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Last Updated: December 25, 2023

The 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, EU/EEA students have the privilege of paying lower tuition fees compared to non-EU/EEA students. 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:

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 Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Vatican City, United Kingdom, United States, South Korea and Switzerland do not need a visa. An EU/EEA Member State does 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.

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 a 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 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, the 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 in the Netherlands. The value of study norm is determined on Jan 1 of each year. As of Jan 1, 2023, the study norm value is € 957.87 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, the 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 application form and making the fee 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 to the online service MyIND. They can also receive email updates if they register 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. The student must 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 making 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 into Dutch, English, French, or German. The most common documents needed are:

Steps to Applying for the Schengen Visa

Documents Required for the Schengen Visa

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 the summer months - June, July, and August. Students from the EU/EEA or Switzerland do not need to secure any permits for work, and they also do not have any limitations related to working hours.

Note: 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 called "orientation year highly educated persons". It 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 the 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 with the decision and send it to the IND by post.

Some Things to Remember

Student visa




Australia/New Zealand


Asian Countries