Opening a Dutch bank account

Foreign students only need a Dutch bank account when they do not have a SEPA account in another EU country.

What is SEPA?

SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area and includes all countries within the EU, plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino.

If you do not have a SEPA-account in an EU country yet, we strongly recommend opening an account as soon as possible upon arrival to facilitate money withdrawals, debit payments, the refund of a possible visa deposit and/or (international) transactions. Please explore all options to find the best fit for you.

First-year students with a visa/residence permit for study cannot pay the tuition fee in instalments or via digital authorisation. They need to pay for a whole year in one lump sum before the start of their studies.

Dutch banks generally require a BSN (social security number, issued upon registration with your local municipality) to open an account. Each bank may have various additional requirements such as having an address or proof of registration at a university. The biggest ones are:

The municipal registration and issue of the BSN may take a while, depending on the time of the year and the city you live in. Between August and December, registration at the municipality may take between four and six weeks.

An alternative may be an online bank, as they do not always require a BSN to open an account. You may want to check out:

Similar services are also offered by non-banks like

Please note that when you are not yet 18 years of age, it can be difficult to open an account without your parents present. Please consult the banks on their requirements in this situation.