Non-EU students allowed to work two days a week

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Students from outside the European Union are now allowed to work more hours along with their studies. They’ll also be given more opportunities for internships. The new rules went into effect this week.

Read in Dutch

Thanks to the new European guidelines, students from outside the EU are now allowed to work sixteen hours a week, says internationalization organization Nuffic. That’s six hours more than before. “The EU guidelines prescribe a minimum of fifteen hours a week,” says Nuffic administrative officer Floor van Donselaar. “The Netherlands took that and made it into sixteen hours, or two full working days.”

Less bureaucracy 
The EU wants these guidelines to help make it easier for internationals to study in Europe and have a part-time job at the same time. The non-EU students do need a work permit before they’re allowed to start work in the Netherlands. The employer has to apply for one with the UWV, but that, too, has been made easier, Van Donselaar says. “The application forms are easier to use, minimizing the bureaucracy an employer has to work through.”

Work experience 
An application for a work permit doesn’t get turned down very often, she says. But they’re also not applied for all that often. What the cause is, remains unclear. “Perhaps employers hesitate because they’re unfamiliar with the rules. Or they’re afraid of a mountain of paperwork,” she suspects. Perhaps it’s because of the students themselves, too. “They come here to study, so perhaps a part-time job isn’t always the top priority.”

The regulations surrounding internships for non-EU students have also been broadened. Those who graduated less than two years ago, are now allowed to do an internship in the Netherlands for a maximum of a year. Before, students from outside the EU were only allowed to gain work experience at the Dutch labor market during their studies. To prevent foreign alumni from doing unpaid work under the banner of ‘internships’, a work permit has been made a requirement for internships, too.

Translation: Indra Spronk

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