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Get started in TopDutch

Are you ready to join the TopDutch community of 40,000 international talents? The International Welcome Center North (IWCN) was founded by local government, universities and employers to make life easier for new international TopDutchers. Designed as a ‘one-stop-shop’, they streamline tasks needed to settle in the TopDutch region; government formalities such as visas and registrations; practical matters such as banking and day-to-day information; and the social side of TopDutch life such as community events and business networking days.

Formal matters

Government formalities

Moving to the TopDutch region is exciting, but there can be quite some formalities to fulfil to fully settle in. For example, every new arrival must get a social security number (BSN) and register their address at the municipality. Usually in the Netherlands, this can take up to four weeks, however the ICWN speeds up the process for incoming talent to three working days, making your move to TopDutch much more seamless.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss talent must also obtain a residence permit. Once-upon-a-time that meant another visit to the IND on top of new arrivals’ busy to-do list, however now the IWCN will help internationals by merging the formalities into one meeting at their help desk.  


Practical matters

Where to start?

Where can you buy a car? What school is best for my child? Who can help me get a mortgage? The IWCN has partnerships with professionals in all sorts of sectors that have experience helping internationals overcome the tasks needed to start-up life in the TopDutch region.

Furthermore, they also guide companies looking to employ foreign nationals with the governmental and staff-side needs of incoming expat talent.


Settling in

Social connections

Whether you’re looking for a business or social network in the TopDutch region, meeting new expats and locals is an important part of settling in. Therefore, the IWCN, along with their founding partner Connect International, organizes a number of events to help internationals build their circle.


Opening times

When and where?

The IWCN is open every weekday from 10:00 - 17:00. For the governmental services, you should make an appointment in advance for them to help you. You can find all the important information on their website. 

You can find the IWCN in the city center of Groningen, just around the corner from the central station and on a number of bus lines. The address is: 

Gedempte Zuiderdiep 98
9711 HL Groningen
The Netherlands


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