Wetenschap - 31 oktober 2002

Extra visa expenses for industrial internships

Extra visa expenses for industrial internships

International students who want to get work experience at an industrial company during their study have to pay 258 euros to change their temporary residence permit into a work permit. If students finish their internship before the end of their study programme, the work permit has to be converted back into a residence permit again, which means another 258 Euro needs to be paid. This is the result of a new law that regards students doing work placements as employees, even if they don't receive any salary.

A Chinese student who is following the European Masters Degree Programme in Food Studies was unexpectedly confronted with this new law when she wanted to do a thesis on an industrial company. Henk van den Broek, coordinator of the European Masters programme, had to ask the involved company to keep the student under contract for an extra two months. This way she will only have to pay the 258 euros once in order to be able to finish her programme in Wageningen.

According to Van den Broek the new law does not take into account the special position of international students who need to do a work placement at an industrial company, as is the case for students doing the European Masters programme. Van den Broek: "The police in Wageningen even admitted that the new law overlooks exceptions like these."

The example of the Chinese student shows that solutions can be found, but according to Van den Broek this means a lot of work for the programme coordinators and the Dean's Office. "Luckily the number of European Masters students that need a visa is getting smaller." | L.M.

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