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Education Exchange Visa and immigration

After arrival

After you have arrived in the Netherlands, there are a number of important things to arrange. Please see the sections below for more information regarding the various parts of the immigration procedure.

Residence permit card IND

As soon as your residence permit is ready, the IND will contact the ISD about this. The ISD will then inform you to collect your residence permit card.

The IND will come to Groningen a few times per semester to issue residence permits. If your residence permit card is ready, you will receive an invitation for this day to collect it. If you have not received a status update from us yet, please do not contact us, we will update you as soon as possible.

If you are unable to attend this day or if your residence permit is not ready yet, you can pick up your residence permit card at the IND in Zwolle. You will have to make an appointment for this.

Biometrics needed

If you still have to leave your biometrics, you have to visit one of the IND desks as soon as possible. You will have to make an appointment for this.

It usually takes the IND 10 working days to produce your residence permit card after you have left your biometrics. You will receive an email from us when your residence permit card is ready.

Register at the municipality of Groningen

If you are going to live and study in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you need to register in the Personal Records Database (BRP) of the municipality. It is not a problem if you cannot register within the first five days after your arrival, but we do advise you to do this as soon as possible. You need to register with the BRP in order to obtain a Citizen Service number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN). You need this number to apply for different services in the Netherlands, for example for opening a Dutch bank account, arranging Dutch health insurance or for getting a DigiD. You will receive your BSN immediately at the office. If you leave the Netherlands again, you must deregister.

You should make an appointment with the municipality via their website. Please visit the website of your municipality for more information how to register (for Groningen or Leeuwarden).

What do you need to bring?

  • Your passport
  • A copy of the approval letter or your residence permit card. You can find the approval letter attached to our email to you with the subject: University of Groningen - ISD: Approval mvv and residence permit or University of Groningen - ISD: Approval residence permit approval
  • 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.

Please note that you do not have to bring your birth certificate.

Opening a Dutch bank account + refund sufficient funds

If you are not a member of an EU/EEA country that uses the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) system, the advice is to open a (Dutch) bank account (IBAN) to manage your day-to-day finances during your stay in the Netherlands. On our webpage you can find more information about opening a bank account. At most Dutch banks you need to have a BSN in order to open a bank account. You can choose a bank of your preference.

Refund sufficient funds

If you have transferred sufficient funds to the ISD regarding your residence permit application you will receive a personal link to start the refund procedure. Depending on the starting date, you will receive an email from us in the first week of September or February.

Please keep in mind that it will take approximately two weeks for your money to be refunded to your Dutch (IBAN) bank account. Make sure that you have enough money with you for the first weeks/month in the Netherlands.

Health insurance

It is mandatory for international students residing in the Netherlands to have health insurance. International students are not automatically insured, so they must arrange their own health insurance. Please visit our website to find out how to arrange your insurance. We advise students to arrange the insurance before entering the Netherlands.

For the September 2022 intake, AON Insurance organised a number of webinars. You can register for these via the AON website. Please note that this does not go via the UG.

Tuberculosis examination (TB)

As part of the immigration procedure, some nationalities have to undergo a TB examination within 3 months of your arrival in the Netherlands. This is a minor and non-invasive examination, which consists of taking an x-ray of your lungs.

If your nationality is stated on this list, you do not need to undergo the examination. The ISD will inform you how to make an appointment for the TB examination at the GGD (Dutch Health Services).

COVID-19 and the Netherlands

To find the most recent information on COVID-19 and the measures taken in the Netherlands, please visit the following recommended websites:

Please make sure that you check before you travel what you need to do. At you can find a checklist for entering the Netherlands.

Having an approval letter on a visa and/or residence permit application does not guarantee that you will actually be allowed to travel. It is up to the airport and/or airline whether all bans have been lifted for safe travel.

Basic rules

Follow the basic rules during your stay in the Netherlands to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These basic rules also apply even if you have been vaccinated.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly;
  • Stay 1.5 metres away from other people;
  • If you have symptoms that suggest you may have COVID-19, remain inside wherever you are staying and arrange to be tested. Call 0800-1202 or +31 850 659 063 to arrange an appointment.
Checklist: sort out after arrival

* = applicable for all students

  • Get to know the Dutch measurements for COVID-19 *
  • Go into self-quarantine
  • Arrange health insurance *
  • Register at Municipality *
  • Biometrics for residence permit card
  • Collect your residence permit card *
  • Open a bank account
  • Submit a reclaim form, get the refund of sufficient funds
  • Make an appointment for a TB-test

With a DigiD (Digital Identification) account you can identify yourself when you arrange matters online. Having a DigiD will give you access to many services and government websites in the Netherlands. More information about DigiD can be found on this website.

Are there still uncertainties after reading the above information? Check whether your question and answer can be found on our FAQ Immigration page. Otherwise, fill in the contact form and we will be happy to help you.

Last modified:13 October 2022 1.29 p.m.