Student residence permit secondary or vocational education

Last update: 18 December 2023

You want a student residence permit to study at a secondary school or vocational education (MBO) in the Netherlands. Only an educational institution that is recognised as a sponsor by the IND can apply for a student residence permit for you. Find out what the requirements are and how your educational institution can apply for the student residence permit.


  • You meet the general requirements that apply to everyone.
  • You have proof of a certificate of registration or temporary proof of a certificate of registration as a pupil at a secondary school or as a vocational education (MBO) student. 
  • The Netherlands is the most appropriate country for your education. This means that you cannot have the same education in your country of origin. Or in the country where you are allowed to reside for more than 3 months (continuous residence). 
  • You meet at least 2 of these requirements:
    • You come from Surinam, Indonesia or South Africa and you have the nationality of one of these countries.
    • You have family ties with persons who live in the Netherlands and have a residence permit or have the Dutch nationality. 
    • You can speak and write in Dutch.
  • With your education, you will be able to work for the development of your country. Your educational institution knows more about this.
  • Your educational institution is a recognised sponsor by the IND.
  • You will follow fulltime education.
  • You meet the income requirements.

Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for the student residence permit:

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Application forms

Your educational institution submits the application for you and uses one of these application forms:

The residence permit

Find out what else you need to know about the student residence permit:

TB test

Did the educational institution indicate at the time of the application that you will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment with the public health service (in Dutch: Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD. Do this within 3 months after you have received the residence permit. Take with you to the appointment:

Working with the residence permit

On the back of your residence permit, it says´Work permit required for additional work, other work as an employee not permitted´ (in Dutch: Tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) vereist voor arbeid van bijkomende aard, andere arbeid in loondienst niet toegestaan).

Working as an employee

You may work as an employee if your employer has a work permit (TWV) for you. If you want to work, then you must choose: up to 16 hours a week; or fulltime during the months of June, July and August.

The Netherlands Labour Authority (in Dutch: Nederlandse Arbeidsinspectie) checks whether your employer has a TWV, and whether you are not working more than is allowed. Are you working more than is allowed or without a TWV? Then the Netherlands Labour Authority will report this to the IND and give your employer a fine. The IND will contact your educational institution.

Working as a self-employed person

As long as you still meet the requirements for the residence permit, you may work as a self-employed person. You do not need a TWV and you may work as much as you want as a self-employed person. You must, however, register with the Chamber of Commerce (in Dutch: Kamer van Koophandel or KvK) and pay tax. You may also have to take out Dutch healthcare insurance.


You may follow a traineeship if this is part of your study programme. Then a TWV is not needed. Visit the website of Nuffic for more information.

Temporary study outside the Netherlands

During your study in the Netherlands, you are allowed to study abroad up to 12 months. 

Legal obligations

Your educational institution has as a recognised sponsor for study purposes an obligation to provide information, an obligation to keep records and a duty of care. If you are a student, you only have an obligation to provide information. 

Find out more about the legal obligations of the recognised sponsor and the foreign national’s obligation to provide information.  

The IND checks whether you meet your obligations. If you do not, you may get an administrative fine

Validity of residence permit

The student residence permit for study is valid for 3 months longer than the duration of your study. The permit will remain valid as long as you meet the requirements. The IND will issue the residence permit for a maximum of 5 years. 

Other applications

Replacement of the residence permit

Has your residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Then have the residence permit replaced. Visit the web page residence permit damaged or change of personal details or residence permit lost or stolen.

Extend the residence permit 

Will your residence permit expire soon? Then you can extend your residence permit.

Apply for a different residence permit

Have you completed your studies? Then you can apply for a different residence permit, for example for working in the Netherlands.