working as an international student in the netherlands

working as an international student in the netherlands

Working As An International Student In The Netherlands

Working as an International Student in The Netherlands has lots of benefits. There are plenty of reasons why you should explore what the options are in working alongside your study. There are some rules and regulations that are to be in taken in working while studying in The Netherlands.

When you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

When you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland there are no restrictions. There is no need for a working permit, there is no limit on the working hours. You have the same rights as a Dutch Student if it comes to working alongside your study. Make sure to be up to date with the national regulations about working hours, you can find them here.

Working next to your study as a non-EU student.

There is a difference in regulations when working as a student as a non-EU student compared to an EU student. The biggest difference is you need a working permit, this is called a TWV. Only an employer or agency can request a working permit for a student. This must happen at least 5 weeks before employment. The application is free of cost for an employer and can be requested at the UWV. You can only work if you have this specific work permit and can either work for a maximum of 16 hours a week during the year or full-time during the months of June, July and August.

The working permit requested by an employer can exclusively be used for the employer that requested the permit, so it is not allowed to also work at another company that is not stated in the document. If your employer was not issued a work permit for you or if you work for more hours than allowed, then you are working illegally.  The Inspectorate SZW carries out inspections to check whether work permits were issued. If they were not issued this constitutes illegal employment, which is a violation of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wav) and punishable with severe fines for your employer.

In case of an infringement, the Inspectorate SZW contacts the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). The IND will contact the educational institute where you are studying to monitor your study progress. You need to obtain at least 50% of the required credits for each academic year to maintain your residence permit. You can find more information about the conditions for your residence permit at www.ind.nl/en/study. The information on this page comes from the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and employment.

At Going Abroad we apply for TWV’s (working permits) for international non-eu students. Click here to sign up and get a job!

How to work as a non-EU student alongside your study?

As you could have read above, for the employer as well as the student a working permit is not the easiest way to work as a non-EU student, so are you able to work? The answer is yes, there are ways to still be able to work as a non-EU International Student, however, this is not by being employed. This is by working on a self-employed basis, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed individual if you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study. There is no limit to the working hours you are allowed to make as a self-employed individual. You do not need a working permit, but you would have to register yourself at the Dutch chamber of commerce called the KVK.


To follow an internship related to your study you do not need a working permit, you do have to follow a study at a Dutch higher education institution. You do need to sign an internship agreement together with your internship employer to prove you are doing an internship. This applies to EU as well as non-EU students.

2 thoughts on “Working as an International Student in The Netherlands”

  1. Kibri Hailu Abay

    I am a non-EU foreign student who will begin my Masters program in International Children’s Rights at Leiden University in September 2023. I’d like to join the internship program and would appreciate your assistance. Thank you in advance, and best regards,

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