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Working in the Netherlands

Study abroad in the Netherlands

Working in the Netherlands

More and more people from abroad come to work in the Netherlands each year. The Netherlands currently has around 200,000 international skilled workers. And this number is increasing rapidly. This figure also includes international students who have a part time job. Many international firms have offices in the Netherlands. These firms are constantly looking for talented international students and graduates for part-time jobs, internships and traineeships. European citizens are free to take up a job. For non-Europeans a work permit is required.

Working alongside your studies

International students are free to take up a job alongside their studies. Since the European Union is about free movement of people and goods, EU students have the right to work anywhere they want. Knowledge of the Dutch language is sometimes required but there are many international companies in the Netherlands where the operating language is English.

Non-European students will need a work permit. This permit can only be applied for be the employer so you will need to find a job first and then get a permit. Getting a permit takes around 5 weeks.

The following employment agencies often have jobs international students:
- undutchables
- kellyservices


Many students do an internship as part of their study program. Sometimes this is a compulsory component of the program. If you want to do an internship, you will need an internship agreement that needs to be filled out by the company you are then “working for”. You can only do an internship if you are a student. Graduated students can apply for a traineeship. A traineeship is a paid position (i.e. a job with a salary). There are a number of rules and regulations involved when doing an internship.

More information about internship regulations can be found on the Nuffic website

Working after your studies

After graduation you may want to look for a job in the Netherlands. Wages in the Netherlands are among the highest in Europe and working conditions are excellent. Unemployment in the Netherlands is the lowest in Europe. Currently 7.4% of Dutch people are without a job. In the rest of the EU that figure is a lot higher.

For European citizens there are very few obstacles. Not speaking Dutch could be a disadvantage but there are many jobs that do not require knowledge of Dutch.  There are many employment agencies that you can turn to for work.

For non-European citizens looking for work, there are a number of regulations. After their graduation, they have 1 year to look for a job. If they wish to look for a job they need to tell the Immigration Department (IND). The IND will then issue a permit that is valid for 1 year. Within that year you have the opportunity to find a job. Another regulation has to do with the minimum salary that you will have to earn. Non-Europeans will need to earn a minimum of 26,378 euro per year in order to qualify for a residence permit.

More information about working in the Netherlands can be found on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment


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