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Visa and Residence Permit information Bachelor's and Master's applicants

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.

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.

There are two types of immigration procedures:

  1. Residence permit (VVR) procedure: no entry visa required which means you enter the Netherlands with your passport.
  2. Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure: entry visa required which you will collect at the Dutch representation before you can enter the Netherlands.

Which procedure applies to you, depends on your nationality. Both procedures run via VU Amsterdam. Please check the Frequently Used Terms and Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the difference between a visa and residence permit. Here you can see the procedure that applies to you and the timeline of those procedures.

  • 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 countries: Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All other non-EU countries but in possession of valid residence permit of another Schengen country: Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All EU countries / Iceland / Liechtenstein / Norway / Switzerland: No procedure required

VU Amsterdam will apply for a visa/residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted.

Once the visa section in your VU Dashboard is open, you first need to answer our short questionnaire. After that you need to pay the visa fee (€275), only then you will receive an information email, including your login details to our online immigration platform ('VisaCare'). Please note the visa fee payment requirement does not apply to students submitting a Change of Sponsor request without extension, Semester in Amsterdam programme via partner organization, and students participating in the Intra EU-mobility scheme.

For students who will start in the Fall semester: the deadline for uploading your required documents is 1 June 2023. For students who will start in the Spring semester: you need to upload your required documents before 1 December 2022. 

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 for non-EU/EEA students

In this short animation we show you how to apply for visa with help from VU Amsterdam. Make sure to also read the more extensive information on this webpage.

Check out the step by step video

Important visa information before you arrive

  • 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 Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa but you need a Dutch residence permit. 

    How to apply

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted.
    In order to apply for a residence permit, please follow the steps below. You need to upload your required documents before 1 June if you are starting in September (before 1 December if you are starting in February). From April 1st onwards, it is possible to upload your required documents to our immigration portal called 'VisaCare'.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation

    The visa section in your VU Dashboard on vu.nl will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in your Dashboard in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. 

    Step 2: Submit the online visa form in your VU Dashboard 

    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of your dashboard. Here you can fill out a visa form which is a short questionnaire. 

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee

    Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool in 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*.
    • Extension residence permit (VVR) for study purposes costs €275*.

    * These fees are valid as of 1 January 2022 and are subject to change.

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

    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

    Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567). When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

    Step 4: Complete your application in VisaCare

    After submitting the visa form and paying the visa fee you will receive an email from us with instructions on how to access VisaCare. You will need to log in to VisaCare and check your student details. You can then proceed to your ToDo`s page where you will need to upload your visa 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.
    • If applicable, a copy of your Schengen 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.
    • TB Statement. Whether you need to submit this document depends on your nationality. Please note that you do not have to take the test in your home country, but will need to undergo the TB test within 3 months of your arrival in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam will inform you about the TB test prior to the Practical Matter Days. Please be aware that the TB test costs €47,50.
    • Proof of financial means. In this manual, you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means. Please note that Option 5 "Proof of Loan" applies to US and Canadian students only. In the case of a sponsor, the sponsor(s) need(s) to sign the Financial Statement form, which you can find here
    • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results, or confirm that you are exempted from the test, before we can submit the residence permit application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

    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.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June for the first semester and 1 December for the 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 Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (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 TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE 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.

    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 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!

  • 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 not specified on the top of this page. In case you hold a valid residence permit of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa and need to follow the Residence permit (VVR) procedure above.

    How to apply

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa/residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. In order to apply for a visa and a residence permit, please follow the steps below. You need to upload your required documents before 1 June if you are starting in September (before 1 December if you are starting in February). From April 1st onwards, it is possible to upload your required documents to our immigration portal called 'VisaCare'.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation

    The visa section in your VU Dashboard will only open once you confirm your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in your Dashboard in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. 

    Step 2: Submit the online visa form in your VU Dashboard 

    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of your dashboard. Here you can fill out a visa form which is a short questionnaire. 

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee

    Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool in 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*.
    • Extension residence permit (VVR) for study purposes costs €275*.

    * These fees are valid as of 1 January 2022 and are subject to change.

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

    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

    Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567). When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

    Step 4: Complete your application in VisaCare

    After submitting the visa form and paying the visa fee you will receive an email from us with instructions on how to access VisaCare. You will need to log in to VisaCare and check your student details. You can then proceed to your ToDo`s page where you will need to upload your visa 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.
    • 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.
    • TB Statement. Whether you need to submit this document depends on your nationality. Please note that you do not have to take the test in your home country, but will need to undergo the TB test within 3 months of your arrival in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam will inform you about the TB test prior to the Practical Matter Days. Please be aware that the TB test costs €47,50.
    • Proof of financial means. In this manual, you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means. Please note that Option 5 "Proof of Loan" applies to US and Canadian students only. In the case of a sponsor, the sponsor(s) need(s) to sign the Financial Statement form, which you can find hereImportant: it is obligatory for students from China to transfer the proof of financial means to VU Amsterdam (option 6 in our manual). 
    • Chinese students also need to apply for a Nuffic Certificate.
    • Indicate in your personal dashboard on vu.nl 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. Therefore please check before you submit your answer in your dashboard. Please note it is not possible to change the choice of Embassy or Consulate once the application has been submitted to the IND.
    • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the visa application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

    The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in your dashboard. 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.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June for the first semester and 1 December for the 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 visa is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline as sketched under the section TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND and the Dutch Embassy/Consulate to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your visa will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all visa applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

    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!

  • Change of Sponsor ('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. This procedure is free of charge unless you also need an extension of your study residence permit. In order for us to apply for this, please follow the steps below.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation

    The visa section in your VU Dashboard on vu.nl will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in your dashboard in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. 

    Step 2: Submit the online visa form in your VU Dashboard 

    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of your dashboard. Here you can fill out a visa form which is a short questionnaire. 

    Step 3: Complete your application in VisaCare

    After submitting the visa form and paying the visa fee (in case of extension) you will receive an email from us with instructions on how to access VisaCare. You will need to log in to VisaCare and check your student details. You can then proceed to your ToDo`s page where you will need to upload your visa documents. 

    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.
    • Chinese students also need to apply for a Nuffic Certificate.
    • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the visa application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well. 

    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, then you will need to pay a visa fee of €275.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June for the first semester and 1 December for the 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 INTRODUCTION: TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE 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.

  • Change of Purpose of Stay

    When you already have a Dutch residence permit for some other purpose (for example for employment, stay with family member or au pair) but wish to change to a residence permit for study purposes, then please follow the procedure below. If you do not wish to change the purpose of your residence permit, please upload a copy of your current residence permit (front and back side) in your VU Dashboard so your residence permit can be verified by the Student Administration.

    How to apply

    In order to apply for a Change of Purpose of Stay, please follow the steps below.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation

    The visa section in your VU Dashboard on vu.nl will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in your dashboard in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. 

    Step 2: Submit the online visa form in your VU Dashboard 

    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of your dashboard. Here you can fill out a visa form which is a short questionnaire. 

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee

    Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool in 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*.
    • Extension residence permit (VVR) for study purposes costs €275*.

    * These fees are valid as of 1 January 2022 and are subject to change.

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

    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

    Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567). When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

    Step 4: Complete your application in VisaCare

    After submitting the visa form and paying the visa fee you will receive an email from us with instructions on how to access VisaCare. You will need to log in to VisaCare and check your student details. You can then proceed to your ToDo`s page where you will need to upload your visa 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.
    • Chinese students also need to apply for a Nuffic Certificate.
    • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the visa application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

    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.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June for the first semester and 1 December for the 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 INTRODUCTION: TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE 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.

  • Deadlines and Timeline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June for the September intake and 1 December for the February intake. 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 visa/residence permit is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline under the section TIMELINE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND and the Dutch Embassy/Consulate to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your visa/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.

    Timeline

    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 your personal dashboard on vu.nl.

    2 weeks:

    We aim to check your documents within 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 email. So keep an eye out for any notifications!

    1 to 3 weeks:

    It takes approximately 1 to 3 weeks before we receive the approval from the IND - in the busy summer period it is more likely that it takes up to 3 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 €45,-. 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. We will send you an instruction email.

  • Pre-Master's students

    When you will start as a Pre-Master's student, VU Amsterdam will also need to apply for an entry visa and/or residence permit for study purposes for you. You can follow the procedure applicable to you as outlined above. As a Pre-Master's student, the visa section in your VU Dashboard will not automatically become visible to you. Please contact us at studentimmigration@vu.nl when you still do not have access to the visa section by 30 April.

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).