HoiTalent

The Largest Job Portal for International Talents in the Netherlands

Work Permit for International Students in the Netherlands

 

For foreign students in the Netherlands, it is not always clear how to work in this country legally. This is also one of top questions we have got asked via the HoiTalent social media channels. For the first time, let’s write all the relevant rules down!

 

Your status

Allowed Work Types

Your Nationality

Work Permit Required?

Required Document

Working Hour Restriction

Student (registered under a Dutch university)

Internship / thesis

EU/EEA*

N

N

N

Non-EU/EFA and Croatia

N

internship agreement

N

Part-time

EU/EEA*

N

N

N

Non-EU/EFA and Croatia

Y

Student identification statement

Y

Job-seeking year

Part-time / short-term projects

Non-EU/EEA

N

N

N

* Except for Croatia, but including Switzerland and Japan

 

Internship / Graduate Thesis

An internship is any work placement or practical training arrangement that aims to give you experience of the world of work while you are studying. If you have already graduated, you will generally not be able to work as an intern in the Netherlands.

If you are studying in the Netherlands and you are in the possession of a Dutch residence permit with the aim to study, you do NOT need a work permit to do an internship. However, an internship agreement is required if you are from a non-EU/EEA country. It is a formal agreement between three parties: the intern, the internship provider and the Dutch higher education institution. You may contact your international office or your faculty to sign the agreement on behalf of the Dutch higher education institution. You can download the internship agreement here.

If you are a national of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, then no need for such an internship agreement.

The same rule applies to the internship combined with graduate thesis or mandatory internship as a part of study by some universities.

If you are NOT studying in the Netherlands but want to do an internship in this country, you then need your employer to apply a work permit for you.

 

Part-time Job

As an international student in Holland, you might want to take a part-time job, just as Dutch students do. Besides helping to cover your costs, a job can also give you useful work experience, allow you to participate in Dutch society and make it easier for you to learn the language.

Rules are different depending on your nationality:

1. If you are from a non-EU/EEA country, you will need a work permit for a part-time job. Also Dutch immigration law restricts the number of hours you may work. You may either do seasonal work full-time (but only in June, July and August; of course, you can name it “internship” but strictly speaking this is part-time since it requires a work permit), or you may work part-time throughout the rest of the year (but no more than ten hours a week); you may NOT do both. It is up to your employer or the employment agency to apply for your work permit from UWV WERKbedrijf. You cannot do this yourself. The application must be accompanied by a copy of your residence permit for study purposes and by a statement from your institution confirming that you are enrolled as a student. It will take about five weeks to process the application. Simplified rules are now in place for the work permit application procedure, which means that UWV WERKbedrijf no longer performs all the checks stipulated in the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen, Wav). Employers may not always be aware of the simplified rules, and may be worry about applying for a work permit. There is no need for this, though.

2. If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA,Switzerland, things are much easier. You do not need a work permit. There is no restriction on the number of hours you are allowed to work.

 

Job-seeking Year (Orientation year for graduates)

If you have successfully finished your higher educational study programme (Bachelor’s or Master’s programme) in the Netherlands, you may apply for an orientation year for graduates. The residence permit is issued for a maximum period of 1 year counting from the date of your graduation.

During your orientation year, you are entitled to work in the Netherlands without any restrictions. This means that your employer does not need to have a work permit (TWV) for you. However, many internship positions may be open only to students who are during their study rather than those who are in the orientation year. This is not due to the restriction of work permit itself. Instead, it is just because companies prefer to take students as interns. For people during their orientation year, their work is more closed to part-time jobs or short-term projects. Therefore, you need to explain clearly your residence status and the benefits of working for them during your orientation year (no need for them to apply a work permit / sign any internship agreement)!

If you have questions about work permits, you can contact the UWV WERKbedrijf. Their telephone number is: +31 79 750 29 03.

For questions about applying for a visa or a residence permit, you can contact the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) on the following number: + 31 20 889 30 45. If you are already in the Netherlands you can dial the following number: 0900 123 45 61.