What do you have to do after your arrival in the Netherlands?

Register at the local municipality

EU as well as non-EU students have to register at the local municipality within five days of their arrival. The documents that are necessary for your registration can differ per municipality and per country of origin. Please bear in mind that you might need to arrange some documents before you leave for the Netherlands.

Documents checklist:

  • Passport – mandatory
  • Proof of address in the Netherlands (e.g. rental contract) - mandatory
  • Birth certificate – optional, depending on the municipality
  • Possible other documents, please see the information for EU / non EU students below

In certain cases, Dutch municipalities may ask international students to bring an original and legalised copy of their birth certificate, especially in case you intend to stay in the Netherlands for more than one year. If your birth certificate is not issued in Dutch, English, French or German, you will also need to bring a sworn translation thereof.

If your home country has signed the Apostille Treaty, you will have to get an Apostille for your birth certificate from the designated authority in your country. Please check whether your country is on the list of treaty signatories. If your country has not signed the Apostille Treaty, we recommend you to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country where the birth certificate was issued. You can also check the information on the website of the Dutch embassy in your country or the website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

European (EU/EEA) students

Visa and Temporary Residence Permit

Citizens from the following countries do not have to obtain a visa to enter the Netherlands and do not need a temporary residence permit:

  • European Union
  • European Free Trade Association countries
  • for more countries, see student visa wizard

Non-European (Non-EU) students


Citizens of non-EU countries who would like to stay in the Netherlands for a period longer than 3 months have to obtain a visa to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit. VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) University of Applied Sciences will apply for a visa on your behalf; students should not start procedures themselves as this will delay the process. The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service will assess your application for a residence permit and inform you about the decision within approximately three weeks.

You will need to supply us with the following documents:

  • Copy of a valid passport (all pages with stamps)
  • Filled and signed Antecedents form
  • Chinese students also need to obtain a Nuffic certificate (formerly NESO certificate)
  • Proof of insurance *

*VHL will arrange a student insurance for you; if you already have a private insurance that will cover your medical expenses during your stay, please provide us with a proof of your insurance. Every student needs to hold a valid insurance while staying in the Netherlands.

We will only start the visa procedure when your application (including payment of tuition fees, insurance fees , visa fees and IND norm if applicable) is complete. Please check the deadlines section for the enrolment fees payment deadline.

To obtain a residence permit, most non-EU students must be prepared to undertake a tuberculosis test and – if  necessary – treatment. VHL staff members will arrange your Xray appointments within 3 months of arrival and assist you with this procedure.

Please read more information about visa in the folder of IND.

Study Progress Monitoring

VHL University is obliged to inform the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) about the study progress of the student holding residence permit based on study. This is called the Study Progress Monitor.

A student from outside the EU must complete at least 50% of the study load per academic year. You must obtain at least 30 credits each academic year (before 1 September) since each year has a study load of 60 credits. Otherwise, VHL is required by Dutch Law to report this to the IND. In that case, your residence permit will be cancelled by the IND and you have to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible. Only if the student can show an excusable reason an exemption can be made to this rule. These are:

  • illness or pregnancy
  • physical, sensory or other functional disorders
  • exceptional family circumstances
  • board duties
  • the inability to study

In case you think that you have an excusable reason, please inform your study advisor and the student dean as soon as possible. The student dean will inform the Examination Board who will decide whether this can be considered an excusable reason. If they accept the excusable reason, then as an exception, VHL University will not notify the IND of the lack of progress of this student.

Please read more information about insurances on the websites of AON.