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FAQ immigration

General

Do I need a visa and/or a residence permit?

This will depend on your nationality and if the duration of your stay is more than 90 days.

- You do not need an entry visa (MVV) or Dutch residence permit if you have the nationality of one of the European Union countries or of Switzerland.

- You do not need an MVV, but you do need a Dutch residence permit if you have one of the following nationalities: American (USA), Australian, British, Canadian, Japanese, Monegasque, New Zealand, South Korean, Vatican (City).

- You need an MVV and Dutch residence permit if you do not have one of the above mentioned nationalities.

If you have a residence permit card for one of the Schengen countries, then you do not need an MVV. However, you will need a Dutch residence permit if your stay is more than 90 days. Please make sure that your residence permit card is valid at least at the starting date of your study programme at the University of Groningen starts.

What is a visa (MVV)?

The MVV is a long-term multiple entry visa, which is issued in the form of a sticker in your passport. The MVV allows someone to enter the Netherlands. An MVV is valid for 90 days.

The MVV is always issued in combination with a residence permit. In the Netherlands only universities can apply for this combination of MVV and residence permit on behalf of their students at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

The IND will inform the Immigration Service Desk (ISD) and Dutch Embassy in your home country once your application is approved. The ISD will notify you of this via email. You will then have to arrange an appointment with the Dutch Embassy or Consulate General in your home country to pick up the MVV.

How can I apply for my residence permit?

The University of Groningen helps students who have been admitted (or provisionally admitted) to a degree or an exchange programme to apply for a residence permit. Under Dutch law, students cannot apply for a residence permit individually.

The residence permit allows a foreigner to live in the Netherlands for a period longer than 90 days. It is issued in the form of a card for the purpose of 'study'.

Upon arrival in the Netherlands you first need to go to an Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) Desk to give your biometric information (fingerprints, passport photo and signature) in order for the IND to be able to make your residence permit and determine your identity. If you require an mvv, you have provided your biometric information at the Dutch embassy or consulate general in your home country when you have picked up your mvv.

After approval of the application and receival of your biometric information, the IND will produce your residence permit card. The ISD will inform you when your residence permit card is ready and how and where to collect it.

I already have a Dutch residence permit, what should I do?

Change of purpose:

If you have a Dutch residence permit with a purpose other than ‘study’ (in Dutch: studie), you will find the information on how to proceed in the Immigration Procedure Form. A link to this form will be sent to you.

Change of guarantor:

If you have a Dutch residence permit with a purpose of ‘study’ (in Dutch: studie), you will find the information on how to proceed in the Immigration Procedure Form. A link to this form will be sent to you.

What is the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)?

The IND is the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service and is part of the Ministry of Security and Justice.

The IND assesses all visa and residence permit applications from foreign nationals who want to live in the Netherlands or want to become Dutch citizens. The Dutch law does not allow students to apply for a study residence permit themselves. That is why the University of Groningen will contact the IND on your behalf to arrange your visa and/or residence permit application.

What is intra EU-mobility?

In some cases, it is possible to study in the Netherlands within the context of intra EU-mobility.

This applies if you are already following a study programme at another university in Europe and if you have a residence permit for that country with the purpose of study. In the case of intra-EU mobility, you can follow a part of your studies in the Netherlands for a minimum of 90 days and for a maximum of 360 days.

For more information about intra EU-mobility, please check our website and/or the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

First application procedure

How do I apply for a visa and/or residence permit for the Netherlands?

The University of Groningen helps students who have been admitted (or provisionally admitted) to a degree or an exchange programme to apply for a residence permit. Under Dutch law, students cannot apply for a residence permit individually.

Students will be automatically notified by the ISD via email with an immigration procedure form explaining the steps that need to be followed.

When will the ISD start my visa and/or residence permit application?

After you are accepted for your exchange programme or you are conditionally, provisionally or unconditionally admitted to your degree programme, you will be informed via email about the next steps of your visa and/or residence permit application.

The actual visa and residence permit application will start about three months prior to your arrival date in order for your entry visa to remain valid until that date.

Please be informed that your application can be withdrawn when you do not meet the visa and/or residence permit application deadline. The Immigration Service Desk needs to receive your application before the application deadline in order to make sure that your visa and/or residence permit are ready before the start of your programme. This is necessary to finalize your enrolment.

How does the visa/residence permit application procedure look like?

In the immigration package that you will receive, you will find all the necessary information regarding your immigration steps. We will guide you through the process step by step.

Once you have completed all the required steps we will submit your application to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). If the IND has made a decision on your application, we will let you know by email.

If your application has been approved, you will be asked to make an appointment with the Dutch embassy or consulate general in your home country to pick up your visa (mvv). If a visa is not necessary in your case, you will be able to travel to the Netherlands.

Please be informed that your application can be withdrawn when you do not meet the visa and/or residence permit application deadline. The Immigration Service Desk needs to receive your application before the application deadline in order to make sure that your visa and/or residence permit are ready before the start of your programme. This is necessary to finalize your enrolment.

How can I upload my documents?

In the immigration package that you will receive, you will find a link to the online Application form. This form can only be filled in via the University of Groningen website.

Please make sure that you have transferred the correct amount to the bank account of the University of Groningen. It is advisable to add a copy of your transfer receipt to speed up the process

Documents to submit:

  • the antecedents certificate: make sure the signature matches the signature on your passport and is written by hand (digital signatures will not be accepted)
  • your passport: make sure that you include all pages with personal details, signature of bearer/holder and all pages with stamps and visas. Your passport should be valid for more than 6 months after the starting date of your programme.

The scans of all documents must meet the following requirements:

  • in colour and of good quality
  • PDF format
  • altogether should not extend 20 MB
  • no fingers/hands visible on the scans
How long will it take to process my application?

You will receive a confirmation email as soon you have uploaded your documents and submitted your application form. Please check your email, as it could have gone to your junk mail.

It will take approximately 10 working days for the Immigration Service Desk (ISD) to submit your application to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). We will let you know via email if your application is complete or if we still need more information.

I was not able to arrange all documents yet, can I upload my documents anyway? (Incomplete application)

The ISD needs to receive complete applications (all applicable documents and the necessary transfer) before they can apply for your visa and/or residence permit application.

When you received an email from us stating your application is incomplete, you should upload or transfer the remaining amount as soon as possible. We cannot apply at the IND if your application does not yet meet the requirements.

First application procedure - Finances

What amount of money do I need to take into account when I apply for a visa/residence permit?

The total amount that you need to transfer to the ISD, consists of:

  • The application fees from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
  • The sufficient funds
  • The tuition fees of your degree programme

You can find the current amount of the tuition fees of your study programme on the website of the University of Groningen. The amounts of the application fees and the amount of sufficient funds are set by the IND and are subject to change. Please check your immigration package for the applicable amounts.

What is meant by proof of sufficient funds?

In order to submit your application, you will have to make a transfer to the University of Groningen. One of the amounts is the proof of sufficient funds, which is a requirement from the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service).

For the application for a visa and/or residence permit you have to show you have sufficient money to live and study in the Netherlands.‚ÄčThe amount you need to have, is called the study norm.

The study norm is currently EUR 1,000.00 per month. Sufficient funds should correspond with the duration of your programme (with a maximum of 12 months equals EUR 12,000.00, also if you enrol for a programme of more than one year). The amount does not include tuition fees.

Degree student: EUR 12,000.00

Exchange student 1 semester: EUR 5,000.00

Exchange student 2 semesters EUR 10,000.00

The ISD will refund your money once you arrive in the Netherlands and after you have opened a Dutch bank account.

Why do I have to prove financial means?

According to Dutch law, non-EU students are required to provide proof of sufficient funds if they wish to live and study in the Netherlands.

How can I prove my financial means?

You can provide proof of sufficient funds by:

  • transferring the funds into the University of Groningen bank account; and/or
  • sending us a scan of your scholarship letter; and/or
  • sending us a scan of your loan letter.

Unfortunately the board of the UG has decided that the UG will no longer accept any bank documents as financial proof for immigration applications.

I have a scholarship and/or loan, do I still need to make a transfer to the UG?

If you receive a scholarship or loan letter that (partially) covers your sufficient funds and/or tuition fees, then you must send us a scan of your scholarship letter or a statement from the loan supplier as proof of income. Please make sure that if you receive a scholarship or a loan, the payment of the tuition fees should be transferred to the Central Student Administration (CSA) department before the start date of your degree programme.

If your scholarship or loan does not cover the full amount of sufficient funds and/or tuition fees, then you must also transfer the (remaining) amount to meet the financial requirements. Please check our website for the criteria a scholarship letter and loan letter must meet. You always have to transfer the application fee.

What do I need to know if I have to do a bank transfer?

For international bank transfers, the bank will sometimes charge a transfer fee. Please be aware that all additional fees that the bank may charge for the international bank transfer must be covered by yourself. It is advisable to check in advance with your bank how much they charge for an international transfer. Every bank transfer should include a payment reference to match the transfer to your application. For this you should always include your student number and surname.

Be advised that transfers should not be made through Earthport, as they do not add any references and thus remove any link to the sender of the transfer. We will not be able to match your transfer to you if you transfer via Earthport and your money transfer might be lost.

What will happen to the transfers that I have made?

We will make sure that the application fees are paid to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

As soon as you have arrived in the Netherlands and opened a (IBAN) bank account, you can submit your online reclaim form for the refund of the sufficient funds you transferred. The ISD will send you a personal link to the online form soon after your arrival.

After arrival

Do I need to register at the municipality?

Anyone staying in the Netherlands for four months or longer must register with the municipality in order to be registered at the Personal Records Database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen, BRP).

Students who will live in Groningen, will receive a link to the appointment system of the municipality from the ISD to register. If you are going to live in another municipality, please check with the municipality of that city how to register.

Help, I cannot make an appointment with the municipality within 5 days

Don't worry! The Municipality opens new slots on a daily basis when they know it is a busy period. So please keep an eye on their appointment system.

What do I need to bring to register at the municipality?

You need to bring the following documents for your registration at the municipality:

  • Valid passport
  • A valid residence permit or proof you have applied for one (sticker or the approval letter from the IND)
  • A rental contract or a written permission form of an adult current resident when registering. If you do not have your own address but are staying with a friend or in a hotel, please bring a written permission form from a co-occupant or owner of the property or hotel. You can find the permission form and more information on the website of the municipality of Groningen.
What is a burgerservicenummer (BSN)?

The citizen service number (burgerservicenummer (BSN) is a unique personal number allocated to everyone registered at the municipality in the Personal Records Database (BRP). Everyone who registers with the BRP is automatically given a BSN. You might also need the BSN to open a Dutch bank account.

Do I need to open a Dutch bank account after my arrival?

In the Netherlands, it is most common to pay by debit card or cash. Therefore, we advise you to open a Dutch bank account after your arrival in the Netherlands. If you are due to receive your sufficient funds from us, it is easier to deposit it into your Dutch bank account.

How can I open a Dutch bank account?

On the website of the University of Groningen you can find information on how to open a Dutch bank account. You will also find a list with several Dutch banks that we have contacted. Each bank specifies what the requirements are to open a bank account.

Do I need to have a BSN in order to open a Dutch bank account?

For most Dutch banks you need a BSN to open a bank account. However, there are some (online) banks where you can open a Dutch bank account without a BSN, such as N26 and Bunq. For more information, please check our website.

How can I get my sufficient funds back?

As soon as you have arrived in the Netherlands and opened a (IBAN) bank account, you can submit your online reclaim form for the refund of the sufficient funds you transferred. The ISD will send you a link to the online form soon after your arrival.

Please ensure that you are financially covered during the first few months in the Netherlands, as the refund procedure may take a couple of weeks. You take extra cash or a credit card to make sure you can pay for the first essentials.

We will also refund the tuition fees and sufficient funds if you are not able to attend the University of Groningen. If we have already applied for your visa we cannot refund the application fees. Please note that you will have to let us know as soon as possible but before the start date of your degree programme.

Is my residence permit card ready?

The Immigration Service Desk (ISD) will keep you informed about the status of your residence permit card. In busy periods, e.g. at the start of a new semester, we will send lists of students to the IND to check whether the residence permit cards are ready. We will inform all students with their status. Please bear in mind that this is a time-consuming procedure, but we will get to you. If you have not heard anything from us after your arrival, please contact the ISD. We can check whether your card is ready and inform you when and where you can collect it.

Keep in mind that obtaining this information may take a few working days. If you need to know as soon as possible, please contact the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) by phone: +31 88 043 0430. In order for the IND call center to be able to help, you will need to have your V-number ready.

Do I need healthcare insurance?

It depends on your nationality and situation whether or not you need (additional) health insurance. Check our website for more detailed information.

Study progress monitoring (MoMi)

What does MoMi mean to me?

During the academic year the ISD will inform you about your study progress and the monitoring of your ECTS. It is important not to ignore those emails and take action when needed. If you do not take any action, for example filling in the webtool, you might lose your residence permit. In the emails it will stipulate the timeline. Please read all the emails carefully. You receive the emails on your student UG email account and the email account you are registered with.

You can find more information on: www.rug.nl/sp/momi

What should I do if I obtained too few ECTS?

According to the Modern Migration Policy (MoMi), non-EU students with a residence permit for the purpose study will need to obtain at least 50% of the statutory number of ECTS per academic year in order to keep their residence permit for the next academic year.

Please take action if you feel you are not going to obtain the ECTS required this academic year. You can find more information on: www.rug.nl/sp/momi

Where can I find the webtool?

Do you experience (or have you experienced) an extraordinary circumstances, and are you expecting not to fulfill the MoMi-requirement before the end of the academic year because of it? Please apply for an exemption by filling in our MoMi-webtool between 1 March and 31 August.

In the webtool, you first need to answer some questions, after which you will receive information about your personal ECTS-requirement. Then continue by filling in the webtool to actually apply for the exemption. You need to include physical proof of the situation during the application process.

Other

How do I legalise documents?

If you need to legalise foreign documents for use in the Netherlands, such as a birth or marriage certificate, you must start up this process while you are still abroad, as it can be quite costly and time consuming.

More information

To find out how to legalise documents from your country, please consult this country overview on the website of the Netherlands worldwide.

I am currently in the Netherlands on a short stay visa. Can I get a residence permit?

A short stay visa never allows you to apply for a residence permit directly. If you need a residence permit, you will need to apply for both an mvv (long-term multiple entry visa) and residence permit while you are still abroad. This application will be handled on your behalf by the Immigration Service Desk (ISD) of the University of Groningen.

Can I travel within and outside Europe (EU/EEA) with a Dutch residence permit for study purposes?

If you have a valid Dutch study residence permit, you can travel within the EU/EEA. However, make sure your permit is still valid whilst you are travelling. If this is not the case, please extend your residence permit on time.

If you are waiting for a (new) residence permit card and you do not currently have a valid residence permit card, you cannot travel out of and return to the Netherlands unless you have a return visa in your passport.

The only exception to this rule is if you have an mvv (long-term multiple entry visa) in your passport that is still valid. The mvv serves as a temporary residence permit, and will allow you to re-enter the Netherlands. You can find the validity dates at the top of your mvv sticker.

Can I travel abroad without a residence permit card?

If you are waiting for a (new) residence permit card and you do not currently have a valid residence permit card, you cannot travel out of and back into the Netherlands unless you have a return visa in your passport.

The only exception to this rule is if you have an mvv in your passport that is still valid. The mvv serves as a temporary residence permit, and will allow you to re-enter the Netherlands. You can find the validity date at the top of your mvv sticker.

What do I need to do if my residence permit card has been stolen, broken, or holds incorrect details?

If you need to replace your residence permit card, you will have to file for a replacement application with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Please note that if you need to receive a new residence permit card because some of your personal details are incorrect, you must first make sure your details are correctly registered at the municipality, as the IND consults the same database and cannot change details themselves.

Am I allowed to work next to my study?

When you have a valid residence permit for study, you are allowed to work a maximum of 16 hours per week or full time during the summer months (June, July and August).

Your employer is required to apply for a work permit for you. Please note that when you work in the Netherlands it is mandatory to arrange basic healthcare insurance.

I have applied for the Working Holiday Scheme/Program, what should I do?

If you are from Argentina, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Korea and you have applied for the Working Holiday Program (WHP) / Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) please contact the Immigration Service Desk via the contact form.

I received a letter from CAK or SVB. What should I do?

You received a letter from CAK regarding your healthcare insurance.

You need to take action as soon as possible or at least within 3 months or you will receive a fine of more than EUR 400. Even if you incorrectly received the letter from the CAK. Please make scans of all the letters you received, and send them to contact us. The Immigration Service Desk (ISD) will then inform you about the next step(s).

Changes

I need to stop with my study programme temporarily / permanently. What are the consequences for my residence permit?

If you have decided to quit your studies and you no longer attend the University of Groningen, the IND will process and terminate your legal stay as soon as possible after your deregistration from the University. You will have to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible.

If you leave the Netherlands, please do not forget to cancel your health insurance, de-register from the Municipality, and close your bank account. Also you must return your residence permit card to the IND. As soon as the ISD has processed your termination, you will receive an email with all the relevant information on how to return your residence permit card.

If you wish to stay here for any other purpose, please contact the IND for the possibilities or check the website of the IND.

I am switching from university in the Netherlands. Is my permit still valid? (Change of guarantor)

If you wish to switch from another university or educational institution to the University of Groningen, the ISD has to notify the IND of your switch. Your residence permit remains valid.

Please inform the ISD and attach a copy of your Dutch residence permit (front and back) so we can process your request.

How do I apply for a permanent residence permit?

If you have 5 years of consecutive legal stay in the Netherlands, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent Dutch residence permit.

This type of application must be submitted by yourself. The University of Groningen (UG) is no longer involved, as we no longer act as your recognised sponsor to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Follow this link to find more information about this residence permit application.

More information

You can find all the information and requirements regarding a permanent residence permit on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

How do I apply for a search year or orientation year residence permit?

If you have obtained a Dutch bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate’s degree, or have graduated within the past 3 years from a university that is listed in the top 200 of the general ranking lists, you may be eligible to apply for a residence permit with the purpose of search year.

This type of application must be submitted by yourself. The University of Groningen is no longer involved, as we no longer act as your recognized sponsor. Please visit the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for all the information and requirements regarding an orientation year.

Extension

How do I extend my residence permit?

Your residence permit card with the purpose of study is linked to your enrolment at the University of Groningen. As long as you are enrolled we can apply for an extension of your permit. Your residence permit card will be extended for the duration of your study programme.

We can apply for an extension with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) 3 months before the expiry date of your current residence permit card. Around that time you will receive an email with more information.

Change of purpose

f you want to change the type of residence permit your have, or if you currently have a residence permit for ‘study’ that was applied for by another university (of applied sciences) or employer, please contact the ISD. Please always make sure that you send along a scan of the front and back of your current residence permit card. The ISD will then be able to inform you accordingly.

When do I get my new residence permit card?

The ISD will receive a notification from the IND that you can collect the new residence permit and will inform you via email.

You will have to make an appointment online at the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. Therefore, please schedule an appointment in time.

I want to travel, but my new residence permit card is not ready. What should I do?

Is your residence permit still valid on the day you return to the Netherlands? It is then OK to travel. You do need to have a valid travel document. For example, a passport. You also have to take your residence permit with you when you travel.

Has your residence permit already expired? Then sometimes a return visa is needed to return to the Netherlands. You have to make an appointment at any IND desk for this.

Last modified:31 March 2023 09.23 a.m.