Legal Residence

Entry visa procedure

You need to download the documents you find on this page, fill out the forms and send them to us. In the roadmap you find an explanation step by step.

Legal residence means that non-Dutch citizens are granted permission by the government to temporarily reside in the Netherlands for a specific purpose, in this case education. The Dutch government has a number of rules for international visitors/students. Under Dutch law, universities must verify if foreign students are legally residing in the Netherlands before they can be registered as a student.

The application for an entry visa must be made by the International Office of the Student Service Centre (SSC), which will forward your application to the immigration authorities (IND). The IND will provide the University with the approval, based upon which you can travel to the Netherlands.

The IND (Immigration Office) is the organisation responsible for checking your legal residence in the Netherlands. To check how any change in your personal circumstances might affect your legal residence, call 088-0430430, or check the IND website.

Do I need an entry visa and residence permit?

Not all students need to apply for a MVV entry visa or a residence permit.

In the table below you can check if you need to apply for either one of them. After that you can check the information that applies to you.

Country of origin MVV entry visa needed? Residence permit needed? Working permit needed?
EU/EFTA countries* NO NO NO
Romania and Bulgaria NO NO (registration with the IND is advised) NO
Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New-Zealand, South Korea, U.S.A., Vatican City NO YES YES
All other countries YES YES YES

* EU/EFTA countries: Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland.

New immigration law

The International Office will apply for your visa conform to the new law so called Modern Migratiebeleid (Dutch for 'modern migration policy'). The aim of the law is to make the Netherlands more welcoming for specific groups such as highly-skilled migrants and students. For those groups immigration procedures will be speeded up.

One of the main changes for international students will be the monitoring of their study progress. Students who don’t make enough progress risk losing their residence permit.

The application visa is also combined with the application for a residence permit. On our website we will keep you informed.

What is an entry visa?

Long stay visa: Provisional residence permit (in Dutch: MVV)

  • A provisional residence permit is a visa that mentions ‘D’ for type of visa. Healthcare insurance is required when collecting this type of visa.
  • A MVV is a visa to enter the country; it is a sticker in your passport issued by the Dutch Embassy or Consulate. Note that it is NOT a residence permit.

Once the MVV has been approved by the authorities, you will be asked to choose between two different types of MVV at the Dutch embassy/consulate:

  • Type D: Valid for one entry

  • Type D: with multiple entries. This option is recommended.

After collecting your entry visa at the Embassy you have 6 months to travel to the Netherlands. Please note that it is only valid for 90 days from the date you entered the Netherlands or one of the Schengen countries ( but not longer then the expiry date). You will get a date stamp in your passport at the border of the airport.

The type D visa allows you to travel within the Schengen countries. With multiple entries you can also travel outside the Schengen countries and re-enter several times.

Under NO condition should students who plan to stay longer than three months enter the Netherlands on a short-term or tourist visa. It is NOT possible to change a tourist visa status into a residence permit.

More about Visa and Immigration Procedures and

Important information for Chinese students:

All Chinese students must register with Nuffic for a ‘Nuffic Certificate’ before their visa application can be submitted. This includes taking an IELTS or TOEFL test. For more information see

Residence permit

What is a residence permit?

A residence permit allows a foreign national to stay in the Netherlands longer than three months and to re-enter the country during its validity.

It is issued for a specific purpose, in your case: study. Once your application is approved you receive a residence permit card. This is an official government document that proves you legally reside in the Netherlands.

Who issues the residence permit?

Residence permits are issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). However, in case of a student, only the university can apply for the permit. This means your only point of contact will be the International Office of Student Service Centre and never directly the IND.The Residence Permit for Study is valid for the running academic year, after that it must be extended. The permit states the purpose of stay, validity period and university.

Should anything change in your situation, it affects your legal residence. Check the following websites for more information please check the website of Nuffic and IND.

What are the conditions for a residence permit?

The requirements for submitting an application are:

  1. You must be unconditionally accepted at Wageningen University, unless the condition is graduation from your current studies before start of the programme
  2. The entry visa and/or residence permit fee must be paid to the university in advance
  3. If required, participate in a Tuberculosis test and cooperate with treatment if necessary
  4. You must have no criminal record.