What do you need to work in The Netherlands as a foreign student?

Publicatiedatum 16 september 2022
Wijzigingsdatum 22 november 2022

In this blog we talk about your rights as an international student and what you have to arrange to work in The Netherlands.

You have just started your studies as a foreign student in The Netherlands and find the cost of living higher than expected. You want a job to pay for these high cost, but you are not sure if you are allowed to work in The Netherlands. In this blog we talk about your rights as an international student and what you have to arrange to work in The Netherlands.

​I'm a student from within the European Union, European Economic Area, Japan or Switzerland

Students from the European Union, European Economic Area, Japan and Switzerland are free to work without a work permit with the exception of Croatian students who do need a work permit for their first year of working. As a student from these countries you have the same rights when it comes to work as Dutch students. You don’t need a working permit, but do need to arrange some other papers. When you apply for a job in The Netherlands your employer needs the following information from you: a copy of the original paper from the township with your BSN, a copy of your passport or ID-card and your employer wants to know if you have a Dutch health insurance.

​I'm a student from outside of the European Union, European Economic Area, Japan or Switzerland

As a student that’s not from any of these regions, you are still allowed to work in The Netherlands but you have some more restrictions. First of all you need to have a work permit. Your employer has to apply for this work permit. Not every employer will do this for a student that will only work part-time. As a student you can only get a work permit to work either 10 hours a week or for seasonal labor during the months June, July and August. After you receive the work permit you still need a BSN and Dutch health insurance to work.

​How do you get a BSN and Dutch health insurance?

When you register at your local council (gemeente) you will automatically be issued a BSN. Your BSN is your Dutch social security number. When registering for a Dutch health insurance the insurance company will also need your BSN number. If you ever lose the paper with your BSN on it, you can go to your local council to ask for a new paper.

Anyone working in the Netherlands or doing an internship needs to have a public Dutch health insurance. Even the most basic health insurance is allowed. You apply for a Dutch health insurance with your BSN. You can insure yourself with any of the public Dutch health insurers. Once you applied to an insurer and received back your insurance policy (polisblad), you are insured and allowed to work.

​How do I find a job as a foreign student in The Netherlands?

As a student that doesn't need a work permit, you are free to apply for any job you want. In cities with a lot of students there are often employers specifically looking for students who can be flexible and who can work odd hours. If you find it hard to look for a job you can always go to a job agency that helps you find a job. 

Recruit a Student is one of these job agencies in The Netherlands that focuses on finding jobs for students. If you want to work for Recruit a Student sign up to our website and see all the open vacancies in your area within minutes.

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