Working while studying

If you want to work alongside your studies while staying in the Netherlands, there are some things to keep in mind

In their flyer the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment answers these questions and more.


As soon as you have a (part-time) job, you are required to have Dutch public health insurance.


If you have a job, your employer will need to know your so-called social security number, your BSN. Insurance companies may also ask for your BSN. When registering with your local council, you are automatically issued a BSN.

Dutch bank account

You should have no problem obtaining cash from your overseas account using an ATM or geldautomaat. All are available in the English language and accept a wide range of debit and credit cards. The amount you can withdraw and any extra service charges will depend on what kind of account you have. There should be no charge if you are using a card from one of the Eurozone countries (UK is not one of them).

Cash is still widely used, but the most common method of payment is using a debit card.


If you will be staying in the Netherlands for a number of months or years then we would recommend opening a Dutch bank account.

A Dutch bank account and debit card will make day-to-day life more convenient and it may also be necessary in the following instances:

  • If you transferred the proof of sufficient funds to our account and we need to refund it back to your Dutch bank account
  • If you want to get a mobile subscription
  • If you want to make use of transport subscriptions and travel products

The three well known banks where you can open a Dutch bank account are ING Bank, Rabobank and ABN Amro. You can also open a Dutch bank account at the online bank Bunq, which is more flexible but higher fees might apply.

In the table below you can find the main differences between Bunq, ING Bank, Rabobank and ABN Amro.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic some banks might have changed their procedure with regards to opening a Dutch bank account which means some information below may no longer be applicable.


  Bunq (online bank) ING Rabobank ABN Amro
Bank website Click here. Click here. Click here

(only in Dutch).

Click here.
Clients Full degree and exchange students. Full degree and exchange students. Full degree students only. Full degree students only.
How to open a bank account Through the Bunq website or app. Please note that you have to open a Maestro Debit account.   Only by appointment. Schedule an appointment online here. Schedule an appointment at the bank. Through the ABN Amro website or app.

Instructions can be found here

BSN* required to open an account No, but you have to submit it within 3 months after opening the account. No, but you have to submit it within 30 days after opening the account and need TIN (tax number home country). No, but you have to submit it within 6 weeks of opening the account. Yes
Documents required – Passport/ID

– Proof of enrolment

– Dutch address

– TIN (tax number home country)

– for some nationalities they require you to show you have a Dutch residence permit


– Passport/ID

– Proof of enrolment/Letter of acceptance (not conditional)

– TIN (tax number home country)

– Dutch address

All documents must be hard copies (not digital)

– Passport

– Residence permit

-Proof of enrolment/Letter of acceptance (not conditional)

– A valid phone number

– TIN (tax number home country) if available

– Dutch address

– Passport/ID

– Proof of enrolment

– TIN (tax number home country)


Account activation Immediately.


Immediately if BSN, otherwise it may take up to 4 weeks. Immediately. Immediately.


Bank card Within 10 working days. 1 week after the account has been activated. Within 3 to 4 work days. 1 week after the account has been activated.
Age < 18 Restrictions apply. Please contact CoIA Student Support for information about opening a Dutch bank account if you are below 18 years old. Restrictions apply. Please contact CoIA Student Support for information about opening a Dutch bank account if you are below 18 years old. Restrictions apply. Please contact CoIA Student Support for information about opening a Dutch bank account if you are below 18 years old. Restrictions apply. Please contact CoIA Student Support for information about opening a Dutch bank account if you are below 18 years old.
Please note that the content in the table is subject to change. Please check the linked websites for updated information.

*BSN is a Citizen Service number which you receive after registering with a Dutch municipality. 


Number of hours you can work

Non Eu students can work for a maximum of 16 hours per week at a part-time job.  In the summer months of June, July, and August, students can work full time and earn a full-time payment. One important thing to note is that students can only work part-time during the semester or full time in the summer and not both.

If you register as a freelancer (ZZP) you can work unlimited.

Please note that students from European countries or from the EU, however, can work in the Netherlands without any restrictions.

Salaries for a part-time job vary between €11 to €14 per hour and the employer is responsible for applying for the work visa for the student employee. Although part-time jobs generally pay lesser, student employees are also obligated to pay taxes. It is also important to note that it is very illegal to work beyond the required working duration as a student.

Off-campus jobs in the Netherlands are mostly restaurant waiters, delivery jobs, servers, housekeeping, a.s.o. Every year WdKA offers a number of student assistant jobs for non EU students.


Part time jobs

Working a part-time job as an international student has a lot of advantages. It helps you to cover your study and housing costs and a job gives you useful work experience. Besides that, a student job allows you to participate in society and can help you to learn the language.

As an international student in The Netherlands, your position as a job applicant might be different from that of Dutch students. It all depends on your nationality. Are you from the EU/EEA (Croatia excluded) Switzerland or Japan?  You’re free to work without restrictions. Are you from Croatia or another country? You need a work permit (your employer needs to apply for one)

How to find a part time job

Visit bars, restaurants and retail stores. This is maybe the easiest way to find a student job in The Netherlands. Just go in and ask if they can use some extra help. Especially in big cities like Rotterdam it’s not always necessary to speak Dutch when you want to work at a bar, café, restaurant or shop.

Working as a freelancer (ZZP)

Anyone who holds a Dutch residence permit can start a business as a freelancer or ZZP’er in the Netherlands, as you are legally allowed to live and work in the country. Beyond that, you will need to register your business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel – KVK) and get a value-added (VAT) number from the Belastingdienst (the Dutch tax authority). VAT is called BTW or belasting toegevoegde waarde in Dutch.

However, if you are from another EU country, you can apply for Dutch residency once you move to the country. Only then can you register to become a ZZP’er. Notably, your nationality does not matter as long as you have a Dutch residence permit.


Registering to be a freelancer is very simple, and you can do this by filling in a form on the KVK website, which will ask for your name, business name, and contact details.

Once you have completed this, you will get an appointment date to meet with a KVK employee. Typically, this appointment will be in the next few weeks. The wait times in Amsterdam are sometimes a bit longer; however, if you are willing to travel to a different city, it can be sooner. During the meeting, you will be asked some of the same questions as in the form. You will also receive some documents to review and sign. At this point, you should feel free to ask the KVK employee any questions you have. You will then need to pay the fee, after which you are officially a business owner.

Notably, although you don’t officially sign the papers until you attend the appointment, you should start charging VAT from when you said your business start date would be.


You will receive a notice from the tax authority (Belastingdienst) with your internal and external tax numbers and a login for the tax website, about a week after registering with the KVK.

You need to include your KVK number and external BTW number on your invoices and website. You should also get your client’s BTW numbers to keep on file. Naturally, all client information should be kept confidential.


Other important considerations include business insurance and business banking, especially since, as a freelancer, the financial and legal liabilities remain your own. Keeping your personal and business bank accounts separate is extremely important.

Most banks in the Netherlands offer business accounts for freelancers. For ease of access and to benefit from their English-language interface, however, you might want to open a bank account with an online or mobile bank such as:


As we explain in our guide to running a business in the Netherlands, freelancers file their business tax yearly, along with their personal income tax. Good news: this means that if your business sees a loss, it will be deducted from your personal tax bill.

There are some advantages to being a part-time ZZP’er. For instance, your taxes will be different.

If your turnover is less than 20,000€ a year, you won’t have to charge your customers VAT. In addition, you may be eligible for extra deductions such as tax relief for new companies, discontinuation relief, private business ownership allowance, and more if you work for your own company for 1,225 hours a year.

If you want to get more information about working as a freelancer :