Official Name: Kingdom of the Netherlands
Capital City: Amsterdam
Official Languages: Dutch
Religion: Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Unaffilited
Currency: Euro (€)
Time Zone: GMT + 1hour
Country Domain: .nl
Country Tel Code: 31
Having escaped the bombing of World War II, Amsterdam presents an almost museum-quality atmosphere, with charming houses of classic Dutch style lining the canals. The country abounds in beautiful areas that reflect the Golden Age of the 17th century, and its museums are full of artistic treasures.
Foreign residents and visitors should feel comfortable in the Netherlands. The Dutch are renowned for their mastery of foreign languages. English is the second language, used predominantly in business; German and French are also widely spoken.
The global recession took a toll on the Dutch economy, particularly as a member of the eurozone. In April 2012 the government collapsed after failing to garner support for austerity measures that would cut the budget deficit. The Netherlands is still in a stronger economic position than some of its southern eurozone partners. A new Prime Minister and government party has been in place since November 2012.
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Executive power rests with the prime minister. The monarch appoints the prime minister on the recommendation of parliament - usually the head of the majority party or coalition in the legislature. Parliament consists of a 75-member First Chamber (Eerste Kamer) chosen by the 12 provincial councils, and a 150-member Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer) which is directly elected.
The Netherlands' economy has a long history of prosperity. Industrial activity is predominantly food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. In order to meet the requirements for entrance into the European Monetary Union (EMU), the government was forced to take stringent measures to cut the deficit, including reducing welfare benefits and reforming the tax structure. The Netherlands was among the 11 founding European countries that established the Euro currency in January 1999.
Both apartments and houses, often rowhouses, are available in the major cities and towns, although the market may at times be limited. Rooms tend to be smaller than those found in some other countries, although many have high ceilings. Houses typically do not have basements. Apartments may be in large old homes that have been converted or in newer construction, frequently on the garden-apartment pattern. More modern buildings tend to be farther from the city center.
There are numerous excellent international schools in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities that provide instruction in English through the secondary level. There are also schools that offer instruction in French, German, and Japanese.
For those who intend to send their children to English speaking schools, it is very important to apply as soon as you know you will be moving. Because so many companies are attracted to the Netherlands, the demand for places in English speaking schools far outweighs the supply.
Santa Fe offers Visa and Immigration services for the Netherlands and countries around the world. For further information, please contact your local Santa Fe office.
Santa Fe Relocation Services Amsterdam Office
Address: H. Kamerlingh Onnesweg 3, 2408 AX Alphen aan den Rijn
Contact Number +31 172 44 79 79
Manager: Maarten Poels
Let us assist you with obtaining a Netherlands visa, finding an apartment or school in Amsterdam, and more!
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