56 hours requirement DUO

One possibility to get study finance for international students from within the EU, is if you qualify as an EU worker. EU workers should be able to move freely between EU countries and have the same rights as nationals from the country they move to. This includes the right to study finance. According to DUO, you have to work 56 hours per month to qualify as an EU worker and receive study finance as an EU student.

However, this requirement is not as strict as DUO makes it seem. According to the EU Court of Justice, an EU worker has to fulfill 3 requirements:

  1. The worker has to perform effective and genuine activities (That means: perform real work);
  2. Under the supervision of another (This means with an employer, so not self-employed);
  3. In exchange for remuneration (This means a salary which has to be substantial. DUO uses 50% of the social assistence norm as a rule, which is about 526 euros).

So, according to EU law, there isn’t a requirement for the amount of hours a student has to work to qualify as a worker. This should always be judged based on the circumstances and the employment contract. Students who work less than 56 hours per month can also qualify as workers and have a right to study finance.

Being self-employed

If you don’t have an employment contract, but are self-employed, you can also qualify as a worker. You have to fulfill two requirements:

  1. The student’s company must be registered with the Dutch chamber of commerce (Kamer van Koophandel);
  2. The student must be earning at least on average half of what the student would receive in social assistance, given the age of the student. Students above 21 get 70% of the minimum wage on social assistance, which is approximately 1000 euros per month. So, self-employed students must be earning approximately 500 euros per month.

To see examples of people who qualified as workers, check out this article from Avant Advocaten. For more information and legal help, you can contact the Student helpline of the Dutch Student Union.