Work permit no longer required for voluntary work

International students and scientific researchers from outside the European Union wishing to do voluntary work in the Netherlands, no longer need a work permit (TWV) to do so.

Instead, the so-called Volunteer Declaration (Vrijwilligersverklaring) is now sufficient. This Declaration is aimed at asylum seekers, but also applies to international students or scientific researchers who have a valid Dutch residence permit. Under the Dutch Foreign Employment Act (Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen) voluntary work is also seen as ‘labour’.

Valid for 3 years

Organisations that want to deploy volunteers can apply for the Volunteer Declaration at UWV, the Employee Insurance Agency in the Netherlands. The declaration is valid for a period of 3 years. Information about the conditions and application procedure for the Volunteer Declaration can be found on the UWV website.

Scientific researchers who hold a residence permit under the directive for scientific research (2005/71/EC) and people in their orientation year do not need a Volunteer Declaration if they want to do voluntary work.They have free access to the Dutch labour market and are therefore allowed to do voluntary work without any additional formalities.

More information

For more information on procedures, rules and regulations concerning international students and scientific researchers wishing to work in the Netherlands in addition to their studies or research, please see our website.

Croats no longer require a work permit

5 July 2018
As of 1 July 2018, Croats will have the same rights as all other EU citizens to work in the Netherlands for regular jobs, work placements and jobs on the side.

Automatic recognition: a necessity

20 February 2018
By 2020, all countries within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) will be required to automatically recognize each other's bachelor's and master's degrees.