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Visa and Residence Permit

Here you will find all the information you need in order to complete the immigration procedure smoothly.

Therefore please read the information carefully for it contains very important information.

Please see below for important information about a possible exemption of deadlines

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. In the overviews below, you can see the procedure that applies to you and the timeline of the procedures.

Residence permit (VVR) procedure:

Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, UK nationals may require a Dutch study permit per 01-01-2021, United States of America, Vatican City State 

Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure:

All other non-EU countries

Residence permit (VVR) procedure:

All other non-EU countries but in possession of valid residence permit of another Schengen country

No procedure required:

All EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland

VU Amsterdam will apply for a visa/residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2020-2021 will open in VUnet 1 April 2020. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a visa and/or residence permit before 1 April 2020; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

The deadline for uploading the documents for your visa and/or residence permit application procedure is 1 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) for the first semester and 1 December (second semester). However, we can make some exemptions for students applying for the first semester in the following situations:

Students who still need to apply for their visa/residence permit application

  • If you are waiting on test results, e.g. your English test, Mathematics test and so on. Please send us the required immigration documents as soon as you’ve obtained access to the visa section in VUnet. 
  • If you cannot travel to the Netherlands until January and you will follow your study programme remotely from your home country.

We advise you to contact your Immigration Officer (studentimmigration@vu.nl) to discuss your options if this applies to you. We apply the following VISA deadlines if your visa procedure has been postponed:

  • 1 September for students who still need to complete tests / have to wait for test results as part of their admission procedure.
  • 1 November if you are not able to travel until January 2021.

Students who already applied for their visa/residence permit application

If you have already sent us your visa application (or if your application has already been sent to the IND), please pay attention to the following: when you need an entry visa (MVV) to enter the Netherlands, be aware that you have to collect this within 90 days – with a possible extension of 90 days. Once you’ve collected your MVV, the entry visa in your passport will be valid for another 90 days. Consult the web page of your Dutch representation to see if it is possible to make an MVV appointment. This page will be updated as soon as the consular services and appointment options change. Non-EU citizens who do not need an entry visa (MVV)* can enter the Netherlands with their passport (and a valid Schengen permit, if applicable) once this is possible. Please check the Corona page on the website of the IND regularly.

In order to apply for a visa and/or residence permit, you need to upload some documents in VUnet. Please check below under the procedure applicable to you what documents you need to upload and the requirements they need to meet.

* Traveling from a country to which the entry ban applies

Do you live in a country to which the entry ban applies? For example the United States? Then you may only travel to the Netherlands if you have a vital function or need. This is the case if you have received the IND approval letter (in Dutch: “kennisgeving”) stating that you will receive a residence permit as:

• Student (college, university)

• Family member of a highly skilled migrant or student
Then your flight to the Netherlands must be direct (no transit). You must bring the following documents with you when travelling to the Netherlands:

• For students: The letter stating that you will receive a residence permit (kennisgeving).

• For a family member of a highly skilled migrant or student: If you are not traveling together, your family member will need a copy of the letter stating that you will receive a residence permit (kennisgeving).
Is the airline not allowing you on the flight because they don't find the letter (kennisgeving) enough evidence? Send an email to vragengrenskantoor@ind.nl.

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 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 VUnet or email a copy to studentimmigration@vu.nl in order for us to assess whether you require a Dutch residence permit for study purposes or not.

    How to apply

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted.

    N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2020-2021 will open in VUnet 1 April 2020. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a residence permit before 1 April 2020; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

    In order to apply for a residence permit, please follow the steps below.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation

    The visa section in VUnet will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in VUnet in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our manual should you need help with this. This manual also contains information with regards to the visa application procedure in VUnet.

    Step 2: Upload the required documents in VUnet

    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of VUnet. Here you can upload all the 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.
    • 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. It depends on your nationality which form you need to submit (either Appendix A or Appendix B). Please note that you do not have yourself tested in your home country, but the test takes place in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam will make appointments for the TB test prior to the Arrival Days.
    • 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
    • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results 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 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) as well.

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

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee

    Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool in VUnet. We need to have received the fee before we can submit the application. The costs are specified as follows:

    • Residence permit (VVR) costs €250*.
    • Residence permit (VVR) when you have a valid residence permit of a Schengen member state costs €175*.
    • Extension residence permit (VVR) for study purposes costs €250*.

    * These fees are valid as of 1 February 2019 and are subject to change.

    We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool in VUnet to transfer the visa fee. Please note that it may take a few days before the tool is activated in your VUnet 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.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) for the 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 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. N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2020-2021 will open in VUnet 1 April 2020. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a visa and/or residence permit before 1 April 2020; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

    In order to apply for a visa and a residence permit, please follow the steps below.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation in VUnet
    The visa section in VUnet will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in VUnet in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our manual should you need help with this. This manual also contains information with regards to the visa application procedure in VUnet.

    Step 2: Upload the required documents in VUnet
    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of VUnet. Here you can upload all the 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.
    • 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. It depends on your nationality which form you need to submit (either Appendix A or Appendix B). 
    • 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 hereImportant: it is obligatory for students from Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Nepal and Pakistan to transfer the proof of financial means to VU Amsterdam (option 6). 
    • Chinese students also need to apply for a Nuffic Certificate.
    • Indicate in VUnet 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 VUnet. 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 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) as well.

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

    Step 3: Pay the visa fee

    Student needs to pay for their visa and residence permit by using the online payment tool in VUnet. 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) costs €250*.

    * These fees are valid as of 1 February 2019 and are subject to change.

    We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool in VUnet to transfer the visa fee. Please note that it may take a few days before the tool is activated in your VUnet after you have started the visa and 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 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.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) for the 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 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. In order for us to apply for this, you need to upload some documents in VUnet.

    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.
    • 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 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) as well. 

    The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VUnet. 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 €250.

  • 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 to purpose of your residence permit, please upload a copy of your current residence permit (front and back side) in VUnet so your residence permit can be verified by the Student Administration.

    How to apply

    In order to apply for a residence permit, please follow the steps below.

    Step 1: Confirm your participation in VUnet
    The visa section in VUnet will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in VUnet in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our manual should you need help with this. This manual also contains information with regards to the visa application procedure in VUnet.

    Step 2: Upload the required documents in VUnet
    Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of VUnet. Here you can upload all the 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.
    • 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 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) as well.

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

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

    • Change of purpose costs €250*.

    * These fees are valid as of 1 February 2019 and are subject to change.

    We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool in VUnet to transfer the visa fee. Please note that it may take a few days before the tool is activated in your VUnet 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 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.

    Deadline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible for the first semester and 1 December (second semester). Please keep in mind that the application procedure takes approximately 6 to 9 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.

  • Bringing Family Members

    When you wish to bring your partner and/or child(ren), please send the required documents for their applications by email to studentimmigration@vu.nl. Please note that we do give priority to the applications of our regular students in peak season. This means that it may take longer for us to review the documents of your family members.

    It is also important to note that your partner is not allowed to work at all with the residence permit they will receive. Finally, the priority procedure is not applicable to family members. This means that the IND legally has 3 months to make their decision and this process cannot be expedited.

    In order to apply on behalf of your partner and/or children, we need the following documents as PDF files:

    • Copy passports of all family members (ID page, signature of bearer and all stamped pages); 
    • Antecedents certificate signed by your partner and children older than 12 years by hand (on paper);
    • TB Statement signed by your family members if needed (please check the appendix to see if you are exempted according to your nationality); 
    • Proof of financial means (proof of scholarship, bank statement showing own means, etc.). The norm amount set by IND for families is €1745,07 per month; 
    • One appendix Authorisation and sponsorship declaration completed by you. With this you authorise Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your family members on your behalf; 
    • Appendix Declaration by sponsor one for every family member signed by you; 
    • Copy of your marriage certificate, legalised and translated by a sworn translator into Dutch or English;
    • Copy of the birth certificates of each family member including you, legalised and translated by a sworn translator into Dutch or English.

    In case you are not married, we need the following documents:

    • Declaration of relationship;
    • Questionnaire;
    • 'Ongehuwdheidsverklaring'; a document that proves both of you are not married. This proof of unmarried status needs to be legalised and translated by a sworn translator in Dutch or English. 

    Please note that we only accept PDF files. Send each document as a separate PDF file with a clear name to studentimmigration@vu.nl and we will process the application as soon as possible. Before we can submit the application to the IND, we need to have received the visa fee for each family member (€250 for each adult family member and €60 for children). Please keep in mind that the fees are subject to change.

    Unfortunately it is not possible to use the online payment tool to pay for the visa fee of your family members. Please be so kind as to transfer the visa fee(s) to:

    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) and mention that the visa fee is for family members. When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant.

  • Deadlines and Timeline

    The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 July (instead of 1 June, but please try to upload your documents as soon as possible) for the 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 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 VUnet.

    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!

    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. We will schedule an appointment for you with the IND so that you can collect your residence permit or provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo needed to issue the residence permit). If applicable, we will also schedule an appointment for the TB test. 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.

    Special note to citizens from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal and Pakistan

    The IND checks the applications of citizens from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal and Pakistan more thoroughly. As a result, the timeline as outlined above is not applicable to you when you are a citizen of one of these countries. Please note that the IND may take three months to make their decision when you are a citizen from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal or Pakistan. Therefore it is advisable to complete the procedure well in time; otherwise you may not receive your entry visa in time for the start of the academic year. 

  • 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 VUnet 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 15 April 2020.

During your study programme

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress

    The Dutch Immigration Service (IND) requires students who have a residence permit for study purposes to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement for each academic year in which they are enrolled. Below you will find everything you need to know in relation to the Satisfactory Academic Progress. In short, all students with a residence permit for study purposes need to obtain at least 50% of their yearly ECTS in order to keep the right of their residence permit for the next academic year. A normal study load is 60 ECTS per year, which means you have to obtain at least 30 ECTS per year. In a nutshell, Satisfactory Academic Progress boils down to the following: 

    • Satisfactory Academic Progress entails that you need to complete 30 ECTS in each academic year. The deadline for obtaining these credits is 23 August. The International Office will perform several checks throughout the year to update you on your progress.
    • If you did not obtain 30 ECTS by 23 August, you are only allowed to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam when an Academic Advisor has informed us that you have an excusable reason. Below you will find what is defined as an excusable reason.
    • When you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress and you do not have an excusable reason, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam must report this to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). The IND will subsequently proceed to withdraw and revoke your residence permit. You have to leave the Netherlands as soon as the IND has revoked your residence permit.
    • N.B. We only count the credits of courses that are an obligatory part of the curriculum; extracurricular courses do not count towards your Satisfactory Academic Progress. 

    In case you failed obligatory courses of your programme, the International Office strongly advises you to investigate the reasons for not passing enough examinations and to contact your Academic Advisor for advice. Please do not wait until May or June to visit the Academic Advisor, but make an appointment as soon as possible. This is especially paramount when personal circumstances are the reason for not obtaining the required number of credits. It may be the case that you have an excusable reason. Excusable reasons are defined as:

    • Illness
    • Disability
    • Pregnancy
    • Exceptional family circumstances
    • Board membership activities

    We also advise you to contact your Academic Advisor if you think that the evaluation of your grades has not been carried out correctly, or if you are missing grades. 

    Important note: you can only use the same excusable reason once. For example: You did not pass enough credits in year one because of illness. In the second year you also did not pass enough credits. In the second year you cannot use illness again as an excusable reason.

    If you already contacted your Academic Advisor and they assessed that you have an excusable reason, then they need to inform us about this. Subsequently we will confirm by email that you have an excusable reason. If you do not receive this email, the Academic Advisor has not informed us that you have an excusable reason. Please be aware that we only accept this kind of information from Academic Advisors.

    Information for Bachelor's Students

    Please note that as a first-year Bachelor student you might need to obtain at least 42ECTS as part of your binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA).

    Information for Pre-Master Students 

    Please note that the above is not applicable when you are enrolled in a Pre-Master; you will need to obtain all credits of the Pre-Master, otherwise, we have to deregister you with the IND and you cannot continue your studies at VU Amsterdam.

    Timeline

    February - First check

    Each February the International Office will carry out the first check. You will be informed by email when we have evaluated your study results. We will also inform the Academic Advisors of the outcome of the check. It is normal for most students to not yet meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress in February. However, in case you foresee any issues, it is advisable to already seek the counsel of an Academic Advisor to help you with a study plan. When you expect to obtain the required credits, there is, of course, nothing to worry about.

    May - Second check

    In May the International Office will again check your study results. You will be informed about the outcome by email. In case you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, you are again strongly advised to contact your Academic Advisor for help; please contact your Academic Advisor when you think you may not obtain sufficient credits and/or when you have an excusable reason. When you expect to obtain the required credits, there is, of course, nothing to worry about.

    May until August

    You are advised to consult your Academic Advisor about possible reasons for not passing all courses. The Academic Advisors can advise and help you to make a realistic study plan before the deadline of 23 August in case you do not have an excusable reason. 

    23 August - Final Check

    On 23 August we will perform a final check and we will inform you by email about your study progress. In case you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress and we did not receive a confirmation from your Academic Advisor that you have an excusable reason, you will be informed that you will receive negative advice regarding the continuation of your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for the next academic year. You must have completed 30 ECTS before 23 August. You cannot re-register for the next academic year if you fail to do so. Consequently, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam must report your status to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), who will proceed to withdraw your residence permit. The International Office will inform you when you have been reported to the Immigration Authorities (IND). Only in case an Academic Advisor has informed us that there is an excusable reason, you are allowed to continue your studies. The deadline for this is 23 August.

    Appeal Process

    You can submit an appeal against the cancellation of your residence permit directly at the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Please note that retroactive registration is not possible at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Please visit this website to find out more about the appeal procedure.

    FAQ

     Answers to specific questions can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Extension of Residence Permit

    Holding a valid residence permit is your own responsibility. This means that 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. They will know whether you are expected to finish your studies by the end of the current academic year. We will apply for an extension in the following situations:

    1. You will continue from a Bachelor's to a Master's degree at VU Amsterdam;
    2. You do not expect to complete your study programme at VU Amsterdam in time;
    3. Your current residence permit is valid until 1 December and you will not finish your degree before 1 December. 

    Note: you need to apply for an extension of your residence permit for study purposes via VUnet in case you will apply for a new degree programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam when you have finished a study programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or another Dutch university (Bachelor, Master or Exchange). In which case you first need to confirm your participation to the study programme and complete the visa page in VUnet indicating that you need a residence permit.

    Note: you can only apply for an extension of your residence permit when you have obtained at least 50% of the required ECTS credits per academic year (see for more information Satisfactory Academic Progress).

    How to apply

    Situation 1:
    When situation 1 applies, you need to apply for an extension of your residence permit for study purposes via VUnet. You need to upload all required documents as specified under RESIDENCE PERMIT (VVR) PROCEDURE above. The visa fee is €250.

    Situation 2 and 3:
    When either situation 2 or 3 applies, we will apply for an extension of your residence permit after you have submitted the extension request, emailed a copy of your passport and the antecedents certificate to studentimmigration@vu.nl, and when you have transferred the fee of €250 to the bank account of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Please fill out the application for the extension of your residence permit and press SUBMIT. Do not forget to include a copy of your current residence permit (front and back side). 

    You can pay the visa fee using the online payment tool in VUnet. Alternatively, you can transfer €250 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. S2533077). 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.

    Approval of extension

    We will inform you when the extension has been approved by the IND - this may take up to 90 days. 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 need to make an appointment with the IND online.

    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 means

    If necessary, the IND is authorised to request proof of financial means. In this case, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds at your disposal (€900 per month + tuition fees).

    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. If you are not properly registered with a municipality, the IND will not process your application and may even decline it.

    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.

    Extending your stay after graduation

    If you plan to stay in the Netherlands after graduation, you have the possibility to apply for an Orientation Year residence permit.

  • Annual Proof of Financial Means Check

    The Dutch “Modern Migration Policy Act” allows Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your visa and/or residence permit. With this right also come certain responsibilities such as the Satisfactory Academic Progress check and the annual proof of financial means check. VU Amsterdam is obliged to check annually whether you still have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the Netherlands. This check only entails that you certify that you still have sufficient funds by completing this Income Statement. We will not request any supporting documents. You will be informed by email when the check is due. 

Other information

  • 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 graduated
    • You quit your studies
    • You did not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress

    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.

  • Residence Permit Lost or Stolen

    Should the unfortunate occasion occur that you loose your residence permit or that it gets stolen, you need to report this to the police and you also need to apply for a new residence permit card at the IND as soon as possible. More information about the procedure can be found on the website of the IND. It is also advisable to make a copy of both your passport and residence permit and to store it online in a cloud such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

  • Orientation Year Residence Permit

    Students who completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree in the Netherlands are eligible to apply for a so-called Orientation Year Residence Permit. With this residence permit you can look for a job. You need to apply for this residence permit yourself. All relevant information and the application form can be found on the website of the IND.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Please have a look at this sheet for the answers to Frequently Asked Questions and a list of terminology.

  • Contact

    Please contact us at studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions. For non-visa related questions, you can send an e-mail to studentdesk@vu.nl.