With nearly forty percent of first-year university students being international students in 2022, the Netherlands has rapidly become a student-favourite destination for aspiring graduates all around the world. And it is easy to see why, with as many as 13 of the country’s top universities ranked in the latest QS World University rankings.
International students find it easy to settle into life in the Netherlands, where over 90 percent of the local population is fluent in English. Also known as Holland, the Netherlands also offers a variety of world-class cities with an endless list of fun activities to enjoy away from the classroom.
The capital city of Amsterdam regularly features near the top of the charts in quality-of-life rankings, and was listed second on the Economists’ latest Digital Cities index due to its well-connected urban transport and excellent digital public facilities. What’s more, the Netherlands is home to as many as four cities featured in the European top 20 of the Economist Global Liveability Index 2022. As of today, the Netherlands is home to more than 120,000 international students and is a true melting pot of global cultures and lifestyles.
Currently, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) in the Netherlands offers international students two types of student visas. These are:
The MVV Entry Visa for students can be received by international students at their nearest Dutch consulate or embassy in their home countries. This student visa functions as a temporary residence permit for your first three months in the Netherlands.
Additionally, international students are required to apply for a VRV or residence permit within the first week of your arrival in the Netherlands. This residence permit is usually granted within a month. International students should contact the university they are attending in the Netherlands for further information regarding the VRV residence permit, as most universities help international students with the application process.
Dutch embassies and consulates around the world require a slightly different set of documents from international students depending on your home country, and you must contact your nearest embassy at the earliest opportunity for more details.
We recommend that you prepare multiple copies and originals of the following documents because they are generally required for all MVV student visa applications to the Netherlands:
The process to apply for a Dutch student visa involves first confirming your enrollment at a university in the country. Then, you must fill out an online application form on the Netherlands student visa website, purchase health insurance as required, complete the visa payment and schedule an interview at your nearest Dutch embassy or consulate where you will be required to submit your passport after your visa interview.
In most countries worldwide, international students are required to pay 171 Euros as the Netherlands student visa application fee. You can also be required to pay a visa processing and biometrics fee to your local Netherlands visa processing centre. You must note that technically, it will be your university applying for a student visa on your behalf. This means that your selected university may charge an additional fee for handling your student visa application.
You can begin your Netherlands student visa application as soon as you receive and confirm an enrollment offer at a Netherlands university. The process usually takes between two to three months, so you should apply well in advance of your degree program. Once you have reached the Netherlands, you must visit your university’s visa affairs department for further information on how to apply for the VRV residence permit.
Current rules in the Netherlands allow international students to work up to 16 hours every week during the academic semester. You can work full-time during the months of June, July and August. You should note that in order to receive income, you must apply for and receive a ‘Burger Service Number’ or citizen service number at your local municipality office in the Netherlands. Additionally, you will need a work permit in order to begin working, and your employer needs to apply for this document on your behalf. If you receive income as a student in the Netherlands, you must file your tax returns and pay the appropriate taxes.
With its old-school European charm, well-connected cities with excellent public services, large English-speaking population, global connectivity via the famous Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and immigrant-friendly communities all over, the Netherlands will surely receive more and more interest from international students in the future.Study in the Netherlands
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