Students will receive citizen service number when applying for Dutch study financing

As of the 1st of April, 2024, students from the Caribbean region who will be studying in the Netherlands will receive a citizen service number (BSN) when they apply for study financing. This will allow them to arrange a number of matters for their studies from the Caribbean region in advance. This fulfills a long cherished wish.

Until now it is only possible for students from Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius, Aruba, Curacao or St. Maarten to apply for a BSN when they register with a municipality upon arrival in the Netherlands. As a result, they cannot arrange many things until they are in the Netherlands. In order to eliminate this bottleneck, the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education (OCW), the Ministry of the Interior (BZK) and the National Office for Identity Data (RvIG) has ensured that Caribbean students will receive a BSN sooner.

Request BSN by phone at DUO

For all applications for study financing from the Caribbean region submitted before and after the 1st of April for academic year 2024-2025, DUO will transmit the student’s data to the National Office for Identity Data (RvIG). Once RvIG has processed the data, RvIG sends a letter with the BSN to the student. Because mail to the Caribbean can take a long time, the student can also request the BSN by phone from DUO in advance. What remains unchanged in the process, by the way, is that Caribbean students must still register with the municipality where they are going to live within five days of their arrival in the Netherlands.

Easier arrangement of affairs

With the BSN, students can already apply for a DigiD before leaving for the Netherlands, with which they can log in to websites of the Dutch government. For example, students can log in to My DUO and view the amount of their study funding, report changes and receive personal messages. Students can also make an appointment with some municipalities in advance for registration in the municipality where they are going to live.

Information in the Caribbean

In the period of the 2nd through the 26th of April, DUO employees will be on all Caribbean islands to provide information about student grants to prospective students and their parents. During these meetings they will also explain about the BSN and other matters that students need to arrange for their studies in the Netherlands. In addition, DUO will open a temporary service office on each of these islands, where students can drop by with questions. Former students can also stop by here with questions about repaying their study debt if they have one.

More information about the information meetings and temporary service offices can be found at



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