Council of Ministers decides that Caribbean students will receive a BSN before arrival in the Netherlands

The Council of Ministers agreed to amend the Decree Basic Registration of Persons so that Caribbean students can immediately receive a BSN (Burgerservicenummer, in English Citizen Service Number), when applying for study financing through DUO. This is made possible by temporarily registering them as non-residents in the BRP.

Caribische student in Nederland

Alexandra van Huffelen, State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalization (BZK), submitted the decision in consultation with the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. With this she implements the ambitions of the Cabinet to give students from Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, Aruba, CuraƧao and St. Maarten a BSN before arrival in the Netherlands. The decision will be submitted to the Council of State for advice.

Easier to conduct business online

With a BSN, students can arrange all matters with the government and other agencies that require a BSN online. For example, for applying for a DigiD, surcharges and making an appointment with the municipality for registration in the BRP. In this way, students can prepare themselves before coming to the Netherlands and will not be unnecessarily inconvenienced. The decision is a first step. After it takes effect, time will be needed to adjust DUO's systems.

For Caribbean students entitled to student finance

The change applies to all Caribbean students who are entitled to study financing and are going to study in the Netherlands but do not yet live there. An important condition is that they have the Dutch nationality or equivalent. Caribbean mbo students who are not yet 18 years old will also receive the BSN before arrival in the Netherlands. The travel entitlement, known as the student travel product they receive, is also considered study financing.

Registration with municipality after arrival in the Netherlands still mandatory

Even after this decision, Caribbean students are required to register in the BRP of the Dutch municipality where they are going to 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 start of study in 2023

For Caribbean students who start studying in the Netherlands in August or September this year, it is not possible to implement the change in time after it takes effect. They will receive a BSN after registration in the BRP of the Dutch municipality where they will live. The Central Government will make every effort to remove bottlenecks in individual cases, that lead to delays in the registration in the BRP for the Caribbean students.