When you think of the Netherlands, the very first vision that appears in your head is that of scenic harbours and tons of cycles around. Apart from being home to the world-famous Anne Frank museum and the largest port in the world, Holland also has a lot of highly ranked, world-famous universities, such as the TU-Delft, the Maastricht University, the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Leiden University, Erasmus University, etc.

The admission rates of international students in these universities are pretty cut-throat due to the high number of applications received by them every year. However, in order to be able to pursue that prestigious Masters course in any of the above-mentioned universities, it is important to know the process of acquiring a Netherlands student visa and a residence permit. This article aims to give you all the information regarding the process of acquiring a Netherlands student visa which will enable you to go through the entire process in a hassle-free manner.

Netherlands Student Visa Eligibility Criteria

First things first, in order to have a hassle-free visa process, checking your eligibility for the Netherlands student visa is crucial. The Department of Immigration and Naturalisation or the IND is responsible for the processing of a Netherlands student visa application. In order to make it easier for you to apply for the Netherlands student visa, it is important to fulfil the following Netherlands student visa eligibility rules.

  1. The Student must have been personally accepted by a university/university of applied sciences as a student of a full-time programme.
  2. The university/university of applied sciences must be a recognised sponsor. A recognised sponsor is an educational institution that has been listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors.
  3. The student must have an independent, sufficient and sustainable income source.
    In order to continue staying within the Netherlands, a student must obtain at least 50% of the required credits for each year.

List of Documents to be Submitted For a Netherlands Student Visa

Documentation is an important part of any visa process. Students are expected to submit the following documents to their respective universities while applying for a Netherlands student visa.

  1. Completed visa application form
  2. Valid passport
  3. Two photographs
  4. Birth certificate
  5. Academic transcripts
  6. An official letter from the academic institution in the Netherlands
  7. Complete study plan – explain why you are interested in studying the chosen subject area and how and why it is related to your prior studies
  8. Financial proof for the entire period of study (around 870 EUR/month)
  9. Travel and health insurance
  10. Visa application fee (174 EUR)
  11. Photocopies of all the original documents
  12. Tuberculosis test (required for citizens from some countries)
  13. Photocopies of all the original documents
  14. Biometric information 

The Netherlands Student Visa Financial Regulations

In order to be able to obtain a Netherlands student visa, all eligible candidates must adhere to certain financial requirements placed by the IND. Basically, all international students who are planning to study in the Netherlands must fulfil a list of financial obligations in order to be eligible for a residence permit as a student. Here is the complete list of these requirements and how candidates can fulfil them. 

All students who wish to study in Netherland must show the presence of an amount of 897.56 Euros/ month for the entire duration of their studies. This takes the exact cost of living in the Netherlands to 10,770.72 Euros a year which translates to roughly INR 10 Lakhs. So if you plan to attend a two-year course, you’d be required to arrange for double this amount.

  • The Study Norm

The money which a student is expected to possess during their course of study is called a Study Norm. According to the official website of the IND, “a Study Norm is the amount which Dutch students receive as study benefit when they are living in a dorm.” This amount does not include school/college fees. 

In simple words, a Study Norm refers to the living expenses that a student is likely to incur while living in the Netherlands. Students are expected to make arrangements to receive this study norm. For this very reason, they are expected to submit documentation which has proof of the presence of the required amount. The study norm is modified every year on January 1 by the IND.

For the purpose of ensuring that students have a steady flow of funds, the IND requires them to declare the presence of at least one year’s worth of living expenses every year, for the entire duration of their course. Candidates may submit the following list of documents. The lists are differentiated on the basis of the nature of the source of finances. A student’s income can be presented to their universities as any one of the following sources.

  • If You are Paying the Money From Your Own Bank Account

If a student plans to fund their higher study in Netherlands with the help of money which is present in their bank accounts, they have to declare that:

They have the Study Norm for at least one year in their own bank account. The account should be in the student’s name. Students must possess the full authorization to operate this bank account freely so that they can withdraw their monthly expenses without any hurdles.

If the account is a joint account, a bank statement must be submitted. The account statement must reflect that you have full access to the joint account.

The following documents can be submitted as proof of funds to your respective educational institution at the time of applying.

  1. An original bank statement
  2. A copy of an account statement
  3. A printout of the bank statement’s online version

All of the above documents should not be older than three months. These documents should contain the following details.  

  1. Contact details of the bank
  2. Date
  3. Personal details of the applicant
  4. The balance amount
  • If the Money was Deposited On Your Educational Institution’s Account

If you have deposited your Study Norm directly into the university’s account, you need to submit the copy of your account statement from the university containing the following information.

  1. The date
  2. The bank account number and name of the educational institution
  3. The amount paid by the student
  • If You Have Received a Scholarship/Grant

​You show this with a scholarship declaration. The declaration shows:

  1. The date;
  2. The institution granting the scholarship;
  3. Your personal details (initials, surname and date of birth)
  4. The start and finish of the scholarship (start and end date);
  5. The amount you receive;
  6. Optional: the name of the scholarship programme.

Procedure to Obtain a Netherlands Student Visa

The Netherlands student visa process is similar to that of many other countries. However, in addition to obtaining the Netherlands student visa, applicants are also expected to hold a residence permit. The procedure to apply for a residence permit involves multiple steps. The educational institution applies for one on the student's behalf. Indian students who plan to travel to study in Netherlands are required to follow the different steps to obtain a residence permit.

Step 1: Submit The Application & Payment 

The very first step in the process of getting a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands is to apply for one. You may apply for a Netherlands residence permit through the educational institution in which you have enrolled. The IND collects the application fees from them. The application cost of 174 Euros has to be paid by your university. 

Step 2: Receipt of Acknowledgement & Inspecting the Application

Once the IND has received your application, they send a receipt of acknowledgement to your university. A confirmation letter is provided as the receipt of acknowledgement to the concerned educational institute.  This confirmation letter states the date on which the IND had received the application. Information regarding how much time the IND would take to confirm your application will also be relayed through this confirmation letter.

Step 3: Decision Making Period

The IND takes time to process your application for a Netherlands student visa (MVV). In this duration, it checks whether you and your educational institute meet all the criteria for a Netherlands residence permit. The IND takes approximately 60 days to come to a conclusion. Once they approve your application, the residence permit is issued. This permit is a temporary one and is valid for 90 days. Your MVV would contain the following information:

1. Effective date of the Netherlands student visa

2. End date of the Netherlands student visa

Steps To Be Taken After Submitting the Application

  • Collecting the residence permit

After the IND approves your MVV application, the residence permit is prepared within 2 weeks after the decision has been made. The following steps take place after the IND has decided to process your application.

1. The IND sends a letter to your institution, allowing you to collect your residence permit. 

2. For this purpose, you are expected to make an appointment with their nearest Dutch embassy/consulate, online. It is extremely crucial to the process to take an appointment.

  • Registration With The Municipality
  1. After arriving in the Netherlands, students are expected to register their particulars in the Personal Records Database (BRP).
  2. To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.
  3. Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.
  • Take a TB Test 

You have indicated your intent to undergo a tuberculosis test (TB test) when you applied. You have to make an appointment for this with the Area Health Authority (GGD). You do this within 3 months after having received your residence permit. Please take the 'TB test referral form' with you to the appointment.

  • The validity of Your Residence Permit

Your residence permit is valid for the entire duration of the course, plus three months after that period. An extra year is allowed for preparatory education or a transition year. The residence permit is issued for a period of five years only.

Work & Internship in the Netherlands

  • Work in paid employment

You may only work in paid employment if your employer has a TWV for you. You are then allowed to work:

  1. for a maximum of 16 hours a week; or
  2. full-time during the summer months June, July and August.

If you work for more hours than allowed or if your employer was not issued a TWV for you, then you are (unintentionally) working illegally. This is being monitored by the SZW Inspectorate. In case of an infringement, the IND will contact the educational institute where you are studying. The Inspectorate will then fine the employer for illegal employment.

  • Internship 

If you are going to do an internship in the Netherlands you do not need a TWV if the internship is relevant to your study. You and your educational institution must have signed an internship agreement with the company where you will do your internship. You can find more information on doing an internship in the Netherlands at Nuffic. For more information regarding the Netherlands student visa process and the residence permit, please go through the website of the Dutch immigration and naturalisation services.

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