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Study Permits, Working and Internships
EU/EEA students are free to work without any restrictions. If you are a non-EU citizen living in the Netherlands on a study residence permit while enrolled at a Dutch university, you need to know the rules about working while you’re studying. The following information comes from the IND website.
On the back of your residence permit, you will see this sentence:
Tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) vereist voor arbeid van bijkomende aard, andere arbeid in loondienst niet toegestaan
This means that you are only permitted to work in paid employment if your employer has obtained a TWV (work permit) for you. You are allowed to work:
- for a maximum of 16 hours a week, or
- full time during the summer months June, July and August
Please note! The SZW Inspectorate monitors whether you exceed the allowed hours or if your employer has not obtained a TWV for you. If either of those issues occur, then you are (unintentionally) working illegally. In that case, the IND will contact the educational institution where you are studying and the Inspectorate will fine the employer for illegal employment.
What are the conditions for a TWV?
Luckily, as a non-EU student studying at a Dutch university, employers are not required to prove that they have first searched in the Netherlands and EU before offering you a position, which they would normally have to do (see this link in English). That means that employers can apply directly for a TWV. However, the legal decision time for a TWV is five weeks, so please take this into consideration when discussing your starting date: you cannot begin working until the TWV has been issued.
You are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed person (without a TWV) in addition to your studies at a Dutch university, but it is important that you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study. You can read more about how to set up your business as a self-employed person via this link.
Internship: Non-EU student studying at a Dutch university
If you are going to do an internship in the Netherlands, you do not need a TWV. You and your educational institution must sign an internship agreement with the company where you will do your internship (see this link).
If you have a paid internship, you will have tax and social security contributions deducted from your salary and you will have to take out Dutch health insurance. However, deductions and health insurance and not required if you are only being compensated for travel expenses.
Internship: Non-EU student enrolled in a non-Dutch university
If you are a non-EU student at a non-Dutch university and wish to do an internship in the Netherlands, there are different conditions for you than for students studying at a Dutch university (see this link).
If your internship is less than 90 days, your employer will need to apply to the UWV for a TWV for you (see this link).
Additionally, internships for longer than 90 days require that you employer also apply for a residence permit for you. This can be done using one application to the IND (GVVA) for a combination residence permit and work permit (see this link). The IND will ask for advice on the work permit portion from the UWV directly. The decision time for the GVVA is 90 days.
One exception to requiring a TWV is if the student is working within the framework of a European Union action program (for example, ErasmusPlus). In this case, if the internship is longer than 90 days, the employer should submit a different residence permit application form to the IND (see this link). The income requirement (see following paragraph) can be composed of the internship salary, plus scholarship from the EU action program.
Regardless of how long you will be in the Netherlands for your internship, your salary needs to be at least 50% of the minimum wage for a 22-year-old person. You will have tax and social security contributions deducted from your salary and you will have to take out Dutch health insurance (see conditions described here and Article 8, paragraph 30 here).This flyer informs you about work permits and working hours while studying in the Netherlands.
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