Dutch bank account
Do I need to open a Dutch bank account?
Do you have a bank account in a country that is not a SEPA* member?
If so, you are strongly advised to open a Dutch bank account. This is particularly important if you have transferred funds to us for your visa/residence permit application, or have been awarded a scholarship by Leiden University. These funds will be transferred to your Dutch bank account after arrival.
Do you have a bank account in a country that is a SEPA* member?
A Dutch bank account is not essential but can be very handy. Many organisations require a Dutch bank account number if you want to become a member or request a card, e.g. public transport organisations.
*SEPA: Single Euro Payments Area. Member countries include all EEA member states plus Monaco and Switzerland.
How to open a bank account
With a standard bank
By standard bank we mean a bank that has physical branch offices that you can visit. There are currently three standard banks in the Netherlands that offer student bank accounts: Rabobank, ING and ABN Amro.
The first step is to make an appointment with your preferred bank. Make your appointment just before or immediately after arrival as follows:
- Rabobank: Make an appointment in person or by telephone at the Leiden branch or The Hague branch.
- ING: Make an appointment online at your preferred branch.
- ABN Amro: First request a student bank account online. You will then receive instructions to make an appointment via an online form.
Bring all the following documents to your appointment in hardcopy:
- Passport/EU ID Card
- Unconditional admission statement, or statement of student registration - see instructions here
- Proof of your Dutch address (e.g. rental contract, statement from your landlord)
- Proof of your town hall registration, mentioning your BSN (citizen service number)
If this document is not yet available, you can generally provide it later. ABN Amro, for example, requires that you submit your BSN via online banking within 6 weeks. Check with your bank for details.
- Non-EU/EEA students only: your Dutch residence permit.
If your permit is not yet available, request a copy of your official IND residence permit approval letter by contacting the bachelor admissions team or master admissions team. Note that this is not the same as the residence permit approval email you received from the visa team.
Be on time and make sure you have all the required documents, otherwise the bank will not be able to assist you! After your appointment, the bank will create your account then provide you with your account details.
At busy times of the year, you may have to wait several days for an appointment. After your appointment, you may also have to wait a few days for your account details, depending on bank processing times. So make sure you can access funds in other ways during your first few days in The Netherlands.
With an online bank
By online bank we mean a bank that does not have physical branch offices that you can visit. All business is conducted online. You can open a student bank account with bunq online bank.
To request an account with bunq:
You will need to submit copies of the following documents:
- ID: check which documents are required per nationality
- Proof of residency: either your Dutch rental contract, unconditional admission statement or statement of enrolment
- BSN (citizen service number): required within 90 days of opening your bank account. You will be issued with a BSN after registering with a Dutch town hall.
As there is no need to attend an appointment, you can open an account within a few minutes if you have all the correct documentation available.