How to Apply for a Netherlands Student Visa

The Netherlands is a growing international study destination, with many highly ranked universities. Many international students will need a visa and a residence permit to study in the Netherlands. Find out whether you need one, how to apply, and what to do after your course. This article provides a guide to the long stay Netherlands Student Visa, requirements for students, application process, and FAQs.

How to Apply for a Netherlands Student Visa

It is not surprising that a large number of students travel from all over the world each year to study in the Netherlands due to the country's high level of living, high grade of education, and reputation for a carefree way of life that appeals to young people. However, the Dutch have a visa system, just like other European countries. Furthermore, the Netherlands is a diversified nation with an excellent higher education system that annually draws a large number of international students. In the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, seven of its universities are ranked among the top 100.

In the Netherlands, about 40% of first-year students come from other countries. For many of these to travel to the country and study, a student visa or residency permit is needed. Applications for visas and permits for students were 12,310 in 2020 or 12.8% of all visa and permit applications. However, the Netherlands, like the majority of other EU nations, has a two-tiered immigration system that allows citizens of the EU and EFTA to visit freely and study there. For the Netherlands, the majority of other nationals require a student visa or resident permit.

Who Needs a Netherlands Student Visa?

If you have been accepted into a Dutch educational institution, you are qualified to apply for a Netherlands Student Visa. However, you might not even require a Dutch visa to study in the Netherlands, depending on your country. A Netherlands student visa and residence permit to study in the Netherlands is necessary for everyone, except:

  • Citizens of Switzerland, the EEA, or the EU.
  • A member of the family of an EU, EEA, or Swiss national. 

To study in the Netherlands for more than three months, you only need to register with local Dutch authorities if you fit into one of the aforementioned categories.

Students from EU nations studying in the Netherlands do not need a student visa or a residence permit; however, if you are studying there for more than four months, you must register with a local governing body. A validated and translated birth certificate must be shown upon registration. Given a personal public service number (BSN), you must notify the authorities if you decide to leave the country.

Some nationalities may need an MVV (provisional residence permit) in addition to a residence permit to enter the Netherlands. However, you do not require an MVV if you will be residing with family members who currently reside in the Netherlands or who are citizens of one of the following nations: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Japan, Monaco, Vatican City, and South Korea.

What are the Types of Student Visas in the Netherlands

The following categories apply to student visas issued by the Netherlands:

  • The general student visa is for graduate and postgraduate studies and is required for students enrolled in higher education and university courses.
  • Vocational programs at colleges and secondary schools in the Netherlands require a visa for secondary and vocational study.
  • For short courses lasting 90 days or fewer, such as Dutch language courses, a short-stay study visa is available.
  • Intra-EU mobility visa: a student visa that is valid throughout the EU/EFTA

How to Apply for a Netherlands Student Visa

In the Netherlands, universities apply for your residence permit on your behalf. They will be in contact with you taking into account your nationality, to request the documentation needed for your application. You will require a temporary Dutch residence visa to study in the Netherlands. You might also need to apply for an MVV in specific circumstances (long-stay visa). While they wait for their Dutch residence visa, the holder can remain in the Netherlands using this.

If you require an MVV, your sponsor may submit a single Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for both permits at the same time (IND). The IND has to acknowledge your sponsor. They must have ratified the Code of Conduct for International Students in Higher Education to be recognized. This guideline makes ensuring that colleges provide effective and convenient instruction to international students.

Netherlands Student Visa Requirements

Your sponsor will provide you with the whole list of documents you require because they will be applying on your behalf. Conditions and prerequisites may vary between universities. However, the following standards apply to obtaining a Netherlands Student Visa:

  • Standard required documents for any visa to the Netherlands.
  • Your academic transcripts.
  • An official letter from the educational institution you will be studying.
  • A complete study plan. You must explain why you want to study that particular field and how it is related to your previous studies.
  • Proof you can financially support yourself during your studies. You will need to have around €870 per month.
  • Travel and health insurance for the duration of your stay.
  • Netherlands Student visa application fee. See the current Netherlands student visa fees here.
  • Tuberculosis test. You must take it within three months of arriving in the
  • The Netherlands or your visa or residence permit will be taken away.
  • You must be registered at the university/college you wish to study.
  • You must be registered for a full-time daytime course.
  • Proof of income.

However, keep in mind that you must have photocopies of each of your documents, including your passport and any prior visas, in addition to the originals for each. Furthermore, note that a government entity in your country must authorize or validate all of your official documents. An apostille stamp can sometimes be used as authentication. Sometimes the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country may also need to legalize your documents.

All of your paperwork must be in one of four languages: Dutch, English, French, or German. If not, they must be translated into Dutch by a qualified translation and submitted with the originals.

Netherlands Student Visa Processing Time

Getting your MVV and residency permission to study in the Netherlands can take up to three months, but it usually happens considerably sooner. Starting your application as early as you can is a smart idea because it can take a few weeks for it to be processed. If you wait until the last minute, any delays or missing paperwork could result in you not receiving your visa in time.

Working While Studying in the Netherlands

As long as your permission has TWV (Tewerkstellingsvergunning) on the back, you are permitted to work in the Netherlands while on a student visa. This means that the Dutch Employees Insurance Agency must issue a work permit to each employer you work for (in Dutch). You can work for a maximum of:

  • 16 hours per week during term time
  • Full-time during June, July, and August

You may also work as many hours as you like as a self-employed person in addition to this. A TWV permit is not required for this. You cannot work in the Netherlands if you have a short-term study visa that is only good for 90 days or less.

Netherlands Student Visa Dependents

If you hold a Dutch student visa and have been residing in the country for at least a year with your residence permit, your spouse/registered partner and any minor children may join you. These relatives can join right away with some visas, like postgraduate research or Ph.D. visas that qualify for the EU Blue Card.

Typically, family members accompanying someone on a Netherlands study visa are permitted to stay for some time equal to that of the family member they are joining. They will also be entitled to the same employment opportunities, such as 16 hours per week if they are joining someone on a typical study visa.

Scholarships in the Netherlands

You can look for grants and scholarships in the Netherlands for overseas students on:

  • A non-profit organization in the Netherlands that deals with the internationalization of education is called Nuffic (in Dutch)
  • Dedicated to providing information on all facets of studying in the Netherlands, Study
  • In Holland is a government-funded website.
    Information on funding for overseas students from Times Higher Education

Bottom Line

If your application for a student visa to the Netherlands is rejected, you will be informed in writing. You will then have four weeks to submit a written objection to this judgment. The letter will outline the process for submitting an objection, and it will also list the address to which you should mail it. You should just submit a fresh, complete application if the reason for your rejection is something you can readily fix on your own, such as if you neglected to include a necessary document. Follow the link below to visit the official website of the Dutch immigration authorities for more detailed information.