As you know, international students often contact companies via open applications or through their universities (Dutch and international). Whether you're thinking about hiring your first intern – or if you just want to stay up to date with the process – this guide will take you through the most important steps. Naturally, it is vital to keep in contact with the student’s university, sign an internship agreement and assess whether the student’s assignment is actually suitable for your internship.
Step 1: check whether the student needs a residence/work permit
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland do not need a residence / work permit. Students from outside the EU do not need a permit when they:
- study at a Dutch educational institution and have a study permit.
- have an Orientation Year permit for recent graduates, which allows recent graduates from non-EU countries and scientific researchers to stay in or come to the Netherlands for a period of up to 12 months.
- are coming from Canada, Australia, New Zealand with the Working Holiday Program.
- reside in the Netherlands as a partner of a highly skilled migrant.
If the intern needs a work permit, you must apply for it for them. Please check the Nuffic website (Dutch link) for more information.
The Holland Alumni Network website has a helpful Pathfinder tool that helps international students who are interested in working in the Netherlands during or after their studies.
Step 2: essential forms, documents and procedures
Register with the municipality
Once the student arrives in the Netherlands, they should register with the municipality. At the appointment, they will receive a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN), which is required for doing an internship in the Netherlands. It can take up to four weeks to get an appointment, so the intern should take that into account when planning. No additional documents are required if the stay is for less than four months. For stays longer than four months, a copy of the student’s birth certificate and rental agreement are needed.
Certificate of Conduct (VOG)
If it is not possible for the student to get their Certificate of Conduct (VOG) in the Netherlands, they must get one in their home country. A VOG isn't necessary for every company, but it is worth checking first. Find out more.
IBAN + BIC
The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) of the student’s bank account are needed. Both are typically found on the account holder’s bank statement. Note: it doesn’t need to be a Dutch bank account.
Copy of ID
Students from the EU need a copy of their ID card or passport. A driving license does not count as a valid ID.
Dutch basic health insurance and care allowance
On the Study in Holland website, the student can download and complete a translation of the application form for the care allowance. No DigiD is required for this.
You, as the employer, must be able to present an internship agreement to the Labour Inspectorate. If you are unable to do so upon request, you can be fined up to €12,000. You can download an internship agreement in English here.
Step 3: email the student
You should email the student with helpful information, including what you will arrange for them and what is expected of them (health insurance etc.)
Step 4: register the internship
Make sure all the required documents are ready, attach them to an email and send it to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. They will then check everything is in order, which can take up to two weeks.