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Work and internships during your studies

For students from non-EU/EEA countries, there are strict rules for working in the Netherlands during your studies.

  • Volunteer work during your studies

    Volunteer work during your studies

    • If you want to contribute to society by doing volunteer work, you don’t need a work permit.
    • The Volunteer Declaration (Vrijwilligersverklaring) is sufficient. The Volunteer Declaration is aimed at asylum seekers, but also applies to international non-EU/EEA students who have a valid Dutch residence permit.
    • Under the Dutch Foreign Employment Act (Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen) voluntary work is also seen as labour.
    1. Dutch basic health insurance is required during the time of your volunteering. A student insurance like AON is not sufficient.

    If you receive financial compensation more than €150 per month or €1,500 per calendar year for your Volunteer work, it is considered a wage. For more information, follow the link below.

    1. Liability insurance is strongly advised
    2. The organisation where you’ll be volunteering needs to have a Volunteer Declaration: “Vrijwilligersverklaring”.
    3. The organisation can apply for the Volunteer Declaration at UWV (the Employee Insurance Agency in the Netherlands). The declaration is valid for 3 years and for all its volunteers.
    4. Please check beforehand if the organisation has such a Volunteer Declaration. Otherwise, you risk losing your residence permit.
  • Part-time or seasonal work during your studies
    1. Students from non-EU/EEA countries need a work permit.
    2. This permit is free of charge.
    3. The number of hours you’re allowed to work in the Netherlands is restricted. Every calendar year, you must choose:
      • Seasonal work in June, July and August. Both part-time and full-time are allowed.
      • Part-time work throughout the year, but no more than 16 hours a week.
    4. You cannot do both.

    Tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV

    1. In Dutch, a work permit is called a tewerkstellingsvergunning, often abbreviated to TWV.
    2. Your employer or employment agency must apply for a work permit for you. They can do so at the UWV, afdeling TWV, T: 088 898 20 70. You cannot do this yourself.
    3. Your employer or employment agency needs to apply for this work permit (TWV) at least 5 weeks prior to the start of your employment.
    4. It can take up to 5 weeks to process the application.
    5. You can give your employer the following links if they are not familiar with the TWV for student jobs.


    From you, your future employer or employment agency needs the following two documents to accompany the application for a work permit:

    • A copy of the front and back of your residence permit for study purposes
    • Proof of enrolment, which you can get yourself at your education service desk, which you can get yourself at the Education Desk of your study programme


    After the application has been processed, your employer will receive your work permit. You can ask your employer for a copy of your TWV for your own administration. Your work permit will be valid for the same time period as your registration at the UvA. Therefore, your employer needs to request a new work permit if you renew your registration at the UvA.

  • Working as a Freelancer/entrepreneur during your studies
    • Self-employed work by non-EU/EEA students and knowledge migrants is exempted from the TWV. You can be self-employed in addition to your studies, without needing a TWV work permit from UWV. However, you have to register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
    • Remember that as a non-EU/EEA student, you need to comply with the conditions for your residence permit.
    • It also entails registering at the Dutch Tax office (Belastingdienst) and the Dutch Tax office collects tax 4 times a year on every product or service sold in the Netherlands.
    • The work permit obligation does still apply to non-EU/EEA (and Croatian) students wanting to pick up a part-time job or internship alongside their studies. EU students have free access to the Dutch labour market.
  • Internship regulations during your studies
    • An internship is a work placement or practical training arrangement designed to give you practical experience in the field of your study. It often offers a small financial compensation. Because an internship is a learning goal, this allowance is not regarded as a salary.
    • A traineeship in the Netherlands, though, is a starter’s position for graduates with a normal salary, so a traineeship is not regarded as an internship.
    • Take note that the majority of the organisations in the Netherlands wants you to be a student during your internship. Internships after your Bachelor's or Master's, are less common in the Netherlands.

    For EU/EEA students

    1. You will need an internship contract between student and company. (Some study programmes have an internship contract format.)
    2. During the length of your internship you can keep your international Health insurance, you do not need to change.
    3. Liability insurance is strongly advised.

    For non-EU/EEA and Croatian students

    1. Your internship needs to be part of your programme (elective or mandatory).
    2. Ask your study adviser or internship coordinator if the particular internship is regarded as relevant to your study programme.
    3. You will need to sign the EP-Nuffic internship agreement and sometimes also an internship contract format of the company. So it can be that you have 2 contracts for the same internship.
    4. During the length of your internship you can keep your international Health insurance, you do not need to change.
    5. Liability insurance is strongly advised (often part of AON insurance).


    1. You have to continue to comply with the conditions of your residence permit.
    2. An EP-Nuffic internship agreement (pdf, 3 p.) is compulsory. This a formal internship agreement between the intern, the internship provider (employer) and the UvA.
    3. The internship provider (employer) must be able to present this agreement to the Dutch Labour Inspectorate if asked to do so. Therefore, use of this internship agreement is not an option but compulsory.
    4. A copy of your passport and residence permit must be appended to this EP-Nuffic Internship agreement.
    5. You must give a copy 1) to your study programme at the UvA and 2) to the internship provider (employer).
    6. Liability insurance is strongly advised.