International Students

One of the great benefits of studying in the Financial sector is the potential for overseas work or secondment. As an international student in the Netherlands, you are living in a country where many global organisations operate from and there is a high demand for skilled labour. That’s not to say that you won’t be facing obstacle such as language, visa’s or culture, but it does mean you will need to concentrate on companies where these areas can be overcome.

Part-time work whilst studying

As an international student in the Netherlands you are already in possession of valid residence permit. Depending on your nationality though, many foreign students will need a work permit to take up a part-time job alongside their studies or apply for a new residence permit if you wish to work and live in the Netherlands upon Graduation.

Most citizens from EU or EEA countries do not require a work permit as long as they are registered with the Dutch Immigration Service. For the most up to date information on which countries require a work permit please see 

Citizens from outside the EU/EEA countries (as per IND website) will need a work permit. The Dutch immigration laws also restrict the number of hours you may work. You can either do seasonal work full-time (only in June, July & August) or you can work part-time throughout the year (maximum 10 hours per week). You cannot do both and it is up to your employer or agency to apply for your work permit at the Centre for Work & Income. This can take up to 5 weeks to process.

After Graduation

The Dutch government has introduced greater flexibility to students from outside the EU/EEA countries to encourage them to stay on and work as a Skilled Migrant. As of December 2007, Graduates from a University (WO) or ‘Hogeschool’ (HBO) in the Netherlands have the possibility to extend their stay for a period of one year to search for a job (‘zoekjaar’).

In order to make use of this so called ‘search period’ the student needs to apply for a change in the purpose of stay endorsed on their residence permit at a cost of €331 to the graduate. The new residence permit with the purpose ‘verblijf gedurende zoekjaar afgestudeerde’ (seeking work after graduation) is meant to look for a job as a so called ‘highly skilled migrant’, but they are also allowed to look for a job as a regular ‘labour migrant’ and work at the same time in various temporary positions.

The change can only be applied for by the Graduate and only once a certified document stating the course and date they graduated from can be produced. The form can be downloaded on the Dutch Immigration Office website and an authenticated copy of the certificate with graduation date together with a passport photo must be submitted. An appointment with the IND must be made (Tel : 09001234561) and then the Graduate can submit their application after an appointment has been confirmed with the IND. This change of status can take up to 6 months in which time you are not able to work.

During the one year ‘search period’ graduates are not allowed to ask for any State benefits. In order to pay their own way while searching for a job, this new status allows graduates to stay on in the Netherlands and work freely. No work permit is required during the search year.

After the one year ‘search period’ the graduate must have found a job as a highly skilled migrant or labour migrant, otherwise they will have to leave the country. Once a new job as a skilled or labour migrant is found, the employer will need to apply for a change in the purpose of the graduates stay.


For questions regarding studying and working in the Netherlands, contact on 020 470 90 11 or [email protected]



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