Before you arrive

There are various practical matters that must be dealt with before beginning your Bachelor’s degree programme.
There are various practical matters that must be dealt with before beginning your Bachelor’s degree programme at VU Amsterdam.
  • Accommodation: Information on accommodation at VU Amsterdam.
  • Visa/residence permit: Find out whether you require a visa/residence permit and the procedure for arranging this. You can find the information below the accommodation section.
  • Pathfinder: Fill in the Pathfinder and you will find all the relevant practical information for your situation.

Accommodation

The International Office offers accommodation to participants in English-taught degree programme. There are furnished and unfurnished rooms with private or shared facilities. The number of rooms available is limited so we cannot guarantee accommodation for every student, but the International Office will do its utmost best to find suitable accommodation for everyone. Below you will find all housing rules and regulations. We advise you to read them carefully.

Who can apply for accommodation?

All students who have been (conditionally) accepted will receive an invitation to confirm their participation in VUnet. Once you have confirmed your participation, you will be able to apply for accommodation in VUnet. You can only apply for accommodation from VU Amsterdam when you meet the following criteria:

  • You are enrolled in an English-taught degree programme;
  • You are a first year student;
  • You have a non-Dutch nationality. Please note that when you have dual citizenship of the Netherlands and an EU/Non-EU country, you are not eligible for accommodation via us;
  • You have to be admitted based on a foreign diploma;
  • You are not living in the Netherlands.


VU Amsterdam cooperates with different housing companies such as DUWO, IC, Hotel Jansen, The Student Hotel, Campus Diemen Zuid, Student Experience. These companies offer furnished and unfurnished accommodations to students. In total, VU Amsterdam has more than 1500 reserved rooms for international students.


CONTRACT TYPES

VU Amsterdam offers two different contract types depending on your study programme.

Rental contracts for Bachelor students:
  • Campus contracts.
    • These are rental contracts covering the total duration of your study programme. You can stay in this type of accommodation as long as you are registered at VU Amsterdam. There are limited rooms available for this type of contract.
    • Most rooms with a campus contract are not furnished.
    • The contracts are flexible;. i.e., there are no fixed end dates which means that is is possible to cancel the contract during the academic year.
    • Depending on the housing company, the room may be cancelled after the first year or during the first year. Please keep in mind that there is a one month notice.
    • There are limited rooms available for this type of contract.
  • Rental contracts for a fixed period of 1 year.
    • 1 year contracts cannot be extended.
    • Students need to find accommodation themselves for the second and third year.
    • The rooms for this contract are furnished.
    • Early termination of the contract is not allowed.

RENTAL PERIODS

The rental period depends on the type of accommodation and contract you choose. Please see the overview below:

Housing corporation
Type of accommodation
Type of contract
Rental period
DUWO
Accommodate (furnished)
Fixed
17 August 2018 - Mid August 2019 Extension not possible
IC, The Fizz
Furnished
Fixed
17 August 2018 - Mid August 2019 Extension not possible
Campus Diemen Zuid
Furnished
Fixed
Start date: August 2018 (start dates can differ) End date: Mid August 2019 Extension not possible
DUWO
Campus Contract (unfurnished)  @ Spinoza Campus
Flexible
Start date: August 2018 (start dates can differ) Minimum one month Maximum until graduation
Student Experience
Campus Contract (unfurnished)  @ RavelResidence @Amstelhome
Flexible
Start date: August 2018 (start dates can differ) Minimum 12 months Maximum until graduation
The Student Hotel
Furnished, high service level
Fixed
1 September 2018 - 30 June 2019 Extension not possible

RENTAL PRICES AND FEES OF HOUSING CORPORATIONS

The rental prices mentioned are per month. The price varies according to type, size and location. Services costs (water, electricity, cable internet etc.) are included in the price.
All rents mentioned are subject to change, and as such you cannot derive a right from these prices. You can find the (range of) rental prices in the types of accommodation documents listed above.Please note that some types of accommodation are eligible for housing allowance. Please see below under 'Taxes and Housing Allowance' for more information. Apart from the rental price, you will need to pay an administration fee to the housing company (max € 150). After signing the online housing contract with the housing company, you will need to pay at 2 or 3 months’ rent as advanced payment.
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Our accommodation consists of furnished  and unfurnished (single) rooms with private or shared facilities. It is common that men and women live together in the same student house. Given the shortage of accommodation, you may find the room you get is rather small and not of the standard you had expected. Accommodation in Amsterdam is not only limited, but can also be more expensive than at home. Thinking about these things in advance could help avoid unpleasant surprises later. We are trying to manage your expectations! While we offer a limited number of rooms for couples, it is unfortunately not possible to accommodate children or pets. In case you are interested in a room for couples, please contact us at studentaccommodation@vu.nl. Please also contact us by e-mail should you require a room equipped for special needs.

The university’s types of accommodation are located in various areas of the Amsterdam metropolitan area. Generally, VU Amsterdam can be reached easily by bike and public transport from all locations. Detailed information with regards to the room types and locations can be found below:

For our Bachelor students we have reserved Campus Contract rooms and rooms for 1 year (1 year fixed). N.B. we recommend Campus Contract rooms when you are a Bachelor student.

Before you go to VUnet to apply for accommodation, please consult the VU Accommodation website. Here you can find an overview of all our accommodation options (Campus Contract and 1 year fixed contract). You will need to enter your top 3 in the accommodation application form in VUnet. 

Step 1

Please confirm your participation in VUnet.

Step 2

Please apply for accommodation in VUnet. When you submit your application for accommodation in VUnet, you have to indicate the top 3 of your preferences. Please note that you can no longer change your top 3 as soon as you have submitted the application in VUnet. N.B. While you will select your top 3 in VUnet, the choice is not binding; i.e., you can still be offered accommodation from the other categories.

Step 3

Please transfer the housing fee. Accommodation will be assiged based on a first paid, first serve system. The date on which VU Amsterdam receives the payment will determine your place in the queue. As soon as you finished the housing application in VUnet, a link to pay the housing fee online will become available in VUnet. The housing fee is charged to cover our costs in providing accommodation services to international students. For Master and Bachelor students the fee is €400 for all contracts. We advise you to use the online payment tool, but it is also possible to pay the fee via bank transfer. 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.

As mentioned above, we work with a first paid, first served system based on the housing fee payment date. Therefore we recommend that you use the online payment tool. Applications for accommodation will not be dealt with until VU Amsterdam has received this payment. In case all rooms are booked, students will be placed on a waiting list.

Step 4

Please wait for further instructions. You will receive additional information from the International Office by e-mail within a few weeks.

ASSIGNMENT OF ROOMS

  • Starting from 1 May 2018, VU Amsterdam will assign rooms based on a first paid, first serve base. The date on which VU Amsterdam receives the payment will determine your place in the queue.
  • Based on the top 3 you selected in VUnet, the best available option will be offered to you. Of course, the offer depends on the availability of rooms.
  • When a room is assigned to you, we will inform you about the next steps. In general, you will be directed to the application system of the housing corporation to book a room or to confirm the reservation. 
  • In case DUWO shortstay is assigned to you, you will be invited to book your room in the DUWO system according to your preferences and the availability. It is not necessary to send us your preferences for DUWO shortstay.

WAITING LIST

You will be placed on the waiting list in the following cases:

  • If we cannot offer you one of your top 3 options, we will offer you an alternative option when available.  You can accept this alternative or you can choose to be placed on the waiting list. Be aware that we cannot guarantee that one of your top 3 choices will become available.
  • If all accommodation is fully booked, you will be placed on the waiting list. Please keep in mind that the waiting list does not give you any guarantees. We will do our utmost to find housing in Amsterdam or in the Amsterdam Region (Amstelveen, Hoofddorp, Almere, Zaandam).

CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS OF ACCOMMODATION APPLICATIONS

  • You can apply for one room only. It is not possible to change rooms once you have reserved one.
  • Should you wish to cancel your accommodation application, please send an e-mail to studentaccommodation@vu.nl.
  • As a tenant, you are responsible and liable for the accommodation you are renting.
  • As a tenant, you are not allowed to sublet your accommodation. This includes platforms such as AirBnB and Wimdu. The only exception to this rule is when you go abroad as part of your study programme or for an internship. Only in this situation are you allowed to sublet your room. You can read more about subletting here

REFUND OF THE HOUSING FEE

Your housing fee will only be refunded when you cancel your application before 1 July 2018. You will need to fill out your address and bank account details in an online form. You can request the link to the form by sending an e-mail to studentaccommodation@vu.nl. It is only possible to request a refund of the housing fee after 1 July 2018 when the VU Accommodation Office did not yet offer you a room. As soon as you receive an offer, your housing fee becomes non-refundable. For example, when you are on the waiting list and you receive an offer later than 1 July then it is not possible to cancel this offer without costs. If you do not wish to be on the waiting list any more, please inform studentaccommodation@vu.nl as soon as possible.

ARRIVAL DAYS AND KEY PICKUP

You will be informed about this in a later stage.

REGISTRATION WITH THE MUNICIPALITY

When you will stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, you need to register with  the municipality. After registration, the municipal office will send a social security number (BSN) to your Dutch address. During the Arrival days, it will be possible to register with the municipalities Amstelveen or Amsterdam at Vrije Universiteit. You can find more information under ‘When you arrive’.

Required documents

  • Passport or European ID card
  • Rental agreement for your Dutch address (if you do not have a rental agreement then you must bring a written statement of approval signed by the main tenant and a copy of his/her passport).
  • Birth Certificate (legalized)* - please note that this is only required if you are staying for longer than one year in accommodation outside of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. If your birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French or German, then you must supply a sworn translation into one of these languages.

Students who are married will also need to bring their marriage certificate (legalized).*

* The legalization method varies per country. The Dutch representations in other countries are responsible for legalizing foreign documents for use in the Netherlands. The documents must first have been legalized by the country’s own authorities, usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the document has been issued.
  • When you depart at the end of the rental contract, you must have paid all outstanding invoices in full.
  • No settlement will be made regarding interest earned on any outstanding deposits. 
  • The accommodation and the shared facilities must be left in a good and clean state.

LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL TAXES

Everyone living in self-contained accommodation has to pay local and municipal taxes. These local taxes fund services such as rubbish collection, water supply, sewage charges, and land drainage. Students living in self-contained accommodation will receive an invoice from Waternet or Dienst Belastingen of the municipality. It is possible to appeal against these taxes using a remission form (verzoek tot kwijtschelding). The appeal is usually granted, depending on your financial situation. When you rent at DUWO, you can check the following website for more information about the taxes. More information can also be found on the websites of the municipality of Amsterdam and Amstelveen (in Dutch). 

HOUSING ALLOWANCE

Housing allowance (huurtoeslag) is a subsidy provided by the Dutch government to tenants with a low income and a relatively high cost of rent. Not all student rooms qualify for housing allowance. Find out more about housing allowance here.

 

Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is not easy, as there is a serious shortage of accommodation for students. Although the International Office of VU Amsterdam will do its utmost best to arrange suitable accommodation for everyone, in the following cases VU Amsterdam may not provide accommodation:

    • If you will bring your family or pet;
    • Housing requests that have been received after the deadline might not be granted but placed on a waiting list; 
    • If your preferences do not need the accommodation on offer from VU Amsterdam

If you fit in one of these categories, we strongly advise you to have a look at the following accommodation alternatives. There are various Dutch websites that offer housing in Amsterdam and they provide useful information on finding accommodation. 

Be aware that when responding to adverts offering accommodation, there may be some fraudulent operators around. Please look out for scams. VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for the services delivered by any provider of alternative accommodation. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have any questions about accommodation, please check our FAQ or if you cannot find the answer, send an email to studentaccommodation@vu.nl.

In case you would like to meet up with us to discuss your accommodation, please call us at T +31 (0)20 59 84691 to schedule an appointment or schedule a phone call in our online tool.

Could you please show me your room?

Visa and residence permit

There are two types of immigration procedures:
  • Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure

Which procedure applies to you, depends on your nationality. Please check the Frequently Used Terms and Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the difference between a visa and residence permit. In the overview below, you can see the procedure that applies to you.

Country of origin
Required procedure
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City State
Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All other non-EU countries
Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All other non-EU countries but in possession of valid residence permit of another Schengen country
Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All EU countries
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
No procedure required

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa and/or residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. First, you need to confirm your participation in your study programme in VUnet. The visa/residence permit application procedure will open in VUnet 16 April 2018. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a visa and/or residence permit before 16 April 2018. The deadline for completing the visa and/or residence permit application procedure is 1 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). 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.

When you are a citizen of one of the countries below, you are 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. 

    • Australia 
    • Canada 
    • Japan 
    • New Zealand 
    • South Korea 
    • United States of America 
    • Vatican City State

In case you hold a valid residence permit of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa in which case you only need to apply for a residence permit (VVR). 

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Please upload the following documents in VUnet:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages (and a copy of your Schengen residence permit in case you have it) 
  • Antecedents certificate
  • TB Statement only applicable to certain nationalities. Please check this appendix to see if you are exempted according to your nationality. In case you are, please upload the appendix in VUnet.
  • Proof of financial means. Please see below for more information about the proof of financial means
  • Transfer the visa fee via the online payment tool in VUnet 

Please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format. 

Proof of financial means 

For your residence permit, you need to prove that you have sufficient financial means to cover your stay in the Netherlands. As a Bachelor's student you will need to prove that you have at least €900 x 12 = €10.800 for one academic year (September – August). In addition to this, you also need to show proof that you are able to pay for your tuition fees. There are multiple options you can use. A combination of this is possible as well:

  • Bank statement.
  • Scholarship award letter.
  • Proof of sponsorship by an individual outside the Netherlands.
  • Proof of sponsorship by an individual residing in the Netherlands.
    • Financial statement  
    • Copy of the original extract from the municipality (BRP) of your sponsor
    • Copy of the employers' certificate of your sponsor (werkgeversverklaring)
    • Copy of the employment contract of your sponsor (arbeidscontract)  
    • Proof of income; i.e. 3 recent pay slips
    • Copy passport or identity card of your sponsor
  • Transfer the funds to VU Amsterdam (living expenses + tuition fees). 

Please make sure that the proof of financial means meets all requirements before you upload the documents in VUnet. You can check the requirements here

VISA FEE

  • Residence permit (VVR) costs €250.
  • Residence permit (VVR) when you have a valid residence permit of a Schengen member state costs €175. 
  • Change of Purpose costs €250. Please note that a change of purpose is only applicable when you currently have a Dutch residence permit with a different purpose than study that needs to be changed to a study permit, e.g. when you have a residence permit as a spouse but you are separating while you are studying here.

In any case, the visa fee only needs to be transferred to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam once per application.

These fees are valid as of 1 February 2018 and are subject to change.

You need to transfer this amount to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam before we can start the residence permit application procedure. 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 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). When you submit the documents and pay the visa fee after the deadline, we can no longer guarantee that your residence permit will be ready in time for the start of the academic year. The application procedure takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks. 

TUBERCULOSIS TEST 
Depending on your nationality, you may need to complete a tuberculosis (TB) test in order to receive your residence permit. Please read the TB form carefully to see if you need to be tested upon arrival in the Netherlands. It is important to have yourself tested as soon as possible upon arrival (within 3 months of arrival). Please note that it is not necessary to have yourself tested in your home country. VU Amsterdam will make appointments prior to the Arrival Days for the TB test. In case you cannot make it to any of the proposed days, you can make an appointment yourself at the municipal doctor’s office (GGD). Please check the website of GGD Amsterdam for more information. 

The address of the GGD Amsterdam office is: 

Public Health Service Amsterdam  
Nieuwe Achtergracht 100  

You can easily get there by public transport as it is very near to Weesperplein, a large public transport station. From Central Station: Metro (all lines), alight at Station Weesperplein. From De Boelelaan/Amsterdam Zuid station: Metro 51 (direction of Central Station), alight at Station Weesperplein.

TIMELINE 

16 April 
From this date on you can start the residence permit application procedure. 
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 e-mail. 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. We will inform you when the IND has approved your residence permit application and we will provide you with detailed information about the next steps. 
August 
You travel to the Netherlands on your passport. We will schedule an appointment for you with the IND so that you can give your biometrics (needed to order the residence permit). If applicable, we will also schedule an appointment for the TB test. 
September 
It takes approximately 4 weeks for your residence permit to be ready after you have given your biometrics to the IND. We will inform you when you can collect it. 


STRICT REQUIREMENTS OF THE IND

As an educational institution, we need to apply for residence permits on behalf of all our international students (with the sole purpose of study). 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! 

AFTER ARRIVAL

After your arrival in Amsterdam you need to go the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) to have your biometrics (photo and fingerprints) taken. We will make appointments for this prior to the Arrival Days. Your residence permit will be ready in approximately four weeks after your first visit to the IND. We will inform you when your residence permit is ready. You need to collect your residence permit within 90 days after arrival.

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 in the table above. In case you hold a valid residence permit of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa in which case you only need to apply for a residence permit (VVR). Please indicate this in VUnet or contact us at studentimmigration@vu.nl. Please follow the residence permit procedure above.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS 

Please upload the documents mentioned below and provide the following information:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages
  • Antecedents certificate
  • TB Statement only applicable to certain nationalities. Please check this appendix to see if you are exempted according to your nationality. In case you are, please upload the appendix in VUnet.
  • Proof of financial means. Please see below for more information about the proof of financial means
  • 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. 
  • Transfer the visa fee via the online payment tool in VUnet

 Please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

Proof of financial means 

For your residence permit, you need to prove that you have sufficient financial means to cover your stay in the Netherlands. As a Bachelor's student you will need to prove that you have at least €900 x 12 = €10.800 for one academic year (September – August). In addition to this, you also need to show proof that you are able to pay for your tuition fees. There are multiple options you can use and a combination of various options is possible as well. Please note that this is not applicable to citizens from Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Pakistan. They are required to use option 5 (transfer the funds). The options are:

  • Bank statement.
  • Scholarship award letter.
  • Proof of sponsorship by an individual outside the Netherlands.
  • Proof of sponsorship by an individual residing in the Netherlands.
    • Financial statement  
    • Copy of the original extract from the municipality (BRP) of your sponsor
    • Copy of the employers' certificate of your sponsor (werkgeversverklaring)
    • Copy of the employment contract of your sponsor (arbeidscontract)  
    • Proof of income; i.e. 3 recent pay slips
    • Copy passport or identity card of your sponsor
  • Transfer the funds to VU Amsterdam (living expenses + tuition fees). 

Please make sure that the proof of financial means meets all requirements before you upload the documents in VUnet. You can check the requirements here.

VISA FEE

  • Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) cost €250. 

The visa fee is €250 and only needs to be transferred to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam once per application.

These fees are valid as of 1 February 2018 and are subject to change.

You need to transfer this amount to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam before we can start the residence permit application procedure. 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 visa and residence permit procedure is 1 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). When you submit the documents and pay the visa fee after the deadline, we can no longer guarantee that your entry visa and residence permit will be ready in time for the start of the academic year. The application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

APPROVAL OF YOUR ENTRY VISA

The International Office will contact you when your entry visa has been approved by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) and will inform you about the next steps. You need to contact the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country (or third country if you have a valid residence permit for another country) to make an appointment to collect your entry visa. Please bring a valid passport and a photo (see requirements) to the appointment. You need to hand in your passport at the Dutch representation. It can take up to 3 weeks before your entry visa will be ready. Please check the website of the Embassy or Consulate for more information. 

TUBERCULOSIS TEST 
Depending on your nationality, you may need to complete a tuberculosis (TB) test in order to receive your residence permit. Please read the TB form carefully to see if you need to be tested upon arrival in the Netherlands. It is important to have yourself tested as soon as possible upon arrival (within 3 months of arrival). Please note that it is not necessary to have yourself tested in your home country. VU Amsterdam will make appointments prior to the Arrival Days for the TB test. In case you cannot make it to any of the proposed days, you can make an appointment yourself at the municipal doctor’s office (GGD). Please check the website of GGD Amsterdam for more information. 

The address of the GGD Amsterdam office is: 

Public Health Service Amsterdam  
Nieuwe Achtergracht 100  

You can easily get there by public transport as it is very near to Weesperplein, a large public transport station. From Central Station: Metro (all lines), alight at Station Weesperplein. From De Boelelaan/Amsterdam Zuid station: Metro 51 (direction of Central Station), alight at Station Weesperplein.

TIMELINE 

16 April 
From this date on you can start the entry visa and residence permit application procedure.
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 e-mail. 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. We will inform you when the IND has approved your entry visa and residence permit application and we will provide you with detailed information about making an appointment at the Dutch representation to collect your entry visa. 
1 to 3 weeks 
You make an appointment with the Dutch representation to collect your entry visa. 
August 
You travel to the Netherlands using the entry visa in your passport. We will schedule an appointment for you with the IND so that you can collect your residence permit. If applicable, we will also schedule an appointment for the TB test. 
September 
Collect your residence permit at the IND. 

STRICT REQUIREMENTS OF THE IND

As an educational institution, we need to apply for residence permits on behalf of all our international students (with the sole purpose of study). 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!

AFTER ARRIVAL

Prior to the Arrival Days we will make an appointment for you with the IND to collect your residence permit card. In case your residence permit is not yet ready at that point, the International Office will notify you when your residence permit is ready to be collected. You need to collect your residence permit before your entry visa expires. 

The deadline for completing the visa and residence permit procedure is 1 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). When you submit the documents and pay the visa fee after the deadline, we can no longer guarantee that your entry visa and/or residence permit will be ready in time for the start of the academic year. The application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

SPECIAL NOTE TO CITIZENS FROM BANGLADESH, NEPAL AND PAKISTAN

The IND checks the applications of citizens from Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh 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 takes three months to make their decision when you are a citizen from Bangladesh, 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.

When you already have a residence permit for some other purpose (for employement, stay with family member, asylum, au pair or study at another Dutch university), VU Amsterdam needs to check whether we need to apply for a residence permit for study purposes for you. Please upload a copy of your current residence permit (front and back side) in VUnet. Questions can be send to studentimmigration@vu.nl.

Please send an e-mail to studentimmigration@vu.nl when you wish to bring your partner and/or child(ren). In order to apply on behalf of your partner and/or children, we need the following documents:

  • 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;

  • TB statement signed by your family members if needed (please check this 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 €1690,64 net per month;

  • One appendix Authorization and sponsorship declaration for every family member signed by you. With this you authorize Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your family members on your behalf;

  • Appendix Declaration by sponsor completed by you;

  • Copy of your marriage certificate, legalized and translated by a sworn translator into Dutch or English;
  • Copy of the birth certificates of each family member including you, legalized 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 legalized 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.

List of frequently used terms

VARIOUS TYPES OF VISAS

What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?
A visa (MVV) is used to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit is a document that gives you the right to stay here legally . Citizens of certain nationalities cannot just travel to the Netherlands; these nationalities require a visa sticker (MVV) in their passport which allows them to enter the Netherlands. A visa sticker is collected at the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your home country (or a third-party country if there is no Dutch representation in your own country). Conversely, all Non-EU citizens need a residence permit. This is an ID card which you will receive in the Netherlands. Please note that a MVV visa is not the same as a short stay visa (VKV). While your nationality may be exempted from the VKV visa, this does not necesarrily entail that you are exempted from a MVV visa as well (see section List of frequently used terms). 

My visa is only valid for three months, what should I do?
There is nothing to worry about. If your nationality requires a visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR), we will apply for both. You will collect the visa at the embassy or consulate in your home country. This is a sticker that is placed in your passport. The visa is always valid for three months. This is due to the fact that a visa is only used to travel to the Netherlands. From the moment you have collected the visa, you have three months to travel to the Netherlands. The residence permit, on the other hand, is an ID card that you will pick up in the Netherlands. This is the actual document that allows you to stay legally in the Netherlands during your studies here.

Can I study here using a short term/tourist visa (VKV)?
No, this is not possible. You can only stay in the Netherlands for 90 days on a short stay visa. The study programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are longer than 90 days*. It is not possible either to enter the Netherlands on a short stay visa and obtain a residence permit here. You can only obtain a residence permit in combination with a long stay entry visa (MVV)**.
    *   The only exception to this are Summer School courses.
    ** This only applies to nationals who require a visa to enter the Netherlands. 

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

My sponsor does not have a passport, what should I do?
In case your sponsor does not have a passport, you can provide any other form of legal identification (such as an ID card). If this type of identification is only issued in your native language, then you will need to have the document translated into Dutch or English by a sworn translator.

Do I need to bring a birth certificate?
No, you do not need to bring a birth certificate when you will be living in Amsterdam or Amstelveen.

TRAVELLING

I wish to travel through Europe, can I do this with my Dutch entry visa and residence permit?
Yes, you can travel to Schengen member states only. Before you travel, please check whether the countries of your destination are Schengen states. Your entry visa (MVV) allows you to travel through Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days.  Please check the Schengen calculator to check how many days you still have left.

The MVV is also referred to as a type D-visa. The D-visa is valid for 90 days from the commencement date stated on the visa sticker that is placed in your passport. You can use the D-visa to enter and leave the Netherlands (and other Schengen countries). The residence permit for study allows you to live and study in the Netherlands, and to travel to all the Schengen countries and back to the Netherlands as often as you like while the permit is valid. Please note though that the maximum amount of days you can spend uninterrupted in another Schengen country is 90 days.

Also note that some countries require that your Dutch residence permit continues to be valid for a specific period of time (either three or six months) after your arrival in their country. This may have a significant effect on your travel plans, particularly during the summer months. Please remember this when you are planning to travel outside the Netherlands and check about any such requirements before you book any travel tickets.

PRACTICALITIES (BSN number, municipalities)

What is the municipality and a BSN number, and is this related to my residence permit?
The municipality is the local government of a place. Depending on where you live, you fall under the municipality of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. It is necessary to register with the municipality in order to keep the right of your residence permit. When you have registered at the town hall, you will receive your BSN number within a few weeks (both Amsterdam and Amstelveen municipalities are present during the Arrival Days and you can register then as well). 

A BSN number is a social security number needed to arrange all sorts of practical matters such as opening a Dutch bank account. Students often mistake the BSN number for their residence permit, and the municipality for the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). However, these are two separate institutions. The IND handles immigration matters and the municipality arranges the registrations in the town hall. Please check List of frequently used terms as well.

WORK AND INTERNSHIPS

I would like to work while studying. Is that possible?
In case you hold a non-EU nationality, you need a work permit to be able to work. Your employer needs to apply for a work permit at the UWV. Even with a work permit there are still restrictions. As a student, you are allowed to work a maximum of 10 hours a week. Please visit this website for more information about rules and regulations. 

Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Korea are eligible to apply for a special type of residence permit called the Working Holiday Programme/Working Holiday Scheme (WHP/WHS). WHP/WHS allows you to work and study here without needing a work permit.

I would like to go to an internship placement in another EU country, can I do this with my Dutch residence permit?
If you are an EU national, you are free to participate in an internship in any Schengen country. It is not so simple if you are a non-EU national.

When the internship is part of your degree programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the internship will last no longer than 90 days, you can stay in the other Schengen country for 90 days. Please note that you do need to check with the authorities of that country whether you need a work permit to carry out your internship.
When the internship is part of your degree programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the internship will last longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a residence permit of the country of placement as well. Again, you also need to check whether you need a work permit.

If you wish to do an internship after you finished your studies here, you will need to apply for a residence permit and a work permit. 

Can I do an internship in the Netherlands?
This depends. If you have a residence permit for study in the Netherlands, and when the internship is relevant to your studies here or in your home country (in case you are an exchange student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) then you can participate in an internship. You do need to complete the following internship agreement and send it to studentimmigration@vu.nl.

In case the internship is not relevant to your studies and/or when you do not have a residence permit for study, you require a work permit.

FAMILY

I will be a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and I would like to bring my partner and/or child(ren). Is this possible?
Yes, we can apply for a visa (if applicable) and residence permit on behalf of your family members. Please visit the section Bringing Family Members for the required documents.

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.

What does Satisfactory Academic Progress entail?

All non-EU/EEA students 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 non-EU/EEA students must obtain at least 30 ECTS per year.

  • In short, Satisfactory Academic Progress entails that you need to complete 30 ECTS in each academic year. The deadline for obtaining these credits is 23 August.

Which courses count towards Satisfactory Academic Progress?
We only count the credits obtained that are an obligatory part of the curriculum; extracurricular courses do not count towards your Satisfactory Academic Progress.

What happens when I do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress?
When you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, 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.

What if I did not pass enough courses or believe that I will not pass enough courses?

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. This is especially paramount when personal circumstances are the reason for not obtaining the required number of credits. 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. 

If you already contacted your Academic Advisor and they decided that personal circumstances are applicable to you, then they need to inform us about this. Subsequently we will confirm by e-mail that you have an excusable reason. If you do not receive this e-mail, 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 (not, for example, from a master coordinator or professor). 

Please do not wait until May or June to visit the Academic Advisor, but make an appointment as soon as possible. Please bring the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal form with you.

TIMELINE

February - First check
Each February the International Office will carry out the first check. You will be informed by e-mail when we have evaluated your study results. We will also inform the Academic Advisors of the outcome of the check. Please note that most students will 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. 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 the study results of all students with  a residence permit for study purposes. You will be informed about the outcome by e-mail. 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 - August:
You are advised to consult your Academic Advisor about the reasons for not passing the courses. It may be possible, for example, that not all acquired credits have been processed in the student information system. You may also have a valid reason for not having passed the examinations. In both cases, the Academic Advisor will inform the International Office (without violating your privacy). As a consequence, the International Office will not report the negative advice status to the IND and your residence permit will not be withdrawn. 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 and all credits are registered. It is not necessary to make a new appointment when the Academic Advisor has already been informed at an earlier stage.

23 August - Final check

In case you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, you will be informed that you will receive a negative advice regarding 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.

FAQ Satisfactory Academic Progress
Answers to specific questions can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

The Dutch “Modern Migration Policy Act” allows Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your visa and/or residence permit. As a consequence, VU Amsterdam is also 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. We will contact you when the check is due.

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). 

Note: if you currently hold a residence permit obtained via another Dutch university, please follow the procedure in VUnet.

APPPLICATION PROCEDURE
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. When either situation 2 or 3 applies, we will apply for an extension of your residence permit after you have submitted the extension request, e-mailed a copy of your passport and the antecedents certificate to studentimmigration@vu.nl, and when you have transferred the fee of €175 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). 

For the extension of your residence permit you need to transfer €175 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. 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. The address is:

IND Office Amsterdam
Stadhouderskade 85
1073 AT Amsterdam 

FAQ
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 documentary proof of your financial situation. In this case, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds per months at your disposal (€900,- per month).

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.

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.

CONTACT
Please contact studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions.

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.

Please contact us at studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions.

Pathfinder

When you come to study in the Netherlands, there are regulations and laws that will affect your stay. Fill out the wizard and you’ll find all the relevant information for your situation, tailor made, and sorted by the main themes or stages of studying in the Netherlands. All the information is provided and guaranteed by the responsible (government) agencies and is always up to date.