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Working While Studying
What do you need to know as an international student when starting a pay side job next to your studies? You always need to obtain Dutch public health insurance when working in the Netherlands.
If you are from a EU/EEA country or Switzerland you are free to work without restrictions. You do not need a work permit and there are no restrictions regarding working hours, other than the restrictions and rules stipulated by Dutch law in the Working Hours Act (ATW).
If you have a Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationality and are living in the Netherlands on a study residence permit while enrolled at a Dutch university, it is important to know the rules for whether you are allowed to work while studying. Some of the following information is excerpted from the IND website, amongst others.
If you are a Non-EU resident with a study resident permit, chances are on the back of your residence permit it says in Dutch ‘Tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) vereist voor arbeid van bijkomende aard, andere arbeid in loondienst niet toegestaan‘ (required for work of an incidental nature; other paid work is not permitted).
This means the following:
Work in paid employment
You may only work in paid employment if your employer has obtained a TWV (work permit) for you. You are then allowed to work:
- for a maximum of 16 hours a week; or
- full time during the summer months June, July, and August.
Please note! If you work for more hours than allowed or if your employer was not issued a TWV for you, then you are (unintentionally) working illegally. This is being monitored by the SZW Inspectorate. In case of an infringement, the IND will contact the educational institute where you are studying. The Inspectorate will then fine the employer for illegal employment.
What are the conditions for a TWV?
Luckily, as a Non-EU student studying in a Dutch university, the employer does not have to prove that they have searched in the NL and in the EU first before offering the job to you, as they would normally have to do. Therefore, employers can apply directly for a TWV. However, the legal decision time for a TWV is five weeks so take this into consideration when making your work plans. You may not begin working until the TWV is issued.
Work on a self-employed basis
Next to your study at a Dutch university, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed person (without a TWV). It is important that you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study.
Dutch health insurance
Please be aware that once you start a part-time job or a paid internship (even a zero-hour or a casual contract will count as a job) you must have Dutch public medical insurance (basisverzekering) from the first day of work. Are you quitting your (part-time) job? Then you must also cancel your Dutch basic health insurance. If you have low income you can apply for healthcare benefit to cover (part of) the insurance costs. For more information see the Zorgverzekeringlijn website.