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Visa application

When you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you need to complete the immigration procedure before you can start your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. So it is very important to have that matter settled! Luckily our International Office at VU Amsterdam will apply for the required immigration documents on your behalf.

On this website you will find all the information you need in order to complete it smoothly. Therefore please read the website carefully for it contains very important information.

There are several types of immigration procedures possible for Exchange students:

  • Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • Change of Sponsor
  • Working Holiday Programme/Scheme (WHP/WHS) (applicable to Canada, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Intra-EU mobility (for students who already hold a valid EU study permit of another member state)

Which procedure applies to you depends on your nationality. Please check our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information about the difference between a visa and residence permit. In the following table, you can see the procedure that applies to you. More information about both procedures can be found below.

Nationality
Required procedure
Australia*
Canada*
Japan
Monaco
New Zealand*
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States of America
Vatican City State
Residence permit (VVR) procedure
All other non-EU countriesLong stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure
All other non-EU countries but in possession of valid residence permit of another Schengen countryResidence permit (VVR) procedure
All EU countries
Iceland
Liechtenstein
Norway
Switzerland
No procedure required

* we advise you to apply for the residence permit of the Working Holiday Programme/Scheme (WHP/WHS); you can find more information below. Exchange students from Argentina, Hong Kong SAR and South Africa have to check with the Dutch Embassy first if they can use this option.

Immigration procedure
For students who will start in the Fall semester: you need to upload your required documents before 1 June 2022. Once the visa section in your VU Dashboard is open, you first need to answer our short questionnaire. Then you will receive an information email shortly after, including your unique login details to our online immigration platform ('VisaCare').

Important message for users of our immigration platform “VisaCare”: as soon as you’ve submitted your personal details and have started the application, we assume that you wish to apply for a student visa/residence permit. If you decide to cancel your application throughout the process (i.e. before completing all of the required steps), you need to pay a handling fee of €85. We will deduct the €85 from the visa fee you transferred already. If you haven’t paid your visa fee to VU Amsterdam yet, you must pay the €85 handling fee to VU Amsterdam. We will send you the instructions how to pay this.

The total visa fee of €275 is non-refundable if we’ve already sent your application to the Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND).

Important information regarding the Coronavirus
For the most up-to-date travel advice please make sure to check the website of the Dutch government regularly.

Here you can find more information about self-quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.

Visa application procedure

  • Overview

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa and/or residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. First, you need to confirm your participation in the Exchange programme before you can upload your documents. Please also take a look at our step-by-step visa application video.

    The visa/residence permit application procedure will open on 1 April 2022 for the Fall semester 2022/2023. The deadline for completing the visa and/or residence permit application procedure is 1 June. The application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Once the visa section in your VU Dashboard is open, you first need to answer our short questionnaire. Then you will receive an information email shortly after, including your unique login details to our online immigration platform ('VisaCare'). Please check below under the procedure applicable to you, what documents you need.

  • Deadlines

    1 April (first semester)/1 October (second semester)
    From this date on you can start the entry visa and/or residence permit application procedure in VU Dashboard.
    1-2 weeks
    We aim to check your documents within 1-2 weeks. When they are all correct and when we have received the visa fee, we will submit the application to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). In case some documents are insufficient, we will let you know by e-mail. So keep an eye out for any notifications!
    2 to 4 weeks
    It takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks before we receive the approval from the IND - in the busy summer period it is more likely that it takes up to 4 weeks. We will inform you when the IND has approved your entry visa and/or residence permit application and we will provide you with detailed information about the next steps you need to take.
    1 to 3 weeks
    You make an appointment with the Dutch representation to collect your entry visa in case you require one. How soon you can get an appointment depends on how busy the Dutch representation is. Keep in mind that it may take longer during the summer months. After the appointment, it may take up to 3 weeks before you will receive the visa.
    August (first semester)/January (second semester)
    You travel to the Netherlands. If necessary, you need to book an appointment with the IND to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo needed to issue the residence permit). If applicable, we will also inform you about the TB test procedure. The TB test costs €47,50. You can find more information about the TB test in the sections about the procedures.
    September (first semester)/February (second semester) 
    Collect your residence permit at the IND.

Types of procedures

  • Residence Permit (VVR) Procedure

    When you are eligible for this procedure, you are only required to have a residence permit (VVR) but not an entry visa (MVV). This means that you can enter the Netherlands with just your passport. While you need to apply for the residence permit in advance, you will receive it in the Netherlands. In case you hold a valid residence permit of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa and possibly from a Dutch residence permit as well. Please upload a copy of your residence permit in VisaCare or e-mail a copy to studentimmigration@vu.nl in order for us to assess whether you require a Dutch residence permit for study purposes or not.

    Please note that exchange students from Canada, Australia and New Zealand are advised to apply for the residence permit of the Working Holiday Programme/Scheme (WHP/WHS). Exchange students from Argentina, Hong Kong SAR and South Africa have to check with the Dutch Embassy first if they can use this option. Please consult our information sheet for details.

    How to apply

    Step 1: Confirm your participation on your VU Dashboard
    The visa section on your VU Dashboard will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please take a look at our step-by-step visa application video.

    Step 2: Upload the required documents to VisaCare
    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Here you can upload all required documents as PDFs. The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

    • Copy of passport (valid > 6 months): ID page, signature, stamped pages.
    • Antecedents certificate signed by hand (not digitally), mentioning place and date of signing (under 2.4). V-number can be skipped.
    • TB Statement. Exchange students from Indonesia, Peru, South Africa and Thailand need to sign part A. All other exchange students need to sign part B.
    • Proof of financial means. In this manual you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means. In case of a sponsor, the sponsor(s) need(s) to sign the Financial Statement form.

    The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VisaCare. You can use this checklist to double check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so.

    Please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format. Finally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator.

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee
    Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool on their VU Dashboard. We need to have received the fee before we can submit the application. The costs are specified as follows:

    • Residence permit (VVR) costs €275
    • Residence permit (VVR) when you have a valid residence permit of a Schengen member state costs €275

    These fees are subject to change.

    We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool on your VU Dashboard to transfer the visa fee. Please note that it may take a few days before the tool is activated in your on your VU Dasboard after you have started the residence permit procedure. In case you wish to transfer the fee through bank transfer, the bank details are as follows:

    Account name
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Name of the bank
    Deutsche Bank
    Address of the bank
    De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    IBAN
    NL49DEUT0488004470
    BIC
    DEUTNL2N

    Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567) otherwise we cannot trace the payment. When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the application. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). Please keep in mind that the application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks, so please make sure you upload your documents in time!

    N.B. While we have to submit the application to the IND, it is at all times your own responsibility to complete the procedure before the deadline and to provide documents that are correct. Please also note that VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee that a residence permit is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline as sketched under the section OVERVIEW OF APPLICATION PROCEDURE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your residence permit will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

    Tuberculosis test

    Depending on your nationality, you may need to complete a tuberculosis (TB) test in order to receive your residence permit. Please read the TB form carefully to see if you need to be tested upon arrival in the Netherlands. It is important to have yourself tested as soon as possible upon arrival (within 3 months of arrival). Please note that it is not necessary to have yourself tested in your home country. VU Amsterdam will make appointments for the TB test. In case you cannot make it to any of the proposed days, you can make an appointment yourself at the municipal doctor's office (GGD). Please check the website of GGD Amsterdam for more information. The TB test costs €47,50.

    The address of the GGD Amsterdam office is:

    Public Health Service Amsterdam
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 100

    You can easily get there by public transport as it is very near to Weesperplein, a large public transport station. From Central Station: Metro (all lines), alight at Station Weesperplein. From De Boelelaan or Amsterdam Zuid: Metro 51, alight at Station Weesperplein.

    Strict requirement of the IND

    As an educational institution, we need to apply for residence permits for study purposes on behalf of all our non-EU students. We act as your legal sponsor as soon as the IND has approved the residence permit application. As such, we are liable and bound by the strict and specific requirements set by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Not meeting these requirements means we will not submit your application. When we have submitted your application and it is rejected by the IND, or you decide to no longer study at VU Amsterdam, your visa fee will not be refunded. So please make sure that your application is both valid and complete!

    After arrival

    After your arrival in Amsterdam you need to go to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) to have your biometrics (photo and fingerprints) taken. We will make appointments for this prior to the Arrival Days. Your residence permit will be ready in approximately four weeks after your first visit to the IND. We will inform you when your residence permit is ready. You need to collect your residence permit within 90 days after arrival.

    Deregistration at IND

    When you are no longer a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we are obliged to deregister you with the IND. As a result, your residence permit will be revoked. We will deregister you with the IND in the following cases:

    • your exchange programme at VU Amsterdam has officially ended
    • you quit the exchange programme

    When we have deregistered you with the IND, you will need to leave the Netherlands. When your residence permit is valid for three months or less at the moment of deregistration, the residence permit will not be revoked which means you can stay until the expiry date of your residence permit. In case your residence permit is still valid for longer than three months at the moment of deregistration, your residence permit will be revoked with immediate effect. As a result, you will need to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible.

    Contact

    Please contact the services team at studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions.

  • Long Stay Entry Visa (MVV) and Residence Permit (VVR) Procedure

    VU Amsterdam needs to apply for a long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) when you are a non-EU citizen from a country that is not exempted from an entry visa. In case you hold a valid residence permit for study purposes of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa and possibly from a Dutch residence permit as well. Please upload a copy of your residence permit on your VU Dashboard

    Step 1: Confirm your participation on your VU Dashboard
    The visa section in your VU Dashboard will open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our step-by-step visa application video.

    Step 2: Upload the required documents to VisaCare
    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Here you can upload all required documents. The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

    • Copy of passport (valid > 6 months): ID page, signature, stamped pages.
    • Antecedents certificate: signed by hand (not digitally), mentioning place and date of signing (under 2.4). V-number can be skipped.
    • TB Statement. Exchange students from Indonesia, Peru, South Africa and Thailand need to sign part A. All other exchange students need to sign part B.
    • Proof of financial means. In this manual you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means. In case of a sponsor, the sponsor(s) need(s) to sign the Financial Statement form.
      Important: it is obligatory for students from China to transfer the proof of financial means to VU Amsterdam (option 6).
    • Chinese students also need to apply for a Nuffic Certificate.
    • In VisaCare, you can indicate at which Embassy or Consulate you would like to collect your entry visa. Before you submit your choice, please check whether the representation issues long stay entry visas (MVV) on this website. N.B. when you choose a representation that does not issue long stay entry visas, we will choose another Embassy/Consulate for you.

    The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VisaCare. You can use this checklist to double check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so.

    Please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format. Finally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator.

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee
    Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool on their VU Dashboard. We need to have received the fee before we can submit the application. The costs are specified as follows:

    • Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) cost €275.

    These fees are subject to change.

    We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool on your VU Dashboard to transfer the visa fee. Please note that it may take a few days before the tool is activated on your VU Dashboard after you have started the residence permit procedure. In case you wish to transfer the fee through bank transfer, the bank details are as follows:

    Account name
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Name of the bank
    Deutsche Bank
    Address of the bank
    De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    IBAN
    NL49DEUT0488004470
    BIC
    DEUTNL2N

    Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567) otherwise we cannot trace the payment. When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the application. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). When you submit the documents and pay the visa fee after the deadline, we can no longer guarantee that your residence permit will be ready in time for the start of the academic year. The application procedure takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks.

    N.B. While we have to submit the application to the IND, it is at all times your own responsibility to complete the procedure before the deadline and to provide documents that are correct. Please also note that VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee that a residence permit is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline as sketched under the section OVERVIEW OF APPLICATION PROCEDURE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your residence permit will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

    Tuberculosis test

    Depending on your nationality, you may need to complete a tuberculosis (TB) test in order to receive your residence permit. Please read the TB form carefully to see if you need to be tested upon arrival in the Netherlands. It is important to have yourself tested as soon as possible upon arrival (within 3 months of arrival). Please note that it is not necessary to have yourself tested in your home country. VU Amsterdam will make appointments prior to the Arrival Days for the TB test. In case you cannot make it to any of the proposed days, you can make an appointment yourself at the municipal doctor's office (GGD). Please check the website of GGD Amsterdam for more information. The TB test costs €47,50.

    The address of the GGD Amsterdam office is:

    Public Health Service Amsterdam
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 100

    You can easily get there by public transport as it is very near to Weesperplein, a large public transport station. From Central Station: Metro (all lines), alight at Station Weesperplein. From De Boelelaan or Amsterdam Zuid: Metro 51, alight at Station Weesperplein.

    Strict requirements of the IND

    As an educational institution, we need to apply for residence permits for study purposes on behalf of all our non-EU students. We act as your legal sponsor as soon as the IND has approved the residence permit application. As such, we are liable and bound by the strict and specific requirements set by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Not meeting these requirements means we will not submit your application. When we have submitted your application and it is rejected by the IND, or you decide to no longer study at VU Amsterdam, your visa fee will not be refunded. So please make sure that your application is both valid and complete!

    After arrival

    Prior to the Arrival Days we will make an appointment for you with the IND to collect your residence permit card. In case your residence permit is not yet ready at that point, the International Office will notify you when your residence permit is ready to be collected. You need to collect your residence permit before your entry visa expires. 

    Deregistration at IND

    When you are no longer a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we are obliged to deregister you with the IND. As a result, your residence permit will be revoked. We will deregister you with the IND in the following cases:

    • your exchange programme at VU Amsterdam has officially ended
    • you quit the exchange programme

    When we have deregistered you with the IND, you will need to leave the Netherlands. When your residence permit is valid for three months or less at the moment of deregistration, the residence permit will not be revoked which means you can stay until the expiry date of your residence permit. In case your residence permit is still valid for longer than three months at the moment of deregistration, your residence permit will be revoked with immediate effect. As a result, you will need to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible.

    Contact

    Please contact us at studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions.

  • Change of Sponsor Procedure ('Wijziging Referent')

    In case you currently hold a valid residence permit for study purposes but you wish to switch from your current university to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we will need to submit a so-called Change of Sponsor application to the IND. This means that we will take over your residence permit from your university or university of applied sciences, which means that we will become your legal sponsor. In order for us to apply for this, you need to upload some documents in your personal dashboard on vu.nl.

    Required documents

    The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

    • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months.
    • Copy of your current Dutch residence permit (front and back side).
    • Antecedents certificate signed by hand (on paper). At 2.4 you have to fill in your date of signing, not your date of birth again.
    • Proof of financial means. In this manual, you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means. In the case of a sponsor, the sponsor(s) need(s) to sign the Financial Statement form, which you can find here.

    The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in your personal dashboard on vu.nl. You can use this checklist to double-check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so. N.B. your documents cannot be older than 2 months. Additionally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator. Finally, please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

    Visa Fee

    When your residence permit does not need to be extended, the procedure is free of charge which means you do not have to pay any visa fees to us. However, if your residence permit needs to be extended as well you will need to pay a visa fee of €275.

  • Working Holiday Programme/Scheme (WHP/WHS)

    Please note that exchange students from Canada, Australia and New Zealand are advised to apply for the residence permit of the Working Holiday Programme/Scheme (WHP/WHS). Please consult our information sheet for details.

    Exchange students from Argentina, Hong Kong SAR and South Africa have to check with the Dutch Embassy first if they can use this option.

  • Intra-EU mobility

    Intra-EU mobility for study purposes gives students the opportunity to study in several Member States of the European Union (EU). Directive (EU) 2016/801 makes provision for this. The scheme is for students who are not nationals of a country belonging to the EU/EEA or Switzerland. Instead, a non-EU student has to hold a valid residence permit for study purposes in another EU Member State. Please note: Denmark and Ireland are not taking part in Directive (EU) 2016/801.

    Check the website of the IND to read more about the other conditions of the Intra-EU mobility for study purposes.

    Please contact studentimmigration@vu.nl if you wish to make use of this procedure.

About your residence permit

  • Extension of residence permit

    1. When do I need to extend my residence permit?

    Holding a valid residence permit is your own responsibility. You are responsible for ensuring that your residence permit is extended on time. If you do not know whether you need to extend your permit, please contact your programme coordinator. He or she will know whether you are expected to finish your Exchange programme by the end of the current academic year. In case your student residence permit is not valid until the end of next academic year, we will apply need to apply for an extension.

    2. How can I extend my residence permit?

    We will inform you about the extension procedure. Please note that it is not possible to extend your permit if your current Dutch study permit is valid for more than three months.

    3. Payment

    For the extension of your residence permit you need to transfer €275 to the bank account of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam:

    Account name:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Name of bank:Deutsche Bank
    Address of bank:De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    IBAN:NL49DEUT0488004470
    BIC:DEUTNL2N

        • Do not forget to state “S” + your student number (e.g. S2345678).
        • Keep in mind that you are responsible for the payment of any foreign bank charges associated with the transaction(s). Ensure that the bank charges are added to the amount to be transferred.
        • Inform studentimmigration@vu.nl once you have transferred the fee.

    4. How to collect your new residence permit 

    We will inform you when the extension has been approved. After you have received confirmation from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam that your new residence permit is ready, you can go to the IND office to collect the new residence permit. You do not need to make an appointment. Please do bring your passport and current residence permit.

    IND Office Amsterdam
    Pieter Calandlaan 1
    1065 KH Amsterdam

    You can easily get there by public transport. Take Metro 50 from Station Amsterdam Zuid in direction of Isolatorweg and alight at Station Lelylaan.
    Opening hours: Monday – Friday 09:00-16:00h.

    5. What else do I need to know?

    Holding a valid residence permit is your own responsibility 
    You are responsible for ensuring that your residence permit is extended on time. If you do not know whether you need to extend your permit, please contact your programme coordinator. He or she will know whether you are expected to finish your studies by the end of the current academic year.

    The IND may request proof of financial resources 
    If necessary, the IND is authorised to request documentary proof of your financial situation. In this case, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds per months at your disposal (€1,000,- per month).

    Inform the municipality of any address changes 
    The IND will send all correspondence to the address at which you are registered with your local municipality (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP). Always make sure that you inform the municipality of any change in your address.

    You cannot re-enter the Netherlands with an expired residence permit 
    If you plan to go abroad but your new permit has not yet been issued, make sure you return before your current permit expires. If this is not possible, you will need to request a return visa before leaving the Netherlands. Please call the IND (0900 1234561) and make an appointment to arrange a return visa.

    Extending your stay after graduation 
    If you plan to stay in the Netherlands after graduation, you have the possibility to apply for a residence permit under the ‘Orientation Year for Graduates Seeking Employment’.

    Biometrics
    As of January 2014, all non-EU students who need a visa and/or residence permit need to have their photograph and fingerprints taken for their residence document.

    6. Contact

    Please contact studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions.

     

  • Deregistration at IND

    When you are no longer a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we are obliged to deregister you with the IND. As a result, your residence permit will be revoked. We will deregister you with the IND in the following cases:

    • You finished your Exchange programme
    • You quit your studies

    When we have deregistered you with the IND, you will need to leave the Netherlands. When your residence permit is valid for three months or less at the moment of deregistration, the residence permit will not be revoked which means you can stay until the expiry date of your residence permit. In case your residence permit is still valid for longer than three months at the moment of deregistration, your residence permit will be revoked with immediate effect. As a result, you will need to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible.

    Please look at the website of the IND what you must arrange if you have a residence permit and have to leave the Netherlands.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Contact information

Feel free to reach out to us

In case you have questions about your immigration procedure, please send an e-mail to studentimmigration@vu.nl.

Telephone: +31 (0)20 598 3078 (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, between 10:30-12:30).

You can also schedule an appointment with us (phone or face-to-face).