FAQ staying and working in the Netherlands after your study

How can you stay and work legally in the Netherlands after your study if you are not Dutch? Non-EU nationals have to meet more legal conditions than EU-nationals. These are briefly listed below. 

Free access to the Dutch labor market

If you come from one of the following countries, you can work in the Netherlands without a visa, residence permit or work permit:

  • European Union (EU)
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland

Note; a residence permit can be useful for other purposes than legal staying. For example: to be a member of a housing-corporation or to vote.

Non-EU nationals

There are various possible residence permits to stay in the Netherlands after your study. You can find more details about each permit on the website of the IND (Immigration & Naturalisation Service).

You can apply for a residence permit to work as an employee, as a self-employed person or as a highly skilled immigrant. There are also residence permits for an orientation year for graduates and for highly educated persons. There are residence permits outside the realm of work such as a residence permit to gain work experience, for example for an internship.

Note; often you will need a certain minimum of income to apply for a residence permit.

Health insurance

As a student without work, you are not obliged to have a Dutch Health Insurance. You can have your own health insurance. However, as soon as you work or as soon as you are not registered as a student any more, you should have a Dutch Zorgverzekering. This is a legal obligation. You will get a fine (or two) and eventually you will be forced to take out a very expensive health insurance (120% compared to the normal rate) if you don’t take any action.

Directly to:

Dutch health insurance