Working in the Netherlands while studying and after graduation

Foreign students are allowed to work alongside their study. However there are certain limitations depending on your nationality: a limited amount of hours per week and workpermit

Work alongside your studies

If you’re a foreign student (non–EU/EEA/Swiss) and you have a valid residence permit with the aim to study, you can work alongside your studies (either full-time seasonal work in June, July and August, or part-time work of no more than ten hours a week). In this case your Dutch employer does need a work permit for you, but this is an easy process as the employer doesn’t need to show that there are Dutch or EU nationals capable of doing the job.

As an EU/EEA/Swiss student you are free to work as many hours as you like alongside your studies. Your employer doesn’t need to have a work permit for you. More informarion 


If you are enrolled as a student in the Netherlands or in another country, you may work as a trainee. A traineeship is any work placement or practical training arrangement that aims to give you experience of the world of work while you are studying.

If you have already graduated, you will not be able to work as a trainee in the Netherlands. However, there is a similar arrangement that allows you to gain practical work experience in the Netherlands for up to six months. This is called residency with the purpose of work experience.

In some cases your employer will need to have a work permit for you. In other cases a so called special ‘trainee agreement’ is sufficient. To find out in which case your employer needs to apply for a work permit for you or that the ‘traineeship agreement’ is needed, download the factsheet ‘immigration procedures for foreign students doing a traineeship’. 

Work Permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV)

Dutch employers that want to employ foreigners in the Netherlands need in most cases work permits for these people. Only residents with an EU, EEA or Swiss nationality, except for Bulgarians and Romanians, can work without their employer having a work permit for them.

Your employer must apply for the work permit at the UWV WERKbedrijf. It will take about five weeks before a decision has been taken. You are not allowed to start working before a work permit has been granted, otherwise your employer can be fined. More information or 

Job seeking year regulation for foreign graduates

International students from outside the EU/EEA who have successfully completed a degree in the Netherlands can remain in the Netherlands for an additional year to look for a permanent position as a Highly-Skilled Migrant. However, they must be able to financially support themselves during this job-seeking period and will not be eligible to receive benefits from the Dutch state during this time.
Graduates must change their status through the IND to 'verblijf gedurende zoek jaar afgestudeerde' and will therefore not be required to have a work permit during this year.
Graduates who find permanent employment as a Highly-Skilled Migrant within a year will be eligible for a residence permit. The minimum starting salary required for this category of permit has been lowered from €35,130 to € 25,800 gross per year.
The costs of the procedure conduct € 331,-. For more information please go to the website of IND 


Linda is a professional with whom you’ll have the right click from the start. She is conscientious about delivering based on your expectations. With her guidance you’ll be able to look at yourself from a bird’s eye view and discover with precision what is most valuable from your past experience for your future career.

Zsuzsanna Keller-Süle

I would like to thank you for your great job to make my CV presentable and truly reflecting my knowledge and experience.
With your highly professional advices and support I felt more confident and eventually I got a job.

Tanya Pelser

Thank you for a great workshop this morning, it was refreshing to hear some really basic ideas for the Dutch employment search which I'm sure will help start everyone off on a new career path! I will definitely be using the services of Together Abroad and one of my first actions is to revise my CV and submit this for a review.

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