Can a spouse of an international student work in the Netherlands? What you need to know

Can a spouse of an international student work in the Netherlands? What you need to know; The Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for international students to study abroad, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Can a spouse of an international student work in the Netherlands

With over 400,000 international students studying in the country every year, and many more Dutch citizens of foreign origin, the Dutch economy depends on this influx of new talent to maintain its status as one of the top economies in Europe and the world.

But what if you are an international student or an expat married to one? You may have heard rumors that the Netherlands doesn’t have work permits available to spouses of expats, but this isn’t true.

READ ALSO 8 countries where spouse can work on student visa

What are your options if you want to find a job in Holland?

If you want to find a job in Holland, most often, you need to be able to speak Dutch. This can be hard for people who do not live here or have not lived here for years.

There are some options if you still want to be able to work without being fluent, however.

One option is finding temp work as they rarely require speaking skills.

Another option is volunteering through organizations like Volunteer Match or Vrijwilligerswerk Nederland.

If you don’t speak Dutch but would like to volunteer with refugees, one organization that accepts English speakers is Citizen’s Service Bureau.

Finally, it might be worth considering teaching English as a second language on top of your existing qualifications and experience.

How do you set up a bank account as an expat who lives off savings?

So how do you set up a bank account as an expat who lives off savings? This is by far one of the most common problems faced by people who have just moved to a new country and want to start working.

The first step is finding out if there are any banks that cater to this type of customer, which unfortunately is not always easy.

If you can’t find any, then you need to be more creative with your search because it’s highly unlikely that Dutch banks will open an account for someone without a residence permit or other official documents.

One option could be to try getting an account at a foreign branch of a Dutch bank like ING or Rabobank since they are both present in many countries.

Where do you look for jobs for people who don’t speak Dutch?

If you are married to a Dutch citizen, then you are also legally able to work in the Netherlands.

Keep in mind that while you are legally allowed to be employed, you may have difficulties finding employment if your level of Dutch is low.

You can search for jobs on websites such as: LinkedIn (in English), JobCenter-Netherlands (in Dutch), and Trovit (international). Remember to mention any languages or skills you speak in your resume or cover letter.

Are there any jobs available for spouses who are new immigrants themselves?

A foreigner has to have a residence permit (temporary or permanent) before he/she can take up employment.

A permanent residence permit is not given automatically, you need to apply for one if you want to live in the Netherlands with your husband/wife.

If you come to live here on a temporary basis as part of a family reunion procedure then it will be possible for your partner to find work.

The conditions are different depending on which type of residency permit the person who wants to work holds. For example, only someone with a temporary residency permit needs permission from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Someone with a permanent residency permit does not need permission from the IND but does require permission from their employer and may also require permission from the IND.

Is it possible to start your own business without having any experience or capital (money)?

Yes, you can start your own business without any experience or capital (money), but it may be difficult. There are many different methods to choose from, and as long as your plan is realistic and achievable, there should be a way to start without much money or experience. For example, if you have excellent computer skills, find ways to offer computer-related services remotely on websites like Fiverr. If this isn’t something that interests you, look for opportunities at cafes or bars that need someone to help with odd jobs such as washing dishes or cleaning tables.

How do I find a job as someone with little or no Dutch language skills?

There are two approaches to finding a job as someone with little or limited Dutch language skills. The first is to use language specific job boards like Job Today (primarily for students and expats) and Indeed (which features many jobs in English). There are many other sites, but these seem to be among the most popular. The second approach is finding out which companies do not primarily hire people through staffing agencies and directly contact them about available positions. Job seekers can also use recruitment agencies, who will take care of all the administration tasks associated with looking for a new position. These agencies often have better contacts within their field than individual job seekers and can also offer help with things like relocation costs.

Can a spouse of an international student work in the Netherlands

Will my partner need their own working visa if we get married and they stay here longer than 90 days?

If you marry someone from another country, they can obtain a residence permit which will allow them to live and work legally in The Netherlands. You and your partner must have a written confirmation (certificate) from your home country that you are able to get married. It’s not enough to just show up at city hall and register as common-law partners or husband and wife without this document. More importantly, however, your partner will need to apply for their own working visa if they plan on staying here longer than 90 days. 

This is one of the first steps needed before living in the Netherlands together. 

Some people think it would be better for me to come back after my studies: If you’re worried about uprooting your life or feel like it might be too difficult to move back with your spouse once finished with school, then don’t worry.


As a spouse, you have to be able to prove that you have enough personal income and no other sources of employment in order to be eligible for a residence permit.

This is something your partner needs to establish beforehand.

There are some exceptions, but they do not apply to spouses who come from other EU countries or outside of the European Union.

In those cases, you will need to look into whether your spouse has applied for their own residency visa before looking into whether it would be possible for you to find a job. In addition, if both partners are non-EU citizens then they can only apply together which means if one person does not qualify it’s game over.

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