Work Permits

Work Permits in the Netherlands


Are you from outside of the EU/EEA and want to work in the Netherlands? Are you looking to get a student job?

Below you will find breakdown of specific types of work permits that you are required to have, depending upon what your purpose of stay abroad is. Note that citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland have no restrictions on number of working hours or types of employment and are eligible for student finance.

The most relevant permits for you are:

-Student permit

-Entrepreneur permit

-Search year & orientation year permit

Others types of permits include:

-GVVA or Single Permit

-Highly skilled migrant permit

Student work permit or TWV

One of the most commonly asked questions is “As a student, can I get a job in the Netherlands, even though I am not from the EU?” The answer is yes, although there are some restrictions and you must apply for a permit.

If you already have your permit for studying in Holland, you will also have a text in Dutch on the back of it stating that you must apply for a work permit for additional (part time) work and that other employment types are not permitted. You must therefore apply for a TWV work permit (Website in Dutch) and then you will be allowed to work up to 10 hours a week or for two months in summer. You will also not be eligible for student finance offered from DUO, and thus should look at alternatives to student finance.


Entrepreneur or self-employed work permit

A ‘residence permit for self-employed’ is required from those individuals planning to move to the Netherlands to launch their own business or become a freelancer.

Furthermore, the business activity initiated by the person must have a substantial benefit to the Netherlands. This will be evaluated by various experts in the Dutch government bodies, including: Dutch Ministry of Education, Dutch Ministry of Culture and Dutch Ministry of Science.

There is a specific point system that decides whether this permit will be awarded to you. The following areas are evaluated:

1) Your personal experience in that branch/industry/sector

2) What type of business will you be running

3) Is there enough Added value for Netherlands?


Search year work permit

This type of permit is relevant for non-EU/EEA/Swiss students that recently graduated from Dutch Universities. It lasts one year (the year immediately after graduating at your university) and is appropriate for students looking to find a job immediately after their studies.

You should apply for this type of work permit at the IND before graduating, as if you fail to do so, you have to leave the country as soon as you finish at university.

If you have not applied for the search year permit on time and you still wish to work in the Netherlands, then as long as you meet the requirement of applying less than three after graduating at a Dutch University, the highly educated ruling orientation year will apply to you.

Contact us for more information on work permits for students in the Netherlands.


What’s Next?

Job Board

Employment Types in the Netherlands

Student Jobs