Universiteit Maastricht

Student Services Centre

The alternative residence permit for exchange students from Canada, Australia or New Zealand

Exchange students from Canada, Australia and New-Zealand can choose a cheaper and easier way to spend their exchange period in the Netherlands. Canadians can make use of the so-called Working Holiday Program (WHP) and Australians and New-Zealanders of the so-called Working Holiday Scheme (WHS).


First and foremost you should consider the consequences of this procedure:

  1. The Visa Office is not allowed to act on your behalf in this procedure, so you will have to do it all by yourself.
  2. Your residence permit is valid for a maximum of one year. Once applied for it cannot be extended.
  3. It is a single opportunity. Once used, you can never apply for this same permit again.
    These are also reasons why the Dutch embassies in Canada, Australia and New-Zealand have frequently discouraged the use of the WHP and WHS for an exchange study period. So if you wish to use this option, we strongly advise you to not consult the Dutch embassy on this subject and simply travel to the Netherlands with all required documents.

Please note: Contrary to what the title of the programme may suggest, you do not have to work, but you can if you want to.


You must meet the following conditions and hold the following documents in order to take part in the WHP or WHS:

  1. You must have a valid passport.
  2. You must be at least 18 years of age and you cannot be older than 30 years of age.
  3. You must have health insurance with cover in the Netherlands.
  4. In all cases you must have sufficient funds for the first 6 weeks of your stay in the Netherlands (approx. €1000).
  5. You must have a return ticket.
  6. You must not constitute a risk to public order.
  7. Pay the legal fees of €53 (subject to change).

Upon arrival you can call Dutch Immigration (IND) at 088-0430430 (preferably between 9 and 10 am or 4 and 5 pm) and explicitly ask for an appointment for the application of a WHP- or WHS-residence permit at the Immigration office in Eindhoven.


Bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • your valid passport
  • a valid return ticket
  • €53 in cash
  • a completed form called “Application for a residence permit with the purpose of residence being 'exchange' within the context of the Working Holiday Program or Working Holiday Scheme". You can find the appropriate form HERE.

In general, you should only complete the indicated pages in the described way, using a black or blue pen, writing in capital letters and writing dates as DD-MM-YYYY.


The instructions per page are as follows:

PAGE 2:

  • Section 1, please check box number 3 where it says "You are in the Netherlands and you want a residence permit with the purpose of residence being exchange".
  • Section 2, Please check the box "Exchange within the context of the Working Holiday Program or Working Holiday Scheme".
  • Section 4, Complete all requested data in section 4. You do not yet possess a V-number or a public service number (BSN), so leave those blank.

PAGE 6:

  • Complete section 4. Where it mentions "Home Address" you should fill in your address in the Netherlands.
  • Section 6, please fill in your name, date the form and place your signature.

Appendix Antecedents Certificate:
Check the appropriate boxes and then fill in your name, date the form and place your signature.


Take the completed and signed form and the other required documents with you to the appointment of IND. Your passport picture together with your fingerprints will be taken during the appointment by an official of Dutch Immigration.


As soon as you receive your residence permit, you should make an appointment with City Hall to register in the Municipal Records Database. You can call City Hall on 14043 (Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm) to make an appointment. After the voice-response and the beep, please clearly speak the word MAASTRICHT.

Then wait for the operator and clearly state that you wish to make an appointment for a registration in the GBA that falls outside the GBA-registration sessions at the university because you are an exchange student.