
  • @GrotesqueSI but it sounds like you're trying to register your residence in the Netherlands before Brexit while actually moving there after Brexit.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 15:01
  • More I need to move very quickly to get there before Brexit, but would like to spend some time looking for a nice place to live long term rather than spend a year renting whatever is available now. I don't know enough about local schools, transport links, etc to commit. Again, in any other circumstance, we would AirBnB for a couple months while looking. This is a fairly normal way to move with a family, no? The last time I moved to a new country my employer put us up in Uni housing temporarily for two months while I looked for a suitable long term place to live. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 18:21
  • @GrotesqueSI Like phoog I had a slightly different reading of your original question. But yes, staying at a temporary accommodation is entirely reasonable and even if you were trying to bend the rules, I don't mean to judge, I am just alerting you on the way the rules are structured.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 19:00
  • Beyond that, it's indeed the case that registration issues can create a bit of hassle when moving in from abroad (many other things are tied to this registration too), I don't have any easy solution for that. Staying with a friends or finding a semi-permanent accommodation (typical lease on the rental market is one year) directly or with the help of an employer are two solutions I used in the past but I can see how they might not always be practical.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 19:01

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