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Self-employed in the Netherlands: Non-EU/EEA Edition

Updated on July 13, 2023

We could all use a little bit of extra money now and then, right? That's why many of us decide to get a side-job during our time at uni, in order to live comfortably.

The Netherlands have many student jobs to offer. But, what if you're not from the EU or EEA? Nationality seems to be an obstacle for many international students searching for a job. Luckily, the Netherlands has recently made great efforts to offer new possibilities to all you non-EU/EEA's out there.

This article will give you a breakdown of the newly updated regulations regarding student jobs and how to be self-employed as a non-EU/EEA citizen in the Netherlands!

From 10hrs to 16hrs

In the past, non-EU/EEA students were only allowed to have part-time jobs for up to 10 hours a week. Since 2018, however, those students are allowed to work for up to 16 hours a week! Although non-EU/EEA students are allowed to work more hours per week, the regulations regarding work permits and such remain unchanged. A non-EU/EEA member will still have to obtain a work permit, which the employer can apply for.

Regarding full-time employment during the summer months (June-July-August), the regulations also remain unchanged.

Self-employed as a Non-EU/EEA Student

Self-employed as a Non-EU/EEA Student

What if you want to work on the side but you don't want to be dependent on a fixed employer? If you are skilled in something like writing or photography, why shouldn't you use your talents to your advantage and earn a bit of money from them? However, since you're a non-EU/EEA member you probably think your chances at obtaining a work permit as a self-employed student are very thin. You could not be more wrong! Since 2017, the Dutch government has allowed non-EU/EEA students to become self-employed students. This allows them to perform side-jobs as freelancers with an unlimited amount of hours.

Simply put, if you perform certain tasks, for several employers, you can register yourself at the chamber of commerce (KVK). For example, you are very good at building websites so you decide to make some money off of it. You can simply register yourself at the chamber of commerce as a self-employed student and there you go. The next step is that whenever you perform a job for an employer, simply send them an invoice. That's all there is to it!

If you decide to go for this entrepreneurial track, make sure to regularly consult an accountant. This will allow you to focus on your own activities, while never missing legal deadlines set by the tax authorities.

A Short Summary

Below you can find a short summary in bullet points with everything you need to know:

  • non-EU/EEA students can work up to 16 hours a week (part-time) instead of 10
  • work permits for side jobs will still be required, which can be applied for by the employer
  • non-EU/EEA students can now become freelancers with an unlimited amount of work hours
  • in order to become a freelance, self-employed student, you can simply register at the chamber of commerce
  • tax bracket and VAT at the end of the year are required for all freelance, self-employed individuals

In case you would still have some questions, make sure to visit the Chamber of Commerce website or call 088 585 1 585 and press "1".

6 comments on “Self-employed in the Netherlands: Non-EU/EEA Edition”

  1. Hi, can I still apply to be a freelancer is I already have a work permit in a company as a non Eu student?

    1. Hello Antony, thanks for your question 👋 Yes, you can freelance in Europe with your work permit, but rules vary by country. Our advice would be to review your permit's terms and consult authorities to ensure compliance 🙏

    1. Hi Sarah!

      Thank you for the question! As our guide also mentions, Non-EU/EEA students are allowed to work for up to 16 hours a week with their visa. In addition to this, non-EU/EEA students can now become freelancers with an unlimited amount of work hours.

  2. Hi, if i register as self-employed while i'm studying in university, can i continue in the same field as self-employed after graduation to change my visa status, or do I need to apply for new self-employed permission through RVO? second question: can i apply to acquire a franchise such as Jamin for self-employment purposes?

    1. Hi Peyman,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. Regarding to your questions, since they are unique to your situation, our best advise would be to reach to the correct institutions. For the first part of your question, you can reach out to RVO and for the second part, that the best way to move forward would be to contact IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service).

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