My wife is a US citizen and we’ll reunite in few months. I’m a EU citizen and currently living and working in the Netherlands. She just got admitted to a public research university in the Netherlands (academic year will start in Sept 2021), what kind of tuition fees do we have to pay? Since I’ll sponsor her against the EU law, is she eligible for the EU tuition fees?

  • What does the attendance conditions of this public research university say? A link to that site would be helpful to see the given legal terms stated there. Mar 23, 2021 at 23:53
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    What does the Foreign Students Office at this university say? Mar 24, 2021 at 17:10
  • @DavidSupportsMonica the international office doesn’t want to collaborate too much. They told us that until my wife won’t be here and receive the permit, they basically refuse to say whether she’s eligible or not. They want to see the permit first.
    – Mark
    Mar 30, 2021 at 14:24
  • I'm in a similar boat, a US citizen marrying a EU citizen (German) wanting to attend Wagenigen next year. I can't figure out from the law document if I will be exempt from international tuition fees, and the link for Wagenigen has expired. Is anyone able to comment on this? Sep 13, 2022 at 14:18
  • Hi @Mark, by any chance did you solve this question? I am at a similar situation now with my (sson to be) wife! Best regards Nov 18, 2022 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


The law (Wet Studiefinanciering 2000) is not super explicit but does provide that several categories of foreign residents are to be treated like Dutch student as far as tuition is concerned. Several universities explicitely mention residence cards for members of the family of an EU citizen (familielid EU/EER) as one of these categories (e.g. WUR, Maastricht).

I do not know whether these rules have any basis in EU law or EUCJ case law.

  • Yes, I found a similar document from this public research university too wur.nl/web/… . My wife’s uni will be TU Delft, which I think it’s quite comparable to Maastricht University and Wageningen. But for some reason, the international office of TU doesn’t guarantee the same conditions. They explicitly said that without a scan of the permit they can’t guarantee that the familieleid EU will allow my wife to pay EU tuition fees
    – Mark
    Mar 30, 2021 at 14:30

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