Working while studying

All you need to know about working in Holland.

If you are from the EU/EEA (but not from Croatia) or Switzerland you are free to work without restrictions.

If you are from Croatia transitional rules apply with respect to the labour market. However, you will still need a work permit (TWV).

Are you from another country than the ones mentioned above? Then there are some restrictions if you want to take a job beside your studies. You need a permit and you can only work for a maximum of 10 hours a week or, instead, you can work full-time during the summer months of June, July and August.

Work permit application

Your employer needs to apply for your work permit. The organisation that issues work permits is called UWV.

Preparations to make during your stay


If you are studying at a Dutch host institution and you need to do an internship as part of your study programme, you do not need a work permit. Your host institution and your employer do need to sign an internship agreement.

Standard internship agreement for non-EU/EEA students as defined in Article 1f of the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act Implementation Decree (BuWav)

Since April 2017 all international students may perform self-employed work for an unlimited amount of hours, in addition to their studies and part-time job (with a maximum of 10 hours a week). Students do not need to apply for a work permit with UWV for the performance of self-employed work. They do, however, have to register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).

Read more about the conditions for part-time jobs and self-employment in the factsheet at the bottom of this page.

Health insurance and jobs

You need to be aware that as soon as you pick up a job, you are obliged to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance. This obligation also applies to students that are self-employed. If you do not meet this requirement you risk a huge fine.

Read more about healthcare insurance

Social security number

BSN is short for Burger Service Nummer, which translates as ‘citizen service number’. The BSN is equivalent to a social security number: a unique registration number for every citizen, used in contacts with any government service.

Various people may ask for your BSN. If you have a job, your employer will need to know your BSN. Insurance companies may also ask for your BSN-number.

When registering with your local municipality, you are automatically issued a BSN. Your local town hall will most likely send you a letter to confirm all your personal details listed in their administration. This letter will also mention your BSN.

Income tax

You are required to pay tax over your total Dutch income for the year. Scholarships may also be counted as income and added to the total. For more information on income tax, you can check with your employer or directly with the Dutch Tax Office.

More information

International students and part-time jobs(373 kB)

last modified Oct 30, 2017 12:08 PM