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, OurCampus Amsterdam Diemen, 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
Mid August 2019 - Mid August 2020 Extension not possible
IC, The Fizz
Furnished
Fixed
Mid August 2019 - Mid August 2020 Extension not possible
OurCampus Amsterdam Diemen
Furnished, high service level
Fixed
Start date: August 2019 (start dates can differ) End date: Mid August 2020 Extension not possible
DUWO
Campus Contract (unfurnished)  @ Spinoza Campus
Flexible
Start date: August 2019 (start dates can differ) Minimum one month Maximum until graduation
Student Experience
Campus Contract (unfurnished)  @ RavelResidence @Amstelhome
Flexible
Start date: August 2019 (start dates can differ) Minimum 12 months Maximum until graduation
The Student Hotel
Furnished, high service level
Fixed
1 September 2019 - 30 June 2020 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 this website for an overview of all our accommodation options (Campus Contract and 1 year fixed contracts). 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 assigned based on a first paid, first served 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 2019, VU Amsterdam will assign rooms based on a first paid, first served basis. 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 2019. 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 2019 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.

 

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)20 598 1813 to schedule an appointment or schedule a phone call in our online tool.

Could you please show me your room?

Visa and residence permit

When you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you need to complete the immigration procedure before you can start your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. So it is very important to have that matter settled! Luckily our International Office at VU Amsterdam will apply for the required immigration documents on your behalf.

On this website you will find all the information you need in order to complete the procedure smoothly. Therefore please read the website carefully for it contains very important information.

There are two types of immigration procedures:

  1. Residence permit (VVR) procedure: no entry visa required which means you enter the Netherlands with your passport.
  2. Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure: entry visa required which you will collect at the Dutch representation before you can enter the Netherlands.

Which procedure applies to you, depends on your nationality. Both procedures run via VU Amsterdam. Please check the Frequently Used Terms and Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the difference between a visa and residence permit. In the overviews below, you can see the procedure that applies to you and the timeline of the procedures.

Nationality
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


TIMELINE

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa/residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2019-2020 will open in VUnet 1 April 2019. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a visa and/or residence permit before 1 April 2019; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

The deadline for uploading the documents for your 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.

1 April (first semester)/1 October (second semester)
From this date on you can start the entry visa and/or residence permit application procedure in VUnet.
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 - in the busy summer period it is more likely that it takes up to 4 weeks. We will inform you when the IND has approved your entry visa and/or residence permit application and we will provide you with detailed information about the next steps you need to take.
1 to 3 weeks
You make an appointment with the Dutch representation to collect your entry visa in case you require one. How soon you can get an appointment depends on how busy the Dutch representation is. Keep in mind that it may take longer during the summer months. After the appointment, it may take up to 3 weeks before you will receive the visa.
August (first semester)/January (second semester)
You travel to the Netherlands. We will schedule an appointment for you with the IND so that you can collect your residence permit or provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo needed to issue the residence permit). If applicable, we will also schedule an appointment for the TB test. You can find more information about the TB test in the sections about the procedures.
September (first semester)/February (second semester) 
Collect your residence permit at the IND.

SPECIAL NOTE TO CITIZENS FROM BANGLADESH, CAMEROON, NEPAL AND PAKISTAN

The IND checks the applications of citizens from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal and Pakistan 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 may take three months to make their decision when you are a citizen from Bangladesh, Cameroon, 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 are eligible for this procedure, you are only 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. In case you hold a valid residence permit of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa and possibly from a Dutch residence permit as well. Please upload a copy of your residence permit in VUnet or e-mail a copy to studentimmigration@vu.nl in order for us to assess whether you require a Dutch residence permit for study purposes or not.

HOW TO APPLY

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2019-2020 will open in VUnet 1 April 2019. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a residence permit before 1 April 2019; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

In order to apply for a residence permit, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Confirm your participation in VUnet

The visa section in VUnet will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in VUnet in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our manual should you need help with this. This manual also contains information with regards to the visa application procedure in VUnet.

Step 2: Upload the required documents in VUnet

Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of VUnet. Here you can upload all required documents. The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months.
  • If applicable, a copy of your Schengen residence permit (front and back side).
  • Antecedents certificate signed by hand. Please sign the form with the place and date of signing. Please do not fill in your place and date of birth!
  • TB Statement. It depends on your nationality which form you need to submit. Please note that you do not have yourself tested in your home country, but the test takes place in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam will make appointments for the TB test prior to the Arrival Days.
  • Proof of financial means. In this manual you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means.
  • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the residence permit application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VUnet. You can use this checklist to double check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so. N.B. your documents cannot be older than 2 months. Additionally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator. Finally, please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

Step 3: Pay the visa fee

Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool in VUnet. We need to have received the fee before we can submit the application. The costs are specified as follows:

  • Residence permit (VVR) costs €250*.
  • Residence permit (VVR) when you have a valid residence permit of a Schengen member state costs €175*.
  • Extension residence permit (VVR) for study purposes costs €175*.

*These fees are valid as of 1 February 2019 and are subject to change.

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). Please keep in mind that the application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks, so please make sure you upload your documents in time!

N.B. While we have to submit the application to the IND, it is at all times your own responsibility to complete the procedure before the deadline and to provide documents that are correct. Please also note that VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee that a residence permit is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline as sketched under the section TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your residence permit will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

STRICT REQUIREMENTS OF THE IND

As an educational institution, we need to apply for residence permits for study purposes on behalf of all our non-EU students. 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!

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 and need to follow the Residence permit (VVR) procedure above.

HOW TO APPLY

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa/residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2019-2020 will open in VUnet 1 April 2019. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a visa and/or residence permit before 1 April 2019; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

In order to apply for a visa and a residence permit, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Confirm your participation in VUnet

The visa section in VUnet will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in VUnet in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our manual should you need help with this. This manual also contains information with regards to the visa application procedure in VUnet.

Step 2: Upload the required documents in VUnet

Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of VUnet. Here you can upload all required documents. The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months.
  • Antecedents certificate signed by hand. Please sign the form with the place and date of signing. Please do not fill in your place and date of birth!
  • TB Statement. It depends on your nationality which form you need to submit. Please note that you do not have yourself tested in your home country, but the test takes place in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam will make appointments for the TB test prior to the Arrival Days.
  • Proof of financial means. In this manual you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means. Important: it is obligatory for students from Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Nepal and Pakistan to transfer the proof of financial means to VU Amsterdam (option 6).
  • 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. Therefore please check before you submit your answer in VUnet. Please note it is not possible to change the choice of Embassy or Consulate once the application has been submitted to the IND.
  • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the visa application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VUnet. You can use this checklist to double check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so. N.B. your documents cannot be older than 2 months. Additionally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator. Finally, please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

Step 3: Pay the visa fee

Student need to pay for their visa and residence permit by using the online payment tool in VUnet. We need to have received the fee before we can submit the application. The costs are specified as follows:

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

*These fees are valid as of 1 February 2019 and are subject to change.

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 visa and 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). Please keep in mind that the application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks, so please make sure you upload your documents in time!

N.B. While we have to submit the application to the IND, it is at all times your own responsibility to complete the procedure before the deadline and to provide documents that are correct. Please also note that VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee that a visa is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline as sketched under the section TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND and the Dutch Embassy/Consulate to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your visa will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all visa applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

STRICT REQUIREMENTS OF THE IND

As an educational institution, we need to apply for residence permits for study purposes on behalf of all our non-EU students. 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!

The deadline for completing the residence permit procedure is 1 June (first semester) and 1 December (second semester). Please keep in mind that the application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks, so please make sure you upload your documents in time!

N.B. While we have to submit the application to the IND, it is at all times your own responsibility to complete the procedure before the deadline and to provide documents that are correct. Please also note that VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee that a visa/residence permit is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline under the section TIMELINE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND and the Dutch Embassy/Consulate to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your visa/residence permit will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

SPECIAL NOTE TO CITIZENS FROM BANGLADESH, CAMEROON, NEPAL AND PAKISTAN

The IND checks the applications of citizens from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal and Pakistan 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 may take three months to make their decision when you are a citizen from Bangladesh, Cameroon, 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 Dutch residence permit for some other purpose (for example for employment, stay with family member or au pair) but wish to change to a residence permit for study purposes, then please follow the procedure below. If you do not wish to change to purpose of your residence permit, please upload a copy of your current residence permit (front and back side) in VUnet so your residence permit can be verified by the Student Administration.

HOW TO APPLY

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. N.B. the visa/residence permit application procedure for the academic year 2019-2020 will open in VUnet 1 April 2019. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a residence permit before 1 April 2019; documents submitted before this date will have to be rejected!

In order to apply for a residence permit, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Confirm your participation in VUnet

The visa section in VUnet will only open once you confirmed your participation in the study programme. You have to confirm your participation in VUnet in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section. Please have a look at our manual should you need help with this. This manual also contains information with regards to the visa application procedure in VUnet.

Step 2: Upload the required documents in VUnet

Now that you confirmed your participation, the visa section will become available in the COMPLETE APPLICATION section of VUnet. Here you can upload all required documents. The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months.
  • Copy of your current Dutch residence permit (front and back side).
  • Antecedents certificate signed by hand. Please sign the form with the place and date of signing. Please do not fill in your place and date of birth!
  • Proof of financial means. In this manual you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means.
  • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the visa application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VUnet. You can use this checklist to double check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so. N.B. your documents cannot be older than 2 months. Additionally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator. Finally, please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

Step 3: Pay the visa fee

Students need to pay for their residence permit by using the online payment tool in VUnet. We need to have received the fee before we can submit the application. The costs are specified as follows:

  • Change of purpose costs €250*.

*These fees are valid as of 1 February 2019 and are subject to change.

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). Please keep in mind that the application procedure takes approximately 6 to 9 weeks, so please make sure you upload your documents in time!

N.B. While we have to submit the application to the IND, it is at all times your own responsibility to complete the procedure before the deadline and to provide documents that are correct. Please also note that VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee that a residence permit is granted by a certain date, or at all. The timeline as sketched under the section INTRODUCTION: TYPES OF IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE depends on how quickly you correctly submit your documents, and the time it takes for the IND to process your application. As a result, VU Amsterdam can never guarantee that your residence permit will be approved by a certain date. The procedure cannot be expedited as all applications are already submitted using the priority procedure for students.

In case you currently hold a valid residence permit for study purposes but you wish to switch from your current university to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we will need to submit a so-called Change of Sponsor application to the IND. This means that we will take over your residence permit from your university or university of applied sciences, which means that we will become your legal sponsor. In order for us to apply for this, you need to upload some documents in VUnet.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months.
  • Copy of your current Dutch residence permit (front and back side).
  • Antecedents certificate signed by hand. Please sign the form with the place and date of signing. Please do not fill in your place and date of birth!
  • Proof of financial means. In this manual you will find detailed information and the requirements concerning the proof of financial means.
  • Finally, your International Student Advisor needs to have verified your English language test results before we can submit the visa application to the IND. Therefore please make sure that your English test results are received by VU Amsterdam before 1 June as well.

The documents do need to meet some strict requirements so please make sure that they do before you upload them in VUnet. You can use this checklist to double check that your documents are correct. We strongly recommend that you do so. N.B. your documents cannot be older than 2 months. Additionally, we can only accept documents in English. Documents in any other language will have to be translated into English by an official and certified translator. Finally, please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

VISA FEE

When your residence permit does not need to be extended, the procedure is free of charge which means you do not have to pay any visa fees to us. However, if your residence permit needs to be extended as well you will need to pay a visa fee of €175.

When you wish to bring your partner and/or child(ren), please send the required documents for their applications by e-mail to studentimmigration@vu.nl. Please note that we do give priority to the applications of our regular students in peak season. This means that it may take longer for us review the documents of your family members.

It is also important to note that your partner is not allowed to work at all with the residence permit they will receive. Finally, the priority procedure is not applicable to family members. This means that the IND legally has 3 months to make their decision and this process cannot be expedited.

In order to apply on behalf of your partner and/or children, we need the following documents as PDF files:

  • 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 the 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 €1745,07 per month;
  • One appendix Authorization and sponsorship declaration completed by you. With this you authorize Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your family members on your behalf;
  • Appendix Declaration by sponsor one for every family member signed by you;
  • Copy of your marriage certificate, legalized and translated by a sworn translator into Dutch or English;
  • Copy of thebirth 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:

  • '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.

Unfortunately it is not possible to use the online payment tool to pay for the visa fee of your family members. Please be so kind as to transfer the visa fee(s) to:

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) and mention that the visa fee is for family members. When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant.

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. In short, all students with a residence permit for study purposes 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 you have to obtain at least 30 ECTS per year. In a nutshell, Satisfactory Academic Progress boils down to the following:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress entails that you need to complete 30 ECTS in each academic year. The deadline for obtaining these credits is 23 August. The International Office will perform several checks throughout the year to update you on your progress.
  • If you did not obtain 30 ECTS by 23 August, you are only allowed to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam when an Academic Advisor has informed us that you have an excusable reason. Below you will find what is defined as an excusable reason.
  • When you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress and you do not have an excusable reason, 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.
  • N.B. We only count the credits of courses that are an obligatory part of the curriculum; extracurricular courses do not count towards your Satisfactory Academic Progress.

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. Please do not wait until May or June to visit the Academic Advisor, but make an appointment as soon as possible. This is especially paramount when personal circumstances are the reason for not obtaining the required number of credits. It may be the case that you have an excusable reason. 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, or if you are missing grades. 

Important note: you can only use the same excusable reason once. For example: You did not pass enough credits in year one because of illness. In the second year you also did not pass enough credits. In the second year you cannot use illness again as an excusable reason.

If you already contacted your Academic Advisor and they assessed that you have an excusable reason, 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.

INFORMATION FOR PRE-MASTER STUDENTS

Please note that the above is not applicable when you are enrolled in a Pre-Master; you will need to obtain all credits of the Pre-Master, otherwise we have to deregister you with the IND and you cannot continue your studies at VU Amsterdam.

TIMELINE

February - First checkEach 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. It is normal for most students to 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 to help you with a study plan. When you expect to obtain the required credits, there is of course nothing to worry about.
May - Second checkIn May the International Office will again check your study results. 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 until AugustYou are advised to consult your Academic Advisor about possible reasons for not passing all courses. 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.
23 August - Final CheckOn 23 August we will perform a final check and we will inform you by e-mail about your study progress. In case you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress and we did not receive a confirmation from your Academic Advisor that you have an excusable reason, 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
Answers to specific questions can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

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). 

HOW TO APPLY

Situation 1:
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. The visa fee is €175.

Situation 2 and 3:
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-mails 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). 

You can pay the visa fee using the online payment tool in VUnet. Alternatively, you can 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 - this may take up to 90 days. 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.

N.B.:
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 proof of financial means. In this case, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds at your disposal (€900 per month + tuition fees).

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. If you are not properly registered with a municipality, the IND will not process your application and may even decline it.

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.

The Dutch “Modern Migration Policy Act” allows Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your visa and/or residence permit. With this right also come certain responsibilities such as the Satisfactory Academic Progress check and the annual proof of financial means check. VU Amsterdam is 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. You will be informed by e-mail when the check is due.
Students who completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree in the Netherlands are eligible to apply for a so-called Orientation Year Residence Permit. You need to apply for this residence permit yourself. All relevant information and the application form can be found on the website of the IND.

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.

Should the unfortunate occassion occur that you loose your residence permit or that it gets stolen, you need to report this to the police and you also need to apply for a new residence permit card at the IND as soon as possible. More information about the procedure can be found on the website of the IND. It is also advisable to make a copy of both your passport and residence permit and to store it online in a cloud such as Dropbox or Google Drive, for example.

Please have a look at this sheet for the answers to Frequently Asked Questions and a list of terminology.

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

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