The Netherlands - Visa & Residence Permit Guidelines
What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?
- A visa is a legal document from immigration authorities which shows you have permission to enter the country for a certain amount of time. In the case of The Netherlands, a visa permits foreigners to enter the country for 90 days on a visa.
- A residence permit allows foreigners to remain in the Netherlands for a specified purpose (in this case, to study) for a prescribed period of time which exceeds that of a standard 90-day visa. US passport holders to not need a visa to enter The Netherlands, but must obtain a residence permit in order to study in The Netherlands past 90 days.
Is a Visa Required for US Citizens?
- No! US Passport Holders are NOT required to apply for a visa in order to enter the Netherlands
- If you are not a US passport holder, you can click here to see if you need a visa to enter The Netherlands based on your nationality.
- Yes! An application for a residence is required for US passport holders who are studying abroad at a Dutch higher education institution.
- This process must happen BEFORE you arrive in the Netherlands but AFTER you have been formally admitted into the Dutch University or College because proof of acceptance into a Dutch University of College is required in order to obtain a study residence permit.
All Dutch Universities and Colleges will process the application for a residence permit for the purposes of study on your behalf. Therefore, you will not need to contact the Immigration and Naturalization Department (IND) yourself.
Each Dutch University has their own procedures so please visit the Visa/Resident permit section of your host institution’s exchange student website as listed below:
University of Amsterdam (including Amsterdam University College)
University College Utrecht
University College Maastricht
Please note that these universities will provide detailed information regarding the visa/residence permit application process once you have been admitted.
List of requirements
- A valid passport
- Residence Permit Fee: €175- €300 (depends on University and is paid to university)
- Proof of Admission in University (commonly referred to as “Antecedents Certificate”)
- Proof of health and liability insurance coverage
- Proof of funds - Usually at least €900 per month minimum (in bank statements with your name on it and/or scholarship and loan letter from financial aid)
You will submit payment and all required documentation to your exchange host admission office once after you have been admitted. They will prompt you to begin this process via e-mail and will typically send instructions on the process. Please be sure you have your host university’s email in your saved accounts and check your spam folders for any important correspondence.
Once the Admissions Office has received all your documents and fees, they will submit your residence permit application to the Dutch Immigration Department (IND). The application procedure usually takes four to six weeks.
Within two weeks of your arrival in the Netherlands you are required to visit your nearest IND office to have your fingerprints and digital photo taken. After your residence permit has been approved and you have visited the IND to have your fingerprints and photo taken, it will take approximately 2 weeks before your residence permit ID card is issued. Your host University will inform you as soon as your card is ready to be collected.
Contacts (Consulate/Embassy/Visa Processing Center)
Please direct all questions to your host institution contact.