Can I work in the Netherlands as a student?

In the Netherlands, there are rules you must abide to if you want to work and study at the same time. Do you need a work permit? What are the requirements to be able to work as a student? How many hours are students allowed to work in the Netherlands? Here are the answers to these questions and more. 

Can international students work in the Netherlands?

The answer is yes. And even a lot of students work during their studies to earn some extra money to cover their living expenses. But work and study at the same time in Holland also is a great way to meet people and get acquainted with the Dutch society. 

The requirements and the number of work hours allowed, however depend mainly on the student’s nationality. Also, those who need to take up a work placement as part of their studies do not need a work permit. 

Moreover, there are a few mandatory documents students need to prepare in order to study and work at the same time in the Netherlands. One of them is a health insurance plan. There’s more to come on the matter so keep on reading!

Read our guide on the tuition fees and living cost in the Netherlands for students. 

How many hours can international students work in Netherlands?

The number of working hours depends on the student’s country of origin. Those who are from the EU/EEA and Switzerland are free to work full time without any restrictions. They don’t either need to apply for a work permit as long as they abide to the Dutch law in the Working Hours Act (ATW). 

Non-European international students, on the other hand can work no more than 16 hours a week during the academic year. They can however work full time during vacation time (June, July and August) as long as they have a valid resident permit. 

Moreover, their potential employer needs to apply for a work permit allowing them to work and study in the Netherlands. But before applying, the employer needs to prove that there are no Dutch nationals or EU/EEA/Swiss who are capable of doing the job.

Requirements to study and work in Holland 

Students who are European Union citizens who want to work and study in the Netherlands need a health insurance coverage. If they don’t have one, a European Health Insurance Card will be enough. Moreover, they also need a Dutch service number (BSN), a unique ID that insurance companies will ask for the health coverage application. 

Get more details in our guide on the student health insurance in the Netherlands.

Non-European students on the other hand, in addition to the compulsory insurance and the BSN, need a resident permit. You should apply for this permit within the 3 weeks upon your arrival in the Netherlands. 

BSN Social security number application 

International students who plan to stay for more than 4 months in the Netherlands need to register as a resident at their municipality. They will then be registered in the Dutch Personal Records Database, enabling them to get a citizen service number or BSN. This ID is also required when students open a bank account as well as other important paperwork related to health insurance, work, taxes and internships in the Netherlands.

The BSN application should be done as soon as possible to avoid delays. Some universities might facilitate the municipal registration at special intake days for international students. So, make sure to check if your university has made arrangements in that regard. Another advice: be prepared! Make sure you have all the documents you need for this registration to avoid any hitches along the way. 

Open a student bank account

If you want to work and study at the same time in the Netherlands, you’ll need a bank account to receive your salary. The same goes if you want to undertake an internship in Holland. This also will be very useful since many stores in the country have ceased accepting cash. 

How to get a work permit for international students in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, it’s always the employer who applies for the work permit (TWV) and never the student. They do it at the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). Moreover, the application should be done at least 5 weeks before the beginning of the job. 

Also, the student should not in any circumstance start working without a TWV or else they are working illegally. In this case they’ll risk losing their residence permit and the employer would be subjected to severe fines. The application for a student work permit is free of charge in the Netherlands. And the document’s content is specific to the type of work and the employer it is issued for. 

Moreover, in case the student works more hours than allowed, the Dutch Inspectorate SZW must notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). The IND then inspect the student’s study progress to check if they’ve completed the necessary credits for their courses. To maintain their residence permit, international students must earn at least 50% of their annual required credit number.  

Learn more on the student visa and residence permit in the Netherlands.

Internship in the Netherlands for non-EU students

Students who have to undertake internships as part of their study program or relevant to it do not need a work permit, but an internship agreement. Actually, they still need a health insurance, but the work permit is not required. Moreover, the internship agreement must include the signature of the host university, the internship employer and of course the student. 

Work as self-employed students

In the Netherlands, you are also allowed to study and work as a self-employed individual, as long as you meet the requirements to keep your residence permit. In this case, the limit of 16 hours per week doesn’t apply anymore, you can work as many hours as you want. Moreover, students who are self-employed do not need a work permit. Instead, they must register at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK)

How can an international student get a job in the Netherlands?

Unless you live in big cities such as Rotterdam or Amsterdam, finding a student job may be a little difficult if you don’t speak Dutch. However, it’s difficult, but not impossible, as long as you do a job search through the right channels. Start by getting in touch with the department in charge of student work at your university. 

Outside the school, online platforms such as LinkedIn of Amsterdam job search can be helpful. There are also websites such as Undutchables or that are very useful especially if you don’t speak Dutch yet. The third option is to visit an employment agency in the city you live. The most popular ones are Randstad or Tempo Team. 

Of course, to increase your chance to land a job you’d like, make sure to write a good resume along with a unique motivation letter for each of your applications. 

Types of jobs for international students in the Netherlands

The availability of student jobs in the Netherlands depends on the size of the city you live in. The smaller the city is or the lower the population number, then the number of job opportunity is smaller as well. This is especially the case if you plan to land a job in contact with people such as a delivery person or a waiter. 

But international students in the Netherlands can also work at their schools as teacher assistant or research assistant, as library attendant, or as a coach during international student orientation period. Moreover, as freelancers, students can work as video editor or any other relevant job. 

How much can international students earn in the Netherlands?

International students in the Netherlands can expect to earn between 6 and 10 euros per hour for a part-time job. Moreover, the Netherlands doesn’t have a minimum wage nationwide. Students’ range of salary depends on their age. For example, those who 21 years old or older earn an average of 10.6 euros per hour. 

The Netherlands have 2 kinds of wage when it comes to student work: statutory minimum age and youth minimum age. The statutory minimum age is for working people who are 21 and older. Those between 15 and 21 years old receive on the other hand the youth minimum wage, which is a salary that prevents them from being underemployed. 

Do working students pay tax in the Netherlands? 

The answer is yes! Anyone who have a part-time or a full-time job in the Netherlands have to pay taxes. And students are no exception. 

This includes first an income tax, that students must declare in their annual tax return, online on the Dutch tax office platform. Those who work for a company will have their income tax withheld by their employer. That is the wage tax that is part of the payroll tax. 

The payroll tax on the other hand consists of any tax and other contributions the employer deduct from the student’s salary. This includes national insurance contributions for pensions, unemployment allowances and other benefits.  For self-employed students, the income tax must be calculated then paid via the annual tax return. 

Can I settle in the Netherlands after study?

Post study work options for international students in the Netherlands include a 1-year extension for their residence permit. This is the orientation year permit that allows non-European graduates to stay in the Netherlands and search for a job. During these 12 months they have free access to the Dutch labor market along with their spouse/partner. Moreover, the holder of an orientation year permit has more chance to get later a highly skilled residence permit in the Netherlands. 

To be eligible for the 1-year permit extension, students must either have: 

  • Completed a bachelor’s, a master’s or a PhD’s degree within the last 10 months at least or
  • Completed an Erasmus Mundus master’s program or
  • Earned their degree at any top 200 institution worldwide or
  • Done scientific research and have a residence permit as a highly skilled migrate in the Netherlands.

Related articles: 

The higher education system in the Netherlands: structure, degrees, assessment and grade system, etc.

Why you should study in the Netherlands

About Herilalao

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