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Working while studying in the Netherlands

Career in Holland



Welcome to the Netherlands! In the Netherlands there are rules if you want work beside your studies. This article informs you about work permits and working hours.

Are you from the EU/EEA or Switzerland?
If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland you are free to work without restrictions. You do not need a work permit and there are no restrictions regarding working hours.

Are you from outside Europe?
If you are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, there are some restrictions if you want to work alongside your studies. You can either work for a maximum of 16 hours a week during the year, or you can work fulltime during the months of June, July and August, but only with a work permit.

Work permit application
Your employer has to apply for your work permit (TWV) at least 5 weeks prior to the start of your employment. The application is free of charge. You cannot apply for the permit yourself, but you can ask your employer for a copy. The organization that issues work permits is called the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).

The TWV is issued exclusively for the type of work and the employer mentioned on the document itself. 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 Naturalisation 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

If you are studying at a Dutch higher educational institution and you want to do an internship as part of your study programme, you do not need a work permit. Instead your host institution, your internship employer and you need to sign an internship agreement. You can find a standard internship agreement here.

Work on a self-employed basis

In addition to your studies, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed individual, as long as you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study. There is no limit to the amount of hours that you are allowed to work as a self-employed individual. Also, you do not need a work permit (TWV).

You need to register your company with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). You need to pay taxes yourself. You might be obliged to take out Dutch public healthcare insurance.

More information 
You can find more information about studying and working in the Netherlands at and

Inspectorate SZW
The Inspectorate SZW carries out inspections of companies to combat illegal employment and unfair competition. The Inspectorate also checks for compliance with the rules concerning the Working Hours Act (ATW), the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (WML), and healthy and safe working conditions. You can find more information at

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

The IND assesses all applications by foreign nationals who want to live in the Netherlands. You can find more information about your residence permit and the conditions at


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