If you are in the process of receiving your residence permit, you might need a tuberculosis (TB) test. Depending on your nationality, part of the immigration process for you and your family (if applicable) will require undergoing a required TB test.

Residence permits in the Netherlands are granted under the expressed condition that you, and if applicable your family, will undergo a TB test within three months of receiving your permit. If you fail to take a TB test within three months, it may result in cancellation of the permit granted to you and your family.

Therefore, during onboarding, you must complete and sign a declaration of intent

Read below to learn more about where to get your TB test, required documents, and total costs.

Understanding TB

TB is an abbreviation for the medical condition called tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious and easily spreadable infectious disease that causes infections in your lungs or other tissues. TB spreads through the air and can is transmitted when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. When left untreated, TB is deadly.

While treatable with a combination of intensive antibiotics, the treatment duration is long. Patients with TB will be on antibiotics anywhere from six to nine months.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4400 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Since COVID-19 estimated TB incidence and deaths have increased globally. Therefore, testing is becoming more important.

To-date, TB is the second biggest infectious disease after COVID-19.

Getting Tested in NL

If you have received a letter from Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) requiring you to get a TB test, you need to make an appointment at the Tuberculosis Department of the Dutch Municipal Health Service (GGD).

There are 25 GGD Municipal or Joint Health Service regions in the Netherlands, so where you live will determine what GGD branch you will visit.

The role of the GGD, according to their main website, is to monitor, protect and promote the health of everyone, with special attention to risk groups. That’s why most internationals in the residence permit process that come from countries where TB is a high-risk are asked to undergo testing.

On the map below you can find where your nearest GGD is located.

Map GGD regions

TB (tuberculosis) test Exemptions

Not every individual getting their residence permit in the Netherlands will be required to take a TB test.

Only nationals from countries mentioned on this list will be required to undergo testing. Additionally, if you are from a country mentioned on this list, the GGD advises to have yourself tested for tuberculosis every six months for two years. You will receive a request to attend the GGD for this follow-up test.

Other circumstances for exemption from testing include people that hold an EU residence permit for long-term residents issued by another EU member state.

Also, if you are a family member of someone who holds this EU residence permit and have already been admitted to another EU member state as a family member of the long-term resident, you do not need to get tested.

Costs TB Test

Although the TB test is being required by IND, there are out-of-pocket costs that you will incur.

As of  January 1, 2024, the price breakdown is as follows:
(prices may differ per GGD location)

  • Skin test (Mantoux test) € 41,50

  • BCG vaccination € 56,00

  • Chest X-ray € 55,00
  • Blood test (IGRA) € 62.50

Normally, GGD offices will only accept debit card payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you have to get tested after every extension?

No. You only get tested (if required by IND) during your first residence permit application.

  • Do children need to be tested?

Yes, all ages need to undergo an TB test. Children under the age of 18 will be tested by means of a tuberculin skin test (Mantoux test). This test can reveal whether your child has been infected with the tuberculosis bacteria. You will need to return to the tuberculosis department two or three days later.

The tuberculin skin test is not dangerous or invasive and can then be assessed by the GGD official. Please note, you will not be able to make an appointment with GGD for the TB test outside of school hours. Therefore, the school should accommodate for this testing.

  • What documents do I need to bring?

If you are handling your onboarding with All About Expats,  you only need to bring the TB referral document you filled. Alternatively, for those navigating residence permits alone, you need to bring your passport or ID and the referral form.

Video: Instruction video of a tuberculosis test

A video of the GGD in Utrecht

High-Risk Countries for TB

The following countries are on the list for widespread tuberculosis:

Central-African Republic

Ellice Islands
Equatorial Guinea

Myanmar (Burma)
North Korea

Papua New Guinea
Sierra Leone
South Africa