To enter the Netherlands for the purpose of studying, and during your studies, you may require a visa and/or a residence permit, depending on the following factors:

  • Your nationality, i.e. as stated in your passport.
  • The duration of your stay, i.e. for less or more than three months.
  • The purpose of your stay, i.e. we assume that you intend coming to the Netherlands to study, or for a preparatory year.

This blog will help you through the process, but for more information visit the website or talk to a student advisor.


1. Preparational phase

To obtain a student visa, you need to know what university you will be going to. Therefore, the first step you need to do is apply for your study programme via Studielink, this is where you will upload all required documents (the Studielink registration procedure can be found here).

If your study results are sufficient and you have received a Letter of Acceptance, the next step is to pay an amount for the first academic year. This is an important condition for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service - IND - to grant the request for the student visa and residence permit. It is a way of proving whether international students have sufficient financial resources for their study period. The university will send you a payment invoice. This payment includes the tuition for the first year, living costs and service charges.

When all formalities are done, the university will send documents to IND and apply for your residence permit. Only the university can do this, you cannot do this on your own.

2. What documents do you need?

Residence permit can be obtained when you are already in the Netherlands, but before that you need to get a visa. This allows you to cross the border of the Netherlands. A student visa can be obtained in the Dutch embassy of your country. When you have decided to go to the Dutch embassy, you will need to take a number of documents required for the application. However, it is strongly advised to check the exact list on the embassy's website. The documents may include:

  • International passport (that you use to travel to foreign countries)
  • Application form for student visa (can be downloaded from embassy website)
  • 2 passport size photos
  • School diploma with all grades
  • Proof of enrolment that university has accepted you as a student
  • Medical insurance
  • Bank statement - that states the minimum amount of money needed to live one year in the Netherlands
  • A document which states the place of residence during the 1st year - your rental contract (check this blog on how to find an accommodation)
  • A signed agreement to do a tuberculosis test (after your arrival to the Netherlands)
  • Another bank statement which states payment for your 1st year studies has been paid

Normally, you will get your passport with the student visa within 1-2 weeks.

3. What's next?

After receiving your student visa you are allowed to travel to the Netherlands. After your arrival the university will arrange a tuberculosis test and a meeting for obtaining your residence permit (this should be done within 3 months).

Why do you need a residence permit? Student visas are valid just for 3 months after crossing the border of Netherlands, but your studies continue for 3-4 years. That's why a residence permit will allow you to cross the EU-borders without any visa. You can travel to most of the European countries with it!

If you need more information, please visit the website or talk to an advisor. Good luck and hope to welcome you soon!


Laatst aangepast op: 10-07-2024