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. 

Documents checklist to bring to the municipality:

  • Passport 
  • Proof of address in the Netherlands (e.g. rental contract) 
  • Only for non-EU students: your Dutch residence permit (recommended), your passport with visa stamp (MVV)


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 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 (IND) 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 insurances on the websites of AON.

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

Study Progress Monitor

As a part of the Dutch Immigration Law, VHL is obliged to inform the IND every year about the study progress of non-EU students with a residence permit based on study. This is called the Study Progress Monitor:

A student with a residence permit based on study must complete at least 50% of the study load per academic year. If you do not meet this requirement, the IND can revoke your residence permit, which means you have to return to your home country.

It is possible that you experience some delay in your studies due to outside events that influence your studies. This delay may be caused by several reasons indicated below. In case you think that you have an excusable reason, please inform the student counselor as soon as possible.

Examples of excusable reasons for insufficient study progress could be:

· Illness or pregnancy.
· Physical, sensory or other functional disorders.
· Exceptional family circumstances.
· Board membership which is approved by VHL

If you report your reasons to the student counselor, they will inform the Education Department which will decide whether this can be considered an excusable reason. If they accept the excusable reason, then as an exception, VHL will not notify the IND of the lack of progress. Please note that each reason can be used only once.

VHLs will check several times how many credits you have obtained. In October the final check is made and the student will be informed on the study progress result of the previous academic year. The IND will only be notified about students who didn’t meet the requirements of the previous academic year. The IND will cancel these residence permits and the student needs to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible.

If your marks are not registered in time, then you will not receive credits for the course. This may have serious consequences for not meeting the requirements for the study progress monitor.