In order to apply for accommodation, I have read that (which may not be completely true) this sequence of actions should be taken:

  • Register with an RNI municipality in the Netherlands
  • Receive a BSN number from the registration
  • Create a Dutch bank account with the BSN
  • Sign a contract with the landlord, specifying the bank account for future payments

I also read that BRP registration is required at some point. Could you give me clarification on how an international student should move to the Netherlands registration-wise and is visiting the country beforehand necessary?

PS I realize that my question is very similar to this one but I wanted to know for certain what the case for student housing is.

1 Answer 1


If you want to be the victim of a rent-forwarding scam, then yes...

That is, it is not uncommon for people to publish a supposed rental property, suggesting that you sign a contract over the Internet, exchanging scanned documents; that you forward rent for a month or two; and that they will leave you the keys somewhere, or mail them to you or whatever. What actually happens is that they take the money and disappear, and typically the apartment doesn't exist, or isn't for rent etc. - which you can't check, since you're not in the country.

Exceptions could be:

  • Official student housing, where the "landlord" is your university and whom you reach via official university contacts.
  • Situations in which you can have someone physically visit the property and engage the owner.

I should also mention that when I was looking for a place to rent, almost all apartment owners were looking for someone to move in ASAP or at a specific close date; few of them were interested in arrangements made months in advance.

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