Title of the site
If you wish to stay in the Netherlands to study at a university or at a university of applied sciences, you will need a provisional residence permit (mvv) and/or a residence permit. The provisional residence permit is a special visa for stays of more than three months in the Netherlands.
Not everyone needs a provisional residence permit to apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands. Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and the Vatican are exempt from the provisional residence permit requirement. There are also other specific circumstances under which a provisional residence permit is not required
Conditions to migrate to the Netherlands to study for more than three months at a university or at a university of applied sciences
In some cases it is possible to stay in the Netherlands to attend secondary and vocational education.
More on the admission to attend secondary and vocational education
Where and how to apply
Only a recognised educational institution can submit an application on behalf of a student. The educational institution is your recognised sponsor.
To apply for the provisional residence permit (mvv) and/or the residence permit, you are advised to contact the educational institution in question. It is the educational institution that submits your application. At the educational establishment they will inform you as to the procedures to be followed.
For some courses, the educational institution will place certain conditions on your knowledge before admitting you to the course, such as knowledge of the Dutch language. You may also be asked to follow a transfer programme first. Prior to your higher education-level studies, you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands for a preparatory year. A maximum of one year will be added to your residence permit for study purposes.
Duration of validity of permits
A residence permit for study purposes is issued for the duration of your study programme plus three months for the administrative completion of the programme, and, if applicable, the preparatory year.
The maximum period of the validity of the residence permit is five years. Before the end date of your residence permit, you may apply for an extension of your stay for the duration of your study programme.
Orientation year for graduates
Upon arrival, you must:
If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has rejected your application, this will be specified in an official letter (= Decision) from the IND. If you do not agree with the decision, you can register an objection to it, or authorise someone in the Netherlands to do so on your behalf. The official letter explains how to start the procedure for this.
In some cases, the IND is not able to reach a decision in time. The IND may be in default. You can then send a written notice of default to the IND.
If after having registered an objection, the IND has stated your objections to be unfounded, it is possible for you to appeal against this decision to the Dutch court.
Extension of stay
If you wish to extend your stay, you must apply for this. The application for an extension of your residence permit can be submitted in writing. The IND will assess whether you meet the requirements for prolonging your stay.
More on extension of stay
Change of status
If, during your legal stay in the Netherlands, something changes in your personal situation or your purpose of stay, this could affect your current residence permit. It may be that, as a result of the change, you no longer meet the conditions under which you were granted permission to stay in the Netherlands.
When you no longer meet these conditions, the IND may consider revoking your residence permit and you will have to leave the Netherlands. If you, however, wish to stay in the Netherlands you will then have to apply for a change of purpose of your stay. Please note that when you apply for a change of purpose, this will also be assessed as an application for an extension.
If you have lawfully lived in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of five years and you have a valid residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of stay, you can apply for a permanent residence permit.
Study, however, is a temporary purpose of stay.
As the holder of a residence permit as a student, it is possible to bring your spouse, (registered) partner or minor child(ren) to the Netherlands. Certain conditions will have to be met in order to be allowed to bring your family members.
Employee Insurance Agency (UWV)
Embassy or consulate in the country of origin
Last Update: 26/11/2015 |