Handbook for non-EU students

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Hello, here are the resources and tips compiled for non-EU students, since the different rules and regulations apply. Please feel free to revise, contribute and use a discussion tab of this page.


_________ Citizen Service Number

Citizen Service Number [BSN / burgerservicenummer] is a unique number assigned to you at Basic Registration of Persons [BRP]. Getting a BSN is mandatory for persons staying in the Netherlands for longer than 4 months. You should make an appointment at municipality [gemeente] within 5 days of your arrival. Previously, among other documents, you had to provide a tenancy agreement of a place allowing registration, but as of January 1 [2022], in case you are unable to find such residence, 'municipality is obliged to register you at a postal address'.

Heads-up: not all students might be required to provide a translated && legalised original copy of their birth certificate at this stage, but you might have to present it after graduation. Check if you have to legalise your document in a country that issued it.

_________ Work



_________ Housing



_________ Search Year

Within 3 years after your graduation, you are entitled to apply for a Search Year [aka Orientation Year / Zoekjaar] visa, which means you can stay and work in the Netherlands for a year without TWV [work permit]

Residence Gap

In case you are planning to apply for a Permanent Residence permit [you can do this after living 5 years in the Netherlands], it's more convenient to apply for a Search Year permit before you are officially deregistered from your study course [September 1st]. Otherwise, you get a 'residence gap', meaning, your previous residence period is disregarded and a 5-year count starts from 0.

NB: Only half of your study years is counted towards the five years.

_________ Staying outside NL

You can stay in any other Schengen member country for 90 days in every 180 days

Short-stay Visa Calculator


You may stay outside the Netherlands for up to 6 months in a row or 4 months in a row for 3 consecutive years and maintain the Netherlands as a main residence.

Broader information on having the Netherlands as a main residence while traveling/staying abroad.


_________ Funding & Residencies

____ _ Mondriaan Fonds
____ _ Stimuleringsfonds
____ _ Jan van Eyck Academie
____ _ Art Office of CBK Rotterdam
____ _ Rijksakademie
____ _ Hamburger Community of Art at Roodkapje
____ _ De Ateliers
_ list of international opportunities, compiled by Everest Pipkin


_________ src

_ Can I register myself at a postal address?
_ Legalisation of foreign documents for use in the Netherlands
_ Looking for a job after study, promotion or research
_ Work permit [TWV]
_ Permanent residence
_ How to become a permanent resident or citizen of the Netherlands
_ Work and internship
_ Staying abroad with a residence permit
_ Short-stay Visa Calculator