Possible BSN-numbers for Caribbean students

Arriving students in the Netherlands

KRALENDIJK – The government wants to remove obstacles for students from the Caribbean part of the kingdom. They will soon receive a Citizen Service Number (BSN number) if they are going to study in the Netherlands.

This became clear last Friday during a short debate in the Lower House. Students from the islands encounter many problems. For example, they have no BNS and therefore no DigiD, which causes hassle with, for example, enrolling in higher education and opening a bank account. Such concerns hinder their study performance. 

Legislative amendment

There will be a change in the law to introduce the Burgerservicenummer also on the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, but that may take years and is also not a solution for the independent countries of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten. In a motion, the PvdA and D66 asked whether something quicker could not be devised, and that indeed seems to be possible.


Education Minister Dijkgraaf is looking with State Secretary Van Huffelen of the Interior and Kingdom Relations whether DUO, as a “designated administrative body”, may be able to give BSN numbers to all Caribbean students. In May he will know more, he said, and in June the decision can be made. It would then go through an administrative order: much faster than through a change in the law.

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