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Study at university or university of applied sciences

You wish to study at a university or a university of applied sciences in the Netherlands. You need a residence permit to study in the Netherlands. What are the conditions for this residence permit? And how does the application procedure work?

Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and their family members.

Do you have a valid residence permit for study issued by another Member State of the European Union and do you want to pursue part of your study programme in the Netherlands? Then you may be eligible for Intra EU-mobility.



There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition, you and your educational institution have to meet the following conditions (these procedure and conditions also apply to exchange students):

Other conditions may apply for Turkish nationals and their family members.

Prepare for the education

Do you still need to pass subjects to meet the conditions to start your education? A Dutch or English language course for example? You can have a one-time maximum period of 12 months to prepare for your studies.

Do you have your bachelor's degree and you are going to continue a master's programme? It is then possible to again make use of a maximum of 12 months to prepare for your master's programme.

Your educational institution determines the conditions of your education. Are you going to follow an education taught in the English language? You must pass or have passed the following IELTS score:

  • You instantly start your main education: IELTS 6.0
  • You follow a preparatory period of a maximum period of 12 months: IELTS 5.0
  • You follow a preparatory period of a maximum period of 6 months: IELTS 5.5

In addition to IELTS, there are other accepted language tests: TOEFL, TOEIC and Cambridge English grades & scale. Please contact your educational institution for more information.


This application costs € 174. 

Checklist documents

The educational institution has a list of documents that you need.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.


After the application

Collect your residence permit

The IND aims to have the residence permit ready within 2 weeks after the positive decision. The IND will send your educational institution a letter indicating when you can collect the residence permit. For this, you 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.  

Check to see if the information on the residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If something is incorrect, inform the IND staff member at once.

Registration with the municipality

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP)  in the municipality you are going to live.

To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated  birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.

Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.

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.

In some cases you are exempt from taking a TB test.

Take out health insurance

​If you are younger than 30 and live in the Netherlands for study purposes only, you cannot enroll with a Dutch health insurer for a basic health insurance. You can remain insured with the health insurer in your home country.

If you have a (volunteer) part-time job next to your study, you are required to have a basic health insurance with a Dutch health insurer. This is not the case for an internship during your study.  

You can also read the information on the website Zorgverzekeringslijn.

Validity residence permit

​The residence permit for study is valid for the duration of your education plus 3 months. You can get 1 extra year for a preparatory education or a transition year, for example to learn Dutch. The residence permit is issued for a maximum period of 5 years.

Work and internship

On the back of your residence permit it says 'Tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) vereist voor arbeid van bijkomende aard, andere arbeid in loondienst niet toegestaan'.

This means the following:

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:

  • for a maximum of 16 hours a week; or
  • 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.

Work on a self-employed basis

In addition to your studies, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self employed individual, as long as you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study. There is no limit to the amount of hours that you are allowed to work as a self employed individual. Also, you do not need a working permit (TWV).

You need to register your company in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel). You need to pay taxes yourself. You might be obliged to take out Dutch public healthcare insurance (basisverzekering).


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.

Temporarily studying outside of the Netherlands

​Temporarily studying outside of the Netherlands (other than Intra EU-mobility)

Are you temporarily going abroad for your studies and are you not staying in the Netherlands within the context of intra EU-mobility? You cannot be abroad for more than 12 months in a row. If you stay abroad for more than 12 months, the IND can revoke your residence permit. Even when you are studying abroad or are doing an internship, the study progress monitoring continues to apply.

You are temporarily following parts of your studies in another member state of the European Union, within the context of intra EU-mobility

Are your temporarily going to another member state of the European Union, within the context of intra EU-mobility? You are allowed to reside in another EU member state to follow part of your studies for a maximum of 360 days, while maintaining your Dutch residence permit.

You can make use of of the intra EU-mobility if your residence is part of a Union or multilateral program comprising mobility measures or a treaty between 2 or more higher education institutions.

Are you going to make use of the intra EU-mobility? Your educational institute in the Netherlands has to notify the IND no later than 4 weeks prior to the start of the mobility. In order to do so, the educational institution submits the notification form to the IND.

Legal obligations

​There are a number of legal obligations that apply to you and your educational institution.

The IND monitors your compliance with these legal obligations. Failure to meet these legal obligations may have consequences.

Further applications (extend or change)

Replace residence permit

Is your residence permit damaged, lost or stolen? In that case, have the residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit due to expire soon? Apply for an extension.

Change residence permit

Has something changed in your situation that influences your residence permit? Are you quitting your studies for example? Or, is the student's progress insufficient?  Please report this immediately to the IND. It may mean that, due to the changes in your situation, the residence permit has to be changed.

Have you finished your education? You can change your residence permit, for example to a residence permit to:

Are you directly changing your residence permit within 3 years to a residence permit to work as a highly skilled migrant? A lower income requirement applies.  

Return visa

If you are awaiting a procedure, you do not have a valid residence document at present and you wish to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands. This could be the case if your current residence permit is no longer valid or your current residence permit will expire during your stay outside of the Netherlands. To apply for a return visa you must meet certain conditions. ​

Accredited study

​An accredited study is a study for which the NVAO or a foreign institution for accreditation of education has given a written guarantee that the study programme meets certain quality requirements. The accreditation means that it is a well-qualified study.

Recognised sponsor

A sponsor is a person, employer or organisation that has an interest in the arrival of the foreign national in the Netherlands. An organisation is obliged to get recognition as a sponsor if they wish to apply for a residence permit for au pair, exchange, study, highly skilled migrant and scientific researcher (Directive 2005/71/EG).

Provisional residence permit (mvv)

​The provisional residence permit (mvv) is a visa you need if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. For more information, check Regular provisional residence permit (mvv).

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.


​A TWV is a work permit. The employer applies for a TWV with UWV (Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency). UWV examines among other things if there is no employee with the Dutch, EU/EEA or Swiss nationality that is qualified for the job.