Working in the Netherlands
Information for international students
As an international student, it might be difficult to find a job in the Netherlands. Students from non-EU countries (and Croatia) will need a work permit before they can work legally. If you do wish to look for a student job in the Netherlands, there are a number of things you should know.
On this page:
Dutch health insurance is required
If you wish to work in the Netherlands, even part time, basic Dutch health insurance is required. See below for more information on health insurance in the Netherlands.
Do I need a work permit?
Whether or not you need a permit to work in the Netherlands depends on your nationality.
No work permit needed
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom do not need a work permit and there are no restrictions on the number of hours you can work.
Work permit required
Citizens of other countries do need a work permit (the permit is free of charge) and you are restricted in the number of hours you may work in the Netherlands. Every calendar year, you must make a choice between:
- seasonal work in the months of June, July and August (part-time and
full-time are allowed)
- part-time work throughout the year (no more than 10 hours a week).
You cannot do both.
In Dutch, a work permit is called a tewerkstellingsvergunning, often abbreviated to TWV. Your employer or employment agency must apply for a work permit at the UWV WERKbedrijf (formerly the Centre for Work and Income, CWI), T +31(0)79 750 2903. You cannot do this yourself. A copy of the front and back of your residence permit for study purposes and proof of enrolment must accompany the application for a work permit. It will take the UWV WERKbedrijf one to two weeks to process the application. Your work permit will be valid for the same time period as your registration at the University. You will therefore need to request a new work permit if you renew your registration at the University.
Working after graduation
Information about a search year permit and how to apply for this permit, about the highly skilled migrants scheme and about finding a job is available via the link below.
Citizen Service Number (BSN)
If you wish to work in the Netherlands, you will need a Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer, BSN). A BSN is a personal tax and social security number. Every person living in the Netherlands must have one. You will automatically receive a BSN when you register with the municipality. There is no way to receive a BSN without registering with the municipality.
How to find a job
You can find information on working in the Netherlands in:
- The Holland Handbook, Xpatmedia, ISBN 90 5594 3010
- Looking for Work in the Netherlands, by Nannette Ripmeester, Expertise in Labour Mobility, ISBN 90 5896 0145
These books can be viewed at the documentation centre of the Service and Information Centre, Binnengasthuisstraat 9, Amsterdam.
If you speak a European language, you may be able to find a job at one of the numerous call centres in Amsterdam. There are several employment and recruitment agencies which work with international students that can be easily found by searching the internet.
StudieJob is a temporary job service directly affiliated with the UvA. You can learn more about their services by following the link below.
Traineeship and internship regulations
An internship is any work placement or practical training arrangement designed to give you practical experience in the discipline or field that you are studying.
UvA students from Croatia or from outside the EEA do not need a work permit for an internship. You will, however, need a formal traineeship agreement between the trainee, the traineeship provider and the UvA.
The traineeship provider must be able to present this agreement to the Dutch Labour Inspectorate if asked to do so. Use of this traineeship agreement is therefore not optional: it is compulsory.
Students from the EEA, with the exception of Croatia, do not need this agreement.
Internships and insurance
For most internships, having student insurance is sufficient. However, if the financial compensation you receive for your internship is more than €150 per month, or €1,500 per calendar year, it is considered a wage. In this case, you will need to take out basic Dutch health insurance. Basic health insurance is more expensive than private insurance, costing around €1,100 a year.