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It's important that you know the following rules for working beside your study in the Netherlands. Failure to comply with these rules can have serious consequences for your residence permit!

Which rules?

Which rules apply to you is based on your nationality.

Part-time job
EU/EEA and Swiss can work in the Netherlands without a work permit. There is no limit to the amount of hours youare allowed to work*. For tax purposes you will need a Citizen Service Number (BSN). To get a BSN you must be registered as a resident at the City Hall.

Students from outside the EU/EEA with a VVR permit for study (group II and III), can only work in the Netherlands if the employer obtains a work permit (TWV) at the UWV Werkbedrijf for them. Once your employer has a valid work permit for you, you are only allowed to work full-time during the summer OR during the year in a small job (maximum 16 hours a week). You will also need a BSN number.

Non-EEA Students with a valid residence permit do not need a work permit for voluntary work. The organisation who offers the voluntary work needs to apply for a so-called Volunteer Declaration (Vrijwilligersverklaring). This regulation is effective as of February 2018.

Working on self-employed basis
As of April 2017, international non-EU/EEA students are allowed to become self-employed in addition to their studies, without needing a work permit. It is now possible for all international students to do self-employed work for an unlimited amount of hours, in addition to their studies and part-time job (with a maximum of 16 hours a week). Please note that non-EU/EEA students still need a work permit for a part-time job and have to continue to comply with the conditions for your residence permit.

EU students have free access to the Dutch labour market.

To work as an entrepeneur you need to register at the chamber of commerce, in Dutch Kamer van Koophandel.

* EU students who receive Dutch student financing (studiefinanciering) should check with DUO what the maximum is that they are permitted to earn in a year.

Work permit application

Your employer must apply for your work permit at the UWV. It generally takes about five weeks before a decision is taken. You are not allowed to start to work before a work permit has been granted.

You can send the employer this link of the UWV website about 'werkvergunningen'.

Health insurance

All foreign students with a Dutch job are obliged by law to take out a public Dutch health insurance, called 'basisverzekering'. This insurance costs approximately 100 euro/month for the basic package. It is possible to apply for health care allowance.

A registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce to work on a self-employed basis does not automatically mean that you need to have the a public Dutch health insurance.

It is important to contact the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) to request for 'an investigation of your insurance situation under the Wlz scheme.

Read more about health insurances.

Regular inspections!

Labour Inspection, the IND and the UWV are actively checking if companies and students adhere to all the rules.

If you are working without a work permit and/or you are working more hours than you are allowed, the employer risks being fined € 8.000 per student and you risk losing your residence permit!


The only exception to the requirement for a work permit is for internships which are part of your study in the Netherlands. In this case there must be an official internship agreement between the student, the school and the employer.

Official regulations

The Nuffic offers comprehensive information for foreign students who wish to work while studying.

Looking for a job

The easiest way to find a job is through an employment agency, or uitzendbureau. Some agencies specialise in jobs for students. You can also respond to advertisements or search for a job online. The following websites may be helpful: (in Dutch) (in Dutch)

Also the official website of the government might be offer some assistance in finding a job: (in Dutch)