Caribbean students will receive a BSN before arriving in the Netherlands

The Council of Ministers agreed to amend the Decree on the basic registration of persons so that Caribbean students can immediately obtain a BSN when applying for student finance via DUO.  This is made possible by temporarily registering them as non-residents in the BRP. State Secretary Van Huffelen, of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation (BZK), submitted the decision in consultation with Minister Dijkgraaf of Education, Culture, and Science. In doing so, it is implementing the government’s ambitions to give students from Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten a BSN before arriving in the Netherlands. The decision is submitted to the Council of State for advice.

Easier online business

With a BSN, students can arrange all matters with the government and other agencies that require a BSN online. For example, to apply for a DigiD, surcharges, and to make an appointment with the municipality for registration in the BRP. In this way, students can prepare for arrival in the Netherlands and arrange matters faster after arrival. As a result, they do not get into unnecessary trouble. The decision is a first step. After the entry into force, time will be needed to adapt the duo’s systems.

For Caribbean students entitled to student finance

The change applies to all Caribbean students who are entitled to student finance and are going to study in the Netherlands but do not yet live there. An important condition is that they have Dutch nationality or are equivalent to it. Caribbean MBO students who are not yet 18 years old also receive the BSN before arriving in the Netherlands. The travel right, known as the student travel product they receive, is also seen as student finance.

Registration with the municipality after arrival in the Netherlands is still mandatory

Even after this decision, Caribbean students are obliged to register in the BRP of the Dutch municipality where they will live after arriving in the Netherlands. The regulations apply to anyone who is going to stay in the Netherlands for more than four months. The BSN remains the same.

Possible additional measures at the start of the study in 2023

For Caribbean students who start their studies in the Netherlands in August or September this year, it is not possible to implement the change on time after entry into force. They receive a BSN after registration in the BRP of the Dutch municipality where they will live. In individual cases, the central government will make every effort to remove the bottlenecks that lead to delays in enrolment in the BRP for Caribbean students.


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