Caribbean students face delays in obtaining BSN number

June 6, 2023  –THE HAGUE – Caribbean students are still experiencing delays in obtaining a citizen service number (BSN) before coming to study in the Netherlands. According to the Dutch National Ombudsman, they are treated better in Belgium than in the Netherlands.  

Recently, the Dutch Ombudsman once again raised concerns about this issue. Despite previous assurances, new Caribbean students continue to encounter difficulties when applying for their BSN number. The issue was highlighted during the Ipko (Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultation).  

In November, the Dutch government announced that Caribbean students planning to study in the “European Netherlands” would be able to obtain a BSN number through DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) prior to their departure.

This would ensure their registration in the Dutch basic administration system. However, currently, they can only apply for their citizen service number after arriving in the Netherlands. As a result, they face delays and complications in arranging student finance, student transport, opening a bank account, and obtaining insurance. Efforts are being made to improve the situation by April next year. 

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