Due to the coronavirus outbreak, international students from non-EU countries would like to extend their residence permits in order to have sufficient time to find a job.
After having completed their studies at a Dutch university, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) grants foreign students one year in the Netherlands to find a job. This is called a zoekjaar. If they are successful, they are permitted to stay in the country.
A larger financial investment for internationals
International students pay a tuition fee that exceeds by far the Dutch or EU/EEA fee and often need to borrow large sums in order to finance their studies. Often this investment is worth it, especially if these students can find a job. However, this has been called into question with the coronavirus crisis.
NOS reports that students such as Jeevan Kumar, borrowed a sum of €50,000 from an Indian bank to study at TU Delft. Kumar has been searching now for several months. However, all of his job interviews have been postponed, meaning that he must rely on his parents’ finances. But because of a hefty interest rate, this becomes problematic.
The Ministry of Security and Justice has announced that it will not extend the zoekjaar.
For internationals still studying
For students coming from abroad who now have to resort to online classes, the hefty investment also becomes questionable. Thousands have signed a petition for a tuition fee reduction.
Many of these students also experience serious financial difficulties (partly they can no longer work part-time jobs) and are having issues paying their tuition fees. Consequently, they risk losing their residence permit. These issues are being discussed with educational institutions as well as the Ministry of Education.
Are you an international graduate or student living in the Netherlands? Have you experienced difficulties due to coronavirus? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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