Last Updated: January 08, 2022
Netherlands Student Visa
Living and studying in the Netherlands is considered to be an ideal option for international students. The Netherlands is widely acclaimed for its welcoming approach towards international students, its affordability, and the Dutch universities that are globally known to provide high-quality education, with a wide range of academic programs, and excellent work opportunities. In addition, the EU/EEA students have the privilege of paying lower tuition fees compared to non- EU/EEA students. In order to fulfill this dream of pursuing an educational career in the Netherlands, one must first understand the different types of visas required, along with the various processes involved with it.
Types of Student Visas and their Validity
Before applying for a visa, students should first check the duration of the course or their stay in the country. The category of student visa depends on whether one plans to apply for a short-term course or a degree course. Only non- EU/EEA students require a student visa. Students belonging to the EU(European Union) or EEA (European Economic Area) only need to obtain the citizen service number (BSN- Burgerservicenummer) from a local governing body and also need to unregister before leaving the country. There are two main types of visas for international students to study in the Netherlands:
- MVV and Residence Permit (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf): MVV and the Residence Permit has to be applied for by the host university on behalf of the international students who are looking to pursue a course of duration longer than 3 months in the Netherlands. This MVV is valid for 90 days. The student has to obtain a residence permit upon arrival in the Netherlands which is valid for the entire duration of the course up to a maximum period of 5 years.
- Schengen Visa/Type-C Visa: This is a permit that is to be obtained to visit a country within the 'Schengen Zone' for a short period of time (that is, 90 days/3 months or less). However, students from not all countries need to apply for the Schengen Visa for a short-term visit to the Netherlands such as students from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, etc.
Who Needs to Apply for the Netherlands Student Visa?
Candidates who fulfill all the requirements directed by the country are qualified to apply for the visa. Applicants must belong to the age range of 18 to 65 years to be eligible for the visa application.
Almost all non-EU students must apply for an MVV Visa to pursue education in the Netherlands for a time period longer than 90 days. Students belonging to nations like South Korea, Japan, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, etc., do not have to apply for an MVV to get a residence permit issued.
Cost of the Netherlands Student Visas
Costs are subject to vary based on the category of visa, and nationality. Students must be aware that the amount paid for the visa applications will not be refunded in case of a refusal.
- The cost of applying for a Schengen Visa is € 80, i.e., approximately US$ 92. For students belonging to Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia, the fee is € 35, i.e., roughly US$ 41.
- Students applying for a long stay permit need to pay a fee of € 207, i.e., around US$ 235. The same amount is to be paid in case one plans to apply for an extension.
- In case of theft, damage or loss, of these documents, one may have to apply for replacement and pay an amount of € 142 i.e., around US$ 161. Students must make sure to immediately report to the local police station if the visa or the residence permit gets stolen as a document of proof. A copy of the report must be sent to the IND office thereafter.
Steps to Applying for the Residence Permit Visa/MVV
MVV is a sticker that is placed by the Dutch consulate/embassy on the student's passport, if the application is approved.
Applying for the MVV and Residence Permit by the host university
To study in the Netherlands for duration longer than 90 days, the host university has to apply for both, the MVV and the Residence permit on behalf of the student at the same time. The university at which the student has enrolled in acts as a sponsor and submits an application for the MVV and the residence permit on behalf of the student. The university should be listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors.
Proof of sufficient funds
Every year, the candidate has to show that they have sufficient funds to help cover the living costs in the Netherlands for the next 12 months each year. This cost is called study norm
. The proof has to be either in the form of personal bank statements, required amount deposited in an account with the educational institution, proof of scholarship, proof of receiving funds from a company or an undertaking by a sponsor in or abroad the Netherlands. The value of study norm is determined at Jan 1 of each year. As of Jan 1, 2022, study norm value is € 932.87 per month.
Proof of English language proficiency
If the course being enrolled in is being offered in English, the candidate has to show proof of English proficiency by taking one of the English proficiency tests accepted by their institution, most popular one being IELTS. If the candidate scores 5.5 or less in IELTS, they will be required to take a preparatory period of up to 1 year.
Submitting the completed form and paying the required fees
The education institute will be responsible for submitting the completed the application form and making the fees payment to the IND.
Tracking the status of the application
The education institute will receive the confirmation letter from the IND when they receive the application. The student can also track the status of their application by logging in the online service MyIND. They can also receive email update if they registered with Berichtenbox. IND has up to 60 days to make a determination on the application.
Collect the MVV
The education institution gets notified about the IND decision on the application. If the application is approved, the student will have up to 3 months to collect their MVV from the Dutch embassy/consulate in their country. The student will be required to make an appointment to come pick up their documents.
Provide Biometric information
The student will be required to provide their biometric information at the Dutch consulate/embassy at the time of collecting their MVV.
Travel to the Netherlands
The MVV is valid for 90 days and allows the student to travel to the Netherlands.
Steps to be Taken to Extend the Stay in the Netherlands
The MVV is only valid for 90 days, so the student has to collect the residence permit upon arrival in the Netherlands to extend their stay.
Collect the residence permit
The residence permit will have to be collected by the student from the IND desk after the educational institute has been notified that the residence permit is ready to be picked up. It usually takes up to 2 weeks for the residence permit to be ready. The student will have to make an appointment. It is imperative that the student check the information on the residence permit thoroughly when picking it up. It is easier to get any changes corrected while already there at the IND.
Register with the municipality
The student will have to register at the local Municipal Personal Records Database, Basisregistratie Personen (BRP). The documents needed at the BRP should be confirmed by calling the office ahead of time. A legalized and translated birth certificate is needed among other documents.
Getting tested for Tuberculosis
The student has to get tested for TB within 3 months of receiving the residency permit. This can be done by taking an appointment with the Area Health Authority (GGD).
Documents Required for MVV/Residence Permit
The educational institution is responsible for applying for the MVV and the residence permit for the student. They provide the student with a checklist of documents needed to apply on behalf of the student. All documents have to be legalized and translated in Dutch, English, French or German. The most common documents needed are:
- Copy of the information pages of the passport which is valid for at least the next 6 months when the candidate is issued the MVV
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Proof of English proficiency test
Steps to Applying for the Schengen Visa
- The student must apply to the Dutch consulate of their country mentioning the country they intend to visit.
- One must apply at least 45 days prior to the travel date, or even before three months to be on the safer side. This is displayed in the form of a sticker affixed to the passport.
- The student must then submit the essential documents along with the application, and wait for the interview process.
- After the interview, the student can pay the fees required for the visa and wait for approval.
Documents Required for the Schengen Visa
- Two Schengen application forms completed along with the applicant’s signature.
- Bank statement covering the student's stay, return trip expense, purpose statement, and paid fees for visa.
- Acceptance letter from the educational institution.
- Academic transcripts.
- Proof of Travel Insurance and annual health insurance.
- Medical certificate declaring that the student is mentally and physically healthy.
- No previous criminal record.
- The purpose of the visit should be supported by valid documents as proof of one’s intention to visit.
Working While Studying in the Netherlands
International students can pursue internships at any organization as long as they pertain to the student's course and the educational institution has an agreement with the organization. The student might have the added responsibility of paying taxes or obtaining Dutch health insurance, based on the amount of income received.
If working while studying, non-EU/EEA students need a TWV (tewerkstellingsvergunning). The employer will have to apply for the TWV from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). Working while studying comes with certain restrictions for non-EU/EEA students. They should work for not more than 16 hours per week. However, they can work on a full-time basis in summer months - June, July, and August. Students from the EU/EEA or from Switzerland do not need to secure any permit for work, and they also do not have any limitations related to the working hours.
After the completion of a course, if the student wishes to get employed in the Netherlands (part-time or full-time), they will have to apply for a residence permit 'orientation year highly educated persons' which will be applicable for up to 12 months.
Steps to be Taken to Extend the Residence Permit
The application for an extension of the residence permit can be done as early as 3 months before the residence permit is due to expire. The application can be sent by mail or submitted online. If the purpose of stay is still the same and the student fulfills all the conditions of the stay, the IND will review the application and make a decision.
Appealing Visa Refusal
After the application for the MVV and the residence permit are submitted, the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service) takes about 2 months to decide whether to send approval or not. In case of a negative response or refusal, the IND informs the university of the student about the decision along with a letter stating the reason for refusal. In such circumstances, the student (individually) or both the student and the university will have to submit an objection letter within 4 weeks. The letter of objection should state the reason for disagreement of the decision and send it to the IND by post.
Some Things to Remember
- While traveling, one should carry all the necessary documents and their copies which will be required as proof during visa application at the consulate.
- Students are required to maintain at least a 50% score each year to have a valid residence permit. This is called Study Progress Monitoring.
- Students will have to show proof of study norm each year for the next 12 months.
- Students are allowed to take a one-time preparatory time off for up to 12 months in addition to the duration of the course. This time can be used by the student to prepare and get ready for their course.
- To avoid delays, fill in all authentic details without an error. This is also important when submitting a recent passport photograph. If the photograph is not according to the said requirements, there are higher chances for the application to get rejected.
- Students must install money transfer apps on their mobile phones well in advance.
- If an interview is required, the applicant will be notified when the application is submitted or through a phone call.
- Additional information may be needed for processing the visa depending on the applicant's nationality and purpose of entry.
Covid - 19 Pandemic Checklist:
- Check the EU travel ban imposed on passenger flights from their country to the Netherlands.
- The Netherlands has its own list of safe, unsafe, and highly unsafe countries with regards to travel. Applicants must make sure to check whether their country falls under the category of 'safe' or 'unsafe' country list for travel purposes.
- Students must essentially carry a copy of the Covid-19 negative results report.
- It will be best to follow the self-quarantine rules after entering the Netherlands.
Time constraint is the major restriction while applying for a study visa. The entry MVV visa can be obtained faster if the respective University applies for it on behalf of the student, otherwise, it is mandatory to apply in advance to allow sufficient processing time for the visa.