Potential Ways to Manage Study and Work in Netherlands for Students

12 min read

Students can simultaneously study and work in Netherlands by maintaining a few basic rules and regulations. Work hours and paperwork vary from student to student based on their nationalities. If you are an EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen, you have different working hours and paper requirements than international students (other races except EU/EEA/Switzerland).

working in the netherlands

Citizens of EU/EEA/Switzerland:

Citizens of EU/ EEA/ Switzerland have Netherlands’ work permit without any restrictions, but they have to follow regulations and rules stipulated by the Dutch Working Hours Act (ATW). You also need to follow official working hours in the Netherlands.

Citizens of Other Countries:

For Student jobs in Netherlands, Dutch authority sets official working hours. You can work either 16 hours/week for 12 months or work 40 hours/week for three months (June, July, and August). This means if you decide to work 16h/week, you can work 16h/week all year long. If you choose to work full time in June, July, and August, you can’t work any hours during other months.

Minimum Wage in the Netherlands:

Unlike other countries, the Netherlands doesn't have a minimum wage nationwide. Here, the minimum wage depends on your age. For example, if you are 21 years of age or older, you can earn Euro 10.60/h. So, if you work 16h/week, you would be making Euro 169.6/week.

Working students in Netherlands can get two types of minimum wage based on their age limitations. Two kinds of wages are Statutory Minimum Wage and Youth Minimum Wage.

  • Statutory Minimum Wage: Working persons in age between 21 and state pension receive it.

  • Youth Minimum Wage: Younger employees age between 15 and 21 receive it. This protects them from being underemployed.

You can find more information here.

Documents Needed to Study and Work in Netherlands for Students

To study and work in Netherlands, you need to have the following documents:

For EU/EEA/Switzerland Citizens:

  1. Insurance: If you have plan working as a student in Netherlands, you need to have Dutch Health Insurance. Otherwise, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is sufficient.

  2. BSN (Burgerservicenummer): You need to obtain a BSN number if you plan to start or work in the Netherlands. You don't need to have a residence permit (because you don't need one) to apply for a BSN number.

Other Nationals Except for EU/EEA/Switzerland:

  1. Insurance: Non EU students working in Netherlands are required to have Dutch Health Insurance. As a student, you may have already taken it.

  2. BSN (Burgerservicenummer): Register with local Dutch authorities as soon as you land in the Netherlands. This number is required for almost any services you want to take or the registration process. You can apply for a BSN number after you have a valid residence permit.

  3. Work Permit (TWV): Your employer can only apply for a work permit on your behalf. Generally, it takes at least five weeks for Dutch authorities to issue your work permit. Of course, you can only start working if your work permit is accepted. Work permit application (which your potential employer will file for you) is free of charge, and the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV Netherlands) issues it. For more information, click here. It is a straightforward process since it is unnecessary to demonstrate that the job position can’t be fulfilled by a Dutch or EU/EEA citizen. Click to know more.

Special Notes for Students to Study and Work in Netherlands

If you are caught working before your work permit is approved or working extra hours, your study permit and visa might be terminated. To maintain your residence permit, you need to keep at least 50% marks on required credits throughout the academic year. More information can be found on this site.


Suppose you are willing to participate in an internship in the Netherlands as a part of your program. In that case, you don’t need to have a work permit except for a standard internship agreement (This agreement will be signed between you, your employer, and your institution you are studying). More information can be found here


As long as you meet the Dutch residence permit requirements, you can work as much as you want without a work permit. You don’t need to have a valid work permit. There is no word limit for it.


If you are an international student or scientific researcher wishing to do volunteering work in the Netherlands, you don’t need to file for a work permit (TWV work permit). Filling a volunteering declaration (Vrijwilligersverklaring) is sufficient for you. Click to find more information on it.

Types of Jobs in the Netherlands for students

Types of Jobs in the Netherlands for students

Maintaining study and work in the Netherlands can be hectic based on the size of the city. Getting a job in the big city is relatively easy compared with the small town as no Dutch knowledge is required. Some technical jobs such as coding and software development can be found as they don’t need any Dutch experience. However, it may be difficult (if not very difficult) to find non-technical jobs in the Netherlands without working-knowledge of Dutch. Start doing a lot of networking while studying, doing extracurricular activities, knowing about the Dutch culture, and people will help you a lot.

These are the types of jobs for students in the Netherlands.

  • Bartender

  • Delivery Person

  • Waiter

  • Video Editor

  • TA/RA

  • Library attendant

  • Administrative Assistant

  • Coach (During international student orientation)

Please note that if you do not know the Dutch language, you have to work in jobs that pay minimally. It would be tough to find a job for an international student at first (Some exceptions would be if you have good knowledge in Computer Science or a related subject.). Availability of Jobs depends on the city you are living in. If it has a low population, then the probability of finding a job opportunity would be narrower.

Information for Ph.D. Student:

If you are a Ph.D. student or plan to apply for a Ph.D. scholarship in the Netherlands, you need to use it for a change in study purpose of your residence permit. In the Netherlands, Ph.D. positions are considered as work. Therefore, in most cases, your institution will arrange the necessary documents and advise you on this matter of residence permit.

You can find a Ph.D. position opening in the Netherlands on this website.

After Graduation Work in Netherlands:

Orientation Year:

The orientation year (zoekjaar) permit allows recent graduates from non-EU countries and scientific researchers to stay in or come to the Netherlands for up to 12 months. During this period, they can seek employment or work without needing an extra work permit. This means they have free access to the Dutch labor market, as employers do not need to apply for a work permit for them.

You can apply for orientation year in the Netherlands within three years of graduation. Researchers are eligible to apply for orientation permits in the Netherlands as well. You can also apply if you have completed your degree from the top 200 universities in the world.

Orientation Year in Netherlands Eligibility:

  • You completed either a Bachelor/Masters/Ph.D. that was at least ten months OR,

  • You completed an Erasmus Mundus Master’s Course OR,

  • You have done scientific research and already have a residence permit as a highly-skilled migrate (under EU Directives 2005/71/EC) OR,

  • You have completed your degree in any top 200 ranking institutions. Your degree must have to be from any top 200 institutions ranked on the following websites:

    • Times Higher Education World University Ranking

    • QS World University Ranking

    • Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Benefits of Orientation Year Netherlands:

  • Residences permit for one year.

  • Free access to the Dutch labor market. (You can start a start-up, do volunteering jobs, internships, etc., without a work permit).

  • Your spouse/ partner also can have free Dutch Labor market access.

  • Have more favorable conditions to get a highly skilled Residence Permit.

Application Submission for the orientation year:

The application form can be found on pathfinder career or IND’s website. If you live outside The Netherlands, you can submit it to your countries Dutch Embassy or Consulate. For more career-related support and advice, visit this website.

Opportunities for students: Please visit the following websites to know more about opportunities for students:

  • Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a nonprofit international student organization representing international students through cultural understanding and self-development.

  • AIESEC is another global nonprofit platform that aims to promote equal opportunities for students around the world.

Applying for Student Loans

Applying for Student Loans

Student Loans:

Non-Dutch students can apply for student loans. Suppose you do not have Dutch nationality but have a residence permit of Type 2, 3, 4, or 5. To apply for a student loan Netherlands, please Visit to know more. You can also apply for Life-Long Student Credit if you are:

  • Full time, dual, or part-time student at Higher Vocational Education or University.

  • Enrolled at an officially recognized program in the Netherlands.

  • Have a residence permit of type 2, 3, 4, 5

  • You are younger than 55 years.

These are different types of residence permit:

  • Type: II:Regulier onbepaalde tijd (Ordinary permanent residence permit; type II)

  • Type III:Asiel bepaalde tijd (Asylum temporary residence permit; type III)

  • Type IV:Asiel onbepaalde tijd (Asylum permanent residence permit; type IV)

  • Type V:EU langdurig ingezetene

If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizen, you can qualify for a Type 2 permanent residence permit. Then you need to live in

  • The Netherlands for five years continuously

  • Have a valid residence permit for a non temporary purpose of stay.

  • And have already been integrated into the Dutch Culture or Society.

Please click here to find more details Information.

In the Netherlands, the Dutch Government fund system enables “eligible students” to pay for their study costs, tuition fees, health insurance, and students less than 30. If you are not a national of Switzerland or EU/EEA country, you might not be eligible to apply for a student fund even though you can apply for a student loan most probably.

Studiefinanciering and Collegegeldkrediet are the two primary funding sources sought by international students who wish to continue with their education in the Netherlands. Students can receive student financing for the entirety of their studies, rather than only the traditional four years. Collegegeldkrediet is concerned, students working towards a Master’s degree in the Netherlands or attending a Research University are eligible to receive the funds. Research grants such as ERANET, Fulbright US Graduate Grant, and the Researchers and Research for Industry Grants are also available for international students to take advantage of. It’s important to note that a large number of the grants available require a certain grade point average to be upheld.

Please visit this link to know more.

Special Note for students planning to start a business in the Netherlands

Special Note for students planning to start a business in the Netherlands:

Several residence permits are allowing you to start a business in the Netherlands:

  • Study permit: Holders of a residence permit for study are free to be self-employed and set up a company next to their studies.

  • Research permit: Holders of a residence permit for research are free to be self-employed and set up a company next to their study.

  • Highly skilled migrant permit: Holders of a highly skilled migrant residence permit are free to be self-employed and start a business next to their work.

  • Orientation year: Holders of an orientation year residence permit are free to be self-employed and to set up a company in the Netherlands

  • Start-up scheme: Ambitious entrepreneurs who want to start a startup in the Netherlands may apply for this one-year residence permit as a starting entrepreneur. To be eligible for this start-up scheme, various conditions need to be used. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) checks and evaluates the start-up. For more information, please turn to the Pathfinder Career or the IND website.

  • Self-employment permit: This residence permit is your option if one of the above permits do not apply to you. This residence permit is not the easiest to obtain, but it should be possible with a solid idea and enough finances. For more information, please turn to the IND website.

Note: Though these documents are for Canadian Study permit application, you can get a gist of possible documents required for your student visa application. Customize these documents based on your own need.
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Cover Letter
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Forwarding Letter
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Student Financial Planning
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Explanation Letter of Source of Fund
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Explanation on previous Visa Rejection
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Source of Fund (For Businessperson as a sponsor)
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