Given its high quality of living, the Netherlands offers a surprisingly affordable study experience. While it’s not as popular as the neighboring European countries, more and more are heading towards the nation.

Currently, there are 94,000+ international students in Amsterdam, twice the number compared to the last decade.

Passing the university requirements is just one part of the huddle. As with other countries, you will need to get a student visa for the Netherlands. Here’s how to do it.

What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in the Netherlands?

Before you prepare your documents, you will have to check if you need a visa at all.

If you’re a resident of an EU or EEA state, you don’t need a visa – whether you’re staying in the country for less or more than 90 days.

Residents of certain nations don’t need a visa for a short stay (90 days or less). However, the citizens of these countries will need a residence permit if they have to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • US
  • UK
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Vatican
  • Monaco

As for other nationalities, a short-stay visa is required for a visit lasting less than 90 days. In case of an extended stay, these students will need a visa and a residence permit.

If you’re required to apply for a student visa in the Netherlands, you will have to prepare the following documents:

  • Copy of valid passport
  • Signed antecedents certificate
  • Proof of sufficient funds. Your bank account should have at least EUR 950/$1,115 per month or EUR 11,400/$13,370 a year. If you’re taking your partner or family with you, you must meet the requirement of EUR 1,860/$2,180 per month.
    • Statement from a person/organization that will pay for your tuition
    • Bank statement
      • Transcribed in either English, German, Dutch, or French
      • Written on letterhead paper with official stamp/signature of the bank representative
      • Should include the bank’s address, phone number, and contact person
      • Includes account holder’s name, account number, currency type, and balance
      • Funds should be readily available (no investments, shares, or trust funds will be accepted)
      • With the date of issue (if the account is less than three months old)
    • Scholarship letter
      • Should be in English, German, French, or Dutch
      • On letterhead paper with the name, address, and contact number of the organization
      • Includes the scholar’s full name and date of birth, allowance per month, or the total amount of scholarship
      • Cites the scholarship start and end dates
      • If the scholarship amount is not enough for the entire stay, the student must submit a bank statement that proves they can cover the remaining costs
  • Copy of other EU residence certificates, if applicable

How much money do you need for a Dutch Student Visa?

The cost of applying for a Netherlands student visa is EUR 192 or $225. You will need to pay this amount every time you:

  • Apply (for the first time) or change your purpose of staying in the country
  • Extend your student visa duration

If you are a long-term EU resident in another EU state, you will need to pay the same fee.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in the Netherlands

Unlike most countries, students cannot file a direct application to the Immigration Office. The host university will be in charge of this.

If you need both a visa and a residence permit to study in the Netherlands, you have to:

1. Meet the requirements for Visa application

For the process to commence, the student must have the following:

  • Admission to a full-time program (all conditions must have been met)
    • Proof of placement if admitted to a Numerus fixus bachelor’s program
    • Completed module if admitted to a bachelor’s program with compulsory matching
  • Completed academic records
  • Nuffic certificate (for Chinese students)

2. Prepare all the documents required for visa application.

See above for the complete list of requirements.

3. Start your online application.

Universities use various portals for visa applications. At Leiden University, for example, you will need to log onto its uSis website.

Here, you need to upload all the documents required for a Netherlands student visa.

To get your visa promptly, you must complete your application by June (September start) or December (February start.)

If you’re taking your family with you, you will need to submit your application earlier. September term students need to complete their forms by May, while February term students need to finish everything by October.

4. Pay the visa fee.

You may pay the fee online or through a bank transfer.

5. Wait for the visa.

Once you have accomplished the steps mentioned above, your university will forward your application to the Dutch Immigration department.

Once your application has been received, it will take the Immigration and Naturalization Department (IND)about two to four to make a decision.

6. Collect your visa.

It will take another two weeks for the IND to forward your visa to your country’s Dutch embassy or consulate. Upon receiving your student visa in the Netherlands, you will need to undergo a Biometric exam as well.

You have three months to collect your visa from the said offices.

Visa validity is only 90 days, so you need to travel to the Netherlands within this period.

7. Meet the obligations for residence permit holders.

Once you arrive in the Netherlands, you need to meet these statutes:

  • Register at the town hall upon your arrival.
  • Have health insurance that will cover your entire stay.
  • Undergo a TB test (for citizens of non-EU countries.)
  • Meet your academic obligations. For example, at Leiden University, you need to obtain at least 50% of the required study credits per year.
  • Demonstrate sufficient funds for studies.
  • Keep your residence permit with you at all times.

If you only need a residence permit to study in the Netherlands, you can apply for this through your university.

Applying for a Dutch student visa is easy. While the university will do most of the legwork, you must have all the required documents ready and submitted right on time. That way, you get your visa right before the semester starts.


We hope that this article on applying for a student visa in the Netherlands was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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