All children in the Netherlands have a right to education. The right of all children to schooling is established in national and international treaties and laws. Education is not only a right but also an obligation for all children. This also applies to undocumented children. Adults without a residence permit can only follow educational courses at non-governmental organisations in Amsterdam.
My child (8 years old) wants to go to school but is undocumented. Is this allowed?
Yes, your child can go to school from the age of 4 onwards. It is compulsory for all children between 5 and 18 years of age to go to school. The school is not allowed to pass on any information about its pupils.
My son (17) is nearly finished secondary school but is undocumented. Will he receive a diploma?
Yes, a secondary school can award a diploma to your son without any problems.
Can I go to higher education as an adult?
Access to higher education is possible if you have legal residence in the Netherlands, for instance during a procedure. If you are allowed to start the education, you are allowed finish the course, even if you are no longer legally resident. However, without a residence permit an internship is only possible in MBO-schools or in practical education, not in other schools.
On Thursday 10 March 2022, the municipality of Amsterdam, VU University Amsterdam, Inholland University of Applied Sciences and the Amsterdam School of the Arts signed a covenant for the pilot project ‘Access to higher education for Dutch undocumented young people’. To know more about this pilot, contact ASKV (Refugee Support Organisation in Amsterdam) or check this link of the municipality of Amsterdam.
I am a refugee and would like to continue my study in the Netherlands, but I don’t have a valid residence permit. What can I do?
Some higher education schools also accept migrants without residence permit. The schools don’t receive money from the Dutch government for undocumented students. For advice on this you contact us, or support organizations you know: Stap Verder, Wereldhuis, ASKV / PAO or the Foundation University. For information on the access to higher education for young, adult refugees, check the UAF.
I want to learn Dutch, where can I go?
There are however a number of possibilities for following courses for Dutch language classes. Please see the websites below for more information:
In ‘Buurthuizen’ (community centers) in the city you can also ask to enroll in Dutch courses. The Meevaart in Amsterdam East is such a place.
If you are interested in learning online, check out the platforms there are, like Coursera or Skillsbuild. Contact us if you are interested in the Skillsbuild platform.