Visas and permits for studying and training in the Netherlands and abroad

23 May 2018

The Netherlands is part of the European Economic Area (EEA). As an EEA citizen, you do not need a visa for study in a different EEA country. Completing a work placement or getting a job alongside your studies is also allowed without having to apply for a work permit.

If you hold non-EEA citizenship or if you plan to travel to a non-EEA country, different rules apply.

EEA countries

The EEA comprises all the Member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are also EEA members.

Visas and permits for non-EEA countries

Obtaining a visa, residence permit or work permit for another European country is, generally speaking, relatively easy for EEA citizens.

The procedure for non-European countries is less straightforward. Getting a visa for a work placement in the United States or Canada is particularly difficult. The application process can take months, sometimes up to a year! Developing countries also may take a long time to process an application. Make sure to start your preparations in good time.

Fulbright Center support for US placements

The Fulbright Center can arrange visas for students who plan to do a placement in the US. This centre has years of experience when it comes to supporting students and arranging visas for students looking to complete a work placement in the United States. They also offer support to graduates and information on how to arrange a placement in the US.

Useful websites

Depending on the country, you may have to obtain a visa, work permit or residence permit. The United States, Canada, Australia and a number of other countries require you a arrange a combined visa and work permit before departure.

Information about the requirements for the destination of your choice is available on Wilweg, a website operated by Nuffic. You can request any documents you need or contact the embassy of the country you plan to visit.

Permits for non-EEA countries doing work placement in the Netherlands

You are residing in the Netherlands because you are studying here. You have a residence permit for the purpose of study and will retain this during your work placement. If this is the case you will not need to submit an application to change your purpose of residence.

If you have a valid residence permit for study issued by Avans, you do not have to apply for a work permit if you use a standard work placement agreement. If you are a non-EEA national carrying out a work placement in the Netherlands, you are obliged to enter into a standard work placement agreement with your employer.

This applies to you because you are in principle required to hold a work permit - Dutch: Tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV - due to your nationality. You do not have to apply for this work permit if you use the standard work placement agreement. Note that you do need to secure a work permit if you use a different agreement format, for example one offered by your work placement company. For this reason, we recommend you use the standard work placement agreement.

You can only carry out a work placement if you actually hold a residence card. If your application for a residence permit or extension is still pending, you cannot start the work placement.

Work placement allowance

Receiving an allowance for your work placement has consequences for your tax liability, social security status and your obligation to take out healthcare insurance.

Reimbursements of expenses such as travel costs can be paid out tax-free. Allowances for living expenses, however, are classified as wages by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and these payments are therefore taxed. You must pay income tax and national insurance contributions on any other financial allowance paid. This is because, as a trainee, you benefit from national insurance in the Netherlands.

Last updated on 2 August 2019.