For almost all official applications, you will be required to log in via your DigiD. This 'virtual ID' will store most of your relevant details in order to confirm them for government institutions when applying for subsidies and other benefits. You need a DigiD when applying for study finance, huurtoeslag, or zorgtoeslag for example.
You can apply for a DigiD account once you’ve applied for enrolment to your school through Studielink, have been accepted to your school, and have registered with your municipality in the Netherlands after you’ve arrived and received your BSN number.
PROBLEM: This means that you can’t begin to apply for study finance until AFTER you’ve arrived to the Netherlands and been registered with your municipality. This is where many students run into their first issue since it is advised on the government website to apply at least three months in advance. However, you cannot do this without a BSN number and DigiD account, which you can only get after registering with your municipality once you’ve arrived.
Although Studielink indicates that you need to have a DigiD in order to sign in, as an international student, you can’t get a DigiD until you’ve arrived to the Netherlands, and received your BSN. However, there is a way that you can sign into Studielink without a DigiD. If you have other questions, the Studielink questions page might have an answer!
After receiving your BSN number, which should take about 2-4 weeks, you can apply for the DigiD account. The application is in Dutch, but you can use this English explanation for how to apply to DigiD, how to activate your DigiD once you’ve applied successfully (must be done within 20 days of receiving your activation code), and how to use it.
Once you have your DigiD account, you can go onto the DUO website in order to find the application form (pdf link) for study finance (studiefinanciering) or you can create a Mijn Toeslagen account to apply for a rental or health care allowance.
Be sure to keep your DigiD log-in details safe. You will need to use your DigiD to log into these sites in the future.
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