Information for students from Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands

If you are going to the Netherlands as a student, you must take care of some things  before you can study there. One of them is registration in the Personal Records database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen, hereinafter the BRP). If as a student you want to go study in the Netherlands for a period longer than four months, you must be registered as a resident in the municipality in the Netherlands where you are going to live.

This fact sheet contains several guidelines to facilitate this registration in the Netherlands.

Deregistration from the PIVA is required

Before you leave for the Netherlands, you must deregister from the population register (PIVA) of the island where you are living. You should do this within ten days before your departure at the Census Office department. It is important that you state in which municipality you will reside in the Netherlands when you give notice of your departure, so that the Census Office can send your file to that municipality. When taking up residence in the Netherlands, you will subsequently register there. If you decide to register in another municipality than the one specified at departure, this will lead to several weeks of delay in registration in the BRP.
Deregistration from the PIVA database is required in order to register in the BRP. One of the documents which you need to submit in order to get registered in the BRP, is the proof of deregistration, which you will receive when you deregister at the Census Office department.

Registration in the BRP: how and what documents

As soon as you have arrived in the Netherlands you must register as a resident in the municipality where you are going to live within five days. It is recommended that you check with the municipality concerned whether you must book an appointment for this and what documents are required for registration before you leave for the Netherlands. In most cases this information can be found on the website of the municipality.
After registration with a municipality, it can take up to four weeks before you receive your citizen service number (in Dutch: burgerservicenummer, BSN). You need a BSN for, among others,
the application for student finance in the Netherlands, taking out healthcare insurance and for opening a Dutch bank account.
You should bring at least the following documents at registration in the BRP in the municipality:

  • A valid passport (to establish your identity)
  • Original proof of deregistration (received from the Census office of the island where you have deregistered)
  • Proof of address in the Netherlands (for instance a copy of the tenancy agreement or a signed letter, with a copy of a relative’s ID, which proves that you can live there for the time being)
  • Optional: copy of birth certificate (some municipalities ask for a copy of your birth certificate).

Please check with the municipality beforehand whether a birth certificate is required at registration. Please note: when leaving an island where you were not born, you may be well advised to apply for the (foreign) birth certificate in time and have it translated if required and, if necessary, get an apostille or legalisation stamp.

Special registration days of municipalities

There are municipalities which have fixed days or special appointments at the Population Affairs department (in Dutch: afdeling Burgerzaken/Publiekszaken) for registration in the BRP for students from the Caribbean region. Furthermore, some educational institutions have made arrangements with municipalities about special registration days. These facilities differ per municipality but also per educational institution. Please check with your educational institution whether the municipality has these special registration days.

Student days at educational institutions

You must arrange enrolment in the educational institution where you are going to study before you leave for the Netherlands. Please check beforehand, for instance on the website of the educational institution, whether they offer assistance in registration in the BRP in the Netherlands. Educational institutions for instance organise special student days where different agencies, like the Population Affairs department, are present. Of course you can also obtain information from the organisations and persons mentioned below.

Contact points in Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands:

Each island has a contact person at the Population Register department, who can provide information to students about registration in the BRP and which documents are required for this:

  • Aruba:
  • Curaçao:
  • St. Maarten:
  • Bonaire:
  • St. Eustatius:
  • Saba:

Useful information and links:

Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO; Education Executive Agency)

Information about student finance for students from the Caribbean region. Website:

Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland

Here you can find information about the start-up allowance. The start-up allowance is intended to pay for the transfer, equipment (everything which is required for the trip and residence in the Netherlands), furnishing, financial bridging support and guidance in the Netherlands. The start-up allowance consists partly of a performance grant and partly of a loan.
E-mail address:


The Education Directorate of the Arubahuis bears responsibility for Aruban students with a student loan granted by the country Aruba. This directorate takes care of the assistance and guidance of Aruban students who come to study in the Netherlands. Each region in the Netherlands has a mentor who supervises a certain number of students.

Stichting Studiefinanciering Curaçao

Stichting Studiefinanciering Curaçao (SSC; Student Finance Foundation) is a financing institution which is in charge of the granting of student finance for those following training programmes at MBO (senior secondary vocational education and training), HBO (higher vocational education) or university level in Curaçao and in the Netherlands.
The head office in Curaçao takes care of the intake, registration, payment of the monthly student finance and collection of student debts from students. The department in the Netherlands takes care of the assistance, guidance and accommodation for students in the Netherlands.
Each region in the Netherlands has one or more mentors who offer guidance to a number of students.

Division Study Financing (DSF)

Division Study Financing (in Dutch: Dienst Studiefinanciering
St.Maarten) is the implementing agency within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports and is in charge of the granting of supplementary student finance for those following training programmes at MBO, HBO or university level in the Netherlands.
A team of mentors and buddies offers support and guidance to students from St. Maarten who take up studies in the Netherlands with student finance of the country St. Maarten.
E-mail address:

Want to know more?

Should you have any questions about registration in the Netherlands, then please contact our Front Office at or by telephone at 088 900 1000.